The Etsy Blog

From Etsy’s Merchandising Desk: February 2012 handmade and vintage goods


February marks the transitional month between winter and the buds of spring. Our aim with Etsy merchandising is to create a healthy balance between promotions for traditional holidays, seasonal changes, cultural events, and lifestyle trends. If you’d like to stay engaged with upcoming merchandising themes, use them in your own artistic voice as you add to your shop. They can be translated in your listings, photos, shop announcements, descriptions, tags, titles, sales promotions and more.

Promotional Opportunities for Sellers:

  1. Valentine’s Day Social Hashtags: Etsy’s social channels will be promoting the Twitter hashtag #EtsyXO. Feel free to incorporate this hashtag into your promotional plans for Valentine’s Day. For those of you who enjoy making Valentine’s collections, we’ll be keeping an eye out for Treasury lists tagged with EtsyXO.
  2. Treasury Tip: Create and label treasuries fitting seasonal themes for a chance to have your collection featured on Etsy’s homepage or linked from promotional emails and new shopping pages.

Themes to Plan for:
Our central merchandising themes this month will focus on Valentine’s Day, weddings, winter solutions, and hints of spring. While emphasis will be placed upon the seasonality of the Northern Hemisphere, it’s important to remember that the Southern Hemisphere is in summer months. Maintaining seasonally appropriate options year-round is good practice for boosting international and overall sales.

  • Super Bowl: Football, parties, and all the food, drink, sportsmanship and rivalry that game day brings.
  • Valentine’s Day: Primary areas of focus for this holiday will include gifts for her, gifts for him, gifts for kids, jewelry, lingerie, love notes and cards, personalization, fashion, sweets & recipes, parties & decor, gag gifts, anti-Valentine, engagements & weddings, flowers & vases, and DIY ideas. Think love, hearts, Cupid and his arrow, red, pink, and white. Take advantage of last minute shoppers by offering expedited, rushed, and local shipping options.
  • Fashion: With New York and Paris fashion weeks taking place this month, all eyes will be on new lines. Think about introducing your newest collections of clothing, accessories, jewelry and fashion related lines now. Tagging Tip: Try adding the term “fashion” to appropriate items to reach a broader shopping audience.
  • Celebrations & Glam: Not only will Mardi Gras and Carnival bring out the party spirit and celebration of costuming, but award shows this month, including the Grammys, Academy Awards, and Brit Awards, will bring glamour, high fashion and Hollywood allure into the spotlight.
  • Seasonality: Focus on winter with hints of spring to come — home decor, nesting, entertaining, food and recipes, seasonal indoor and outdoor activities, fashion, gardening, woodland motifs and nature’s symbols.
  • Weddings: Wedding inspiration and planning is underway; now is the time to list your full wedding line for brides planning their big days in 2012.
  • Seasonal Escapes: Offerings for seasonal destinations, including resorts, beaches, cruises, and ski excursions, along with appropriate luggage, travel gear, fashion, and gadgets.
  • Birthdays: February’s birthstone is amethyst and astrological signs are Aquarius and Pisces (January 21 – February 19: Aquarius, February 20 – March 20: Pisces).

February’s Trends:

  • Black History Month: Motivational quotations and inspired art.
  • Leap Year: Birthdays, celebrations.
  • Valentine’s Day: Red, pink, white, hearts, lockets, Cupids, arrows, love, anti-Valentines, cards, jewelry, lingerie, gift ideas for him and her, children’s outfits and accessories.
  • Super Bowl: Football, team colors, game day, commercials, and recipes.
  • Organization and Storage: Creative and innovative takes on solutions for getting organized.
  • Weddings: Vintage style and accents, photobooths and props, fingerprint guest books, DIY decorations, and creative takes on the little details from save the dates all the way to favors.
  • Gadget Accessories: Innovative gadget cases, docking stations, speakers, amplifiers and accessories, especially geared around the iPhone 4S, iPad and Kindle Fire.
  • Personalization: Gift ideas with monograms, initials, text, numbers, zodiac, constellations, portraits, custom labels, stamps, fingerprints and family trees.
  • Wizardry, magic, owls, and mysticism with the DVD release of the final chapter of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
  • Cottage: Chic decor and accessories.
  • Home: Window curtains, drapes, shower curtains, bedding and hardware.
  • Fashion: Winter accessories, leggings, boots, embellished shoes and a look ahead to spring collections.
  • Culinary Trends: DIY culinary kits are on the rise. Classic cocktails, homebrewing, beer and wine accessories, herb infusions and kits, garden to table.
  • Designer Vintage: Authentic fashion, collectibles, bikes and auto accessories.
  • Letters, Numbers, and Symbols: Large vintage signage, letterpress blocks, monogram housewares and typewriter keys.
  • Natural History: Woodland forest themes and animals, namely birds, owls, squirrels, hedgehogs, chipmunks, bunnies, butterflies, feathers, nests, eggs, acorns, leaves, trees, branches, woodgrain, and natural colors.
  • Lockets, secret hiding places, skeleton keys, arrows, diamonds, paper cuts, silhouettes, fortune cookies, wishbones, constellations, fortune telling.
  • Large scale vintage and handmade paper maps, botanical and anatomy charts.
  • Upcycled lights, lamps, exposed bulbs, and chandeliers.
  • Vintage cameras, especially Polaroids with film.
  • Bike caddies, baskets, and creative accessories.
  • Video game-inspired references
  • Writable chalkboard surfaces
  • Wall and laptop decals
  • The little black dress
  • Mermaids
  • Peacocks

If you make items that would fit well with the themes outlined, try stocking up and listing them in advance to take advantage of potential shipping deadlines and site features. Do you already have items in your shop that meld well? That’s great! Now it’s time to revisit those items to make sure your tags, titles and descriptions reflect keywords that shoppers might be looking for during this time of year.

This is also a great opportunity to revamp your item photography with a new look. Check out some great how-to’s on item photography to get started. For those of your who enjoy making treasury lists, we’ll be looking to highlight lists that interpret these themes in a creative and cohesive way throughout the site. Please tag your treasuries accordingly.

Upcoming Dates to Remember

  • February is known as Black History Month and Ovarian Cancer Month (Australia)
  • February 2:  Groundhog Day
  • February 5: Superbowl Sunday
  • February 9 – 16: NYC Fall Fashion Week
  • February 12:  54th Annual Grammy Awards Show
  • February 14: Valentine’s Day
  • February 17 – 21: Carnival
  • February 20: President’s Day
  • February 21: Mardi Gras
  • February 21: Brit Awards (UK)
  • February 21: Shrove Tuesday (UK)
  • February 26: 84th Annual Academy Awards (Oscars)
  • February 28 – March 7: Ready-to-Wear Fashion Week, Paris

Have a date to remember that you don’t see on the list? Let us know in the comments section below.

Read Past Merch Desk Articles