How to Set Your T Shirt Shop Apart From Competition on Etsy

There is a sad reality for many people trying to start a creative business – you can have the coolest idea, the prettiest designs, and the best product out there, but none of that will matter if you can’t make your shop stand out from the crowd!

If you want your t-shirt shop to stand out from the competition on Etsy, then you need to follow several best practices including using professional photography and implementing good SEO.

Let’s jump in and help ensure your t-shirt store gets the attention (and the sales!) it deserves.

Stand Out On Etsy With Professional Photographs

In the early days of Etsy, you could probably get away with poorly lit or poorly shot photos of your t-shirts. But this isn’t the early days of Etsy. Today’s Etsy consumer expects quality products, which means they also expect quality, professional photography.

That said, especially if you’re just starting out, you may not have the budget to afford monthly photo-shoots with new and seasonal stock (word to the wise: we’ve also got a guide to starting a t-shirt business for under $100 to check out).

Thankfully, there’s a super easy (and we mean super) and super affordable (and we mean super) way to save money on photography while maintaining a high level of professionalism. Use mockups! In fact, when you become a Pretty Little Mockup member, you get instant access to thousands of gorgeous t-shirt and apparel mockups for your online shop.

We’ve got beautiful t-shirt and apparel mockups using male, female, and child models, in just about every theme and styling you can think of (see all of our collections here). And they’re incredibly easy to use, without any Photoshop skills whatsoever (see a quick tutorial here), so you can have a professional Etsy storefront in no time.

Show Your Product On Real People

Flatlays certainly have their place, which is why we offer many flatlay mockup options for our members.

But in our experience building our own successful t-shirt company, nothing beats model shots when you are trying to sell apparel. People want to know what how they’ll look in your t-shirt or hoodie. And to do that, they need to see it on a real person. Period.

Etsy SEO

Etsy search engine optimization, or SEO, involves all the back-end settings you can use while building your shop and uploading products, to make it more likely that your product will show up in Etsy search results. In other words, if you sell ‘Halloween t-shirts for toddlers,’ then you want to show up in the results when people search for ‘Halloween t-shirts for toddlers.’

Ultimately, your goal should always be to drive traffic to your Etsy shop, because people will only buy your shirts if they know they exist. The best way to do this is to use the right keywords in your Etsy tags, titles, categories and attributes. I know this work can seem tedious, but this is one area not to skip if you really want to stand out from the competition on Etsy.

Competitive Shipping Policies

It’s kind of a catch-22. People love shopping online. And they hate paying for shipping. You probably can’t offer free shipping like big businesses often can. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have competitive shipping polices.

So take a look at your key competition and see what they are charging for shipping. Then try to match them at least, or beat them if you can. You’ll be surprised what a difference this can make.

Etsy Reviews Are Critical

Think about how you shop on Etsy. I bet you read the product reviews pretty religiously, huh? So will your potential customers. So if you want to stand out from the crowd, focus on getting reviews.

So how do you get reviews? You ask for them! You can ask for reviews in your confirmation emails, in your order insert cards, and in follow-up emails. Don’t be shy – you may have to ask a few times, but if you give people a great product, they’ll often be more than happy to help spread the word.

Growing a t-shirt business online can feel overwhelming at first, but we hope that these simple tips will help give you the tools & inspiration you need to get your designs the visibility and sales they deserve! Learn more about Pretty Little Mockup’s annual and quarterly memberships to help elevate your Etsy shop.

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