Making sales on Etsy is only the first step in creating a successful and maintainable Etsy business. The key to long term success is being able to easily track where in the process each order is.
Its no good getting 100s of orders a month if you can keep track of which ones are done, as this leads to late dispatches and unhappy customers. Being able to keep your customers happy leads to great reviews, and repeat buyers. This is what we all need to aim for.
Creating a robust process for fulfilling orders is therefore key. These processes will develop over time as your business grows, but in this article I will share with you some key learnings I have made over the last decade on Etsy.
How to keep track of your Etsy Orders? I use the following methods to keep track of my Etsy orders:
- Use custom statuses in your Etsy store admin
- Keep a record of orders in a spreadsheet
- Constantly reviewing shipping estimates
- Using tracking links for all orders
- Using the Etsy order export feature
Use Custom Statuses In Etsy
Adding custom steps in the Etsy store admin is a game changer for many sellers on Etsy. Unfortunately the default statuses of “New”, “In progress” and “Completed” as simply not enough.
Firstly, lets look at how to add a custom status to your Etsy store admin:
- Login to your Etsy store
- Go to Orders & Deliveries
- Along the top you will see you current statuses. Click the pencil icon to edit them
- Select Add a new step to add a new status to your admin
- Use the text inputs and dragable elements to order them as you need
- Click Save changes to confirm the updates
The first step is to understand what the steps are in your fulfilment process. Some ideas for possible steps are:
- Scoping – could be used if you are getting requirements from a customer for a custom item
- In design – the order is in some kind of pre-build status
- Blocked – used if the order cannot be produced yet (lack of materials for example)
- In production – You are actively producing the item/s
- Pre-delivery – items are being prepped for posting
The options are endless as Etsy doesn’t limit the number of statuses in the order admin
Will customers be notified when I change Order statuses on Etsy?
No, customers will not be notified if you move an order between custom order statuses on Etsy. The customer is only notified when an order is moved to “Completed”.
You are free to move orders around for your own personal order tracking.
Keep a Google Doc
Etsy isn’t the only place you can track orders. I have often copied details of orders from Etsy and pasted them into a Google spreadsheet. Are Microsoft Excel sheet is just as easy to keep.
The benefit of keeping a spreadsheet is that all the details are in one place.
In contract on Etsy if you want to see the email address for a customer you have to make 4 clicks (selecting the relevant order status, selecting the order, selecting the customer dropdown and finally clicking on the email address).
The way I work it is having a status of “On sheet” in Etsy to note that I have copied across the details to my order sheet. There are several ways to do this other than manually copy and pasting from the admin (more on that later).
Update Our Shipping Estimates
Setting your shipping estimates is really a guessing game. You can make your calculation based on whatever matrics you want, but at the end of the day you will never know until you start fulfilling orders.
The only metric that is helpful in setting dispatch and delivery estimates is real-life experience.
I review my estimates once a month. If I find I can’t keep up with orders I know I need to up the production estimate. Also if I find customers complain about late deliveries, I know its time to update the shipping estimates for that region.
As I said, I do this monthly, as its not a “set and forget” task. Things will always change, and as a seller its important to keep on top of it
Always Use Tracking Links
I always use tracking links for all my Etsy orders. This is regardless of the package size, or the item value.
I do this because:
- customers expect it
- the hassle of dealing with lost and delayed packages isn’t worth it
Lets look at those in more deatail
Customers Expect It
Thanks to platforms like Amazon customers expect all packages to be tracked. This is the standard now and as sellers competing with Amazon we need to copy to keep up.
Hassle of Dealing With Packages
Unfortunately sending items first class isn’t a guarantee that the item will get to its destination safely.
If a customer complains that an order is late, and you don’t have tracking you have very little wiggle room. Not only is it a poor customer experience – as you aren’t able to tell tehm where their package is, or when you think it will get to them – the default expectation is for a replacement to be sent.
This will often lead to customers getting multiple packages – as the original delivery is often just delayed, and not lost. This leads to a waste of money on your side, which could have just been used to pay for tracking!
Dealing with the cost of Tracking
This is tricky, and is a barrier that many sellers don’t try to pass.
The cost of tracking should be included in your price, and customers should be informed that they will get full tracking. This will justify the price.
A common complaint I hear is “my items only sell for a couple of bucks, tracking would double the price”. This is true, but tracking is still worth it.
If you are selling items on the cheaper end then you are likely doing a much higher sales volume. This kind of volume can open the door to discounted shipping rates. Most couriers offer you better rates if you provide them with plenty of orders.
Scheduling review reminder emails is hard. It takes plenty of organisation and time to do.
The impact on your store if you don’t follow up for reviews gets worse over time, so you don’t want to forget!
If you want to hand over this organisational nightmare, then try EtsyHunt’s “Follow-Up Reminder” service.
It will tell you exactly what to send and when – it even provides templates so you don’t have to worry!
Use Order Exports
Getting orders out of Etsy can be a hassle. Copy and pasting is time consuming as it requires multiple clicks to get each bit out.
I always use the order export feature in the store admin. This will give you a full export for all orders for a given month. This means you can copy whole rows of orders into your order tracking sheet.
To export order data in Etsy you need to:
- Login to your Etsy store admin
- Select Settings and then Options
- On the Options page select the Download Data tab
- In the Orders block select Order Items from the CSV Type dropdown followed by the Month and Year you want to export for
- Select Download CSV and your export will be downloaded to your computer
Once you have the download you can copy whatever information you need.
As you will also notice, there are plenty of other download options. Have a poke around and see what other useful data you can get out.
Keeping track of orders is one of the most important parts of selling on Etsy. What good is getting orders if you can’t fulfil them easily?
Using the tips in this article you will be well on your way to creating the processes you need to make your store a success.