It’s hard to look objectively at your own Etsy shop. Do shoppers “get” your items right away? Are you sending the right message about your products? What if there are simple changes you could make that might double your sales? The best way to find out is something professional merchandisers have been doing for a long time – testing designs and products with real people.
Showing your shop to a few close friends, or even a shop critique from your Etsy team, is unlikely to produce truly objective feedback. Those people are familiar with your work and possibly afraid of hurting your feelings. Customers coming to your shop from Google don’t know you from Adam, have no idea how your items are made, and may not even be familiar with Etsy.
Peek is a free service that lets you see the reactions to your shop from a true slice of humanity. It’s as simple as entering your email and shop address – within a few hours you’ll get a video of someone relating their experience on your site. The Peek volunteer visits your shop for 5 minutes and talks about their impressions.
Not every Peek review is helpful – since the volunteers are somewhat random, you might get someone that’s not at all in your target market. Then again, that might be the best person to review your shop. Take a single review with a grain of salt, anyway. Peek allows you to run 3 free tests per month, so you can get a variety of feedback and even make small changes before signing up for another test.
I have to admit it’s a little addicting – I ran tests for my Etsy shop and this website, and watched many of the videos from a recent Etsy forum thread about Peek. I already have a handful of changes to make based on the feedback.
Here are my tips for getting the most out of a Peek shop review:
- Don’t fret about what you can’t change. Testers unfamiliar with Etsy will suggest things that are out of your control. Pay no mind to complaints about photo size and layout that are in Etsy’s court. Focus instead on their impressions of the shop. Did they understand the product right away? Were the categories you created clear? Did they have questions about the items that were hard to find the answers to?
- Don’t blame the tester. It’s painful to watch a tester flounder when you know where to find what they’re looking for – maybe they can’t find measurements that are right there in the description. It’s easy to imagine that the tester is distracted by the task of recording their thoughts and any normal person would find it; it’s rarely true. Most people visiting your site are distracted, in a hurry, or have 20 other things on their mind. If something critical for your item isn’t obvious, it’s your fault.
- Pay attention to their mouse. It’s great to hear what’s going on in the tester’s mind as they look at your shop, but it doesn’t tell the whole tale. Watch their mouse cursor carefully – it can reveal great insight into what’s drawing their attention and tempting them to click.
If you have a website or blog, Peek reviews for that can be even more valuable since you have total control over the site.
The traditional ways of customer testing, like focus groups, were out of reach for independent sellers on a shoestring budget. It’s exciting to have a free and easy way to get near-immediate feedback. If Peek leaves you wanting more, then it’s accomplished its purpose; Peek is offered free by UserTesting to entice you into more in-depth testing. For $49 a test, you can choose target demographics and give them your own tasks to try.
Share your results in the comments below, I’m eager to hear how it went!