The Etsy Blog

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


March brings an official change in season and a new frame of mind. 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 your own artistic voice to translate them into shop listings, photos, shop announcements, descriptions, tags, titles, sales promotions and more.

Promotional Opportunities for Sellers:

  1. Treasury Tip: Create and label treasuries matching seasonal themes for a chance to have your collection featured on Etsy’s homepage or linked to from promotional emails and shopping pages.
  2. Our Seller Education Team is dedicating the month of March to helping you “Get Found!” Tune in to the Seller Handbook all month for strategic content culminating on March 30 at the Etsy Success Symposium. To apply to attend this event in person at Etsy’s headquarters in Brooklyn, you can submit an application here.

Themes to Plan for:
Our central merchandising themes this month focus on spring, fashion, weddings, and Easter. This emphasizes the seasonality of the Northern Hemisphere, but it’s important to remember that it is summer in the Southern Hemisphere. Maintaining seasonally appropriate options year-round is good practice for boosting international and overall sales.

  • Spring: With the official start to the season later this month, think in terms of bright spring colors, fashion, spring cleaning, outdoor activities, seasonal holidays and spring breaks.
  • Gardening: It’s spring planting time. Consider indoor, outdoor and urban gardens, tools, containers, vertical solutions, heirloom seeds and composting.
  • St. Patrick’s Day: Classic symbols of this holiday include parties and celebrations, the color green, shamrocks, Irish references and beer.
  • Mothering Sunday: The U.K. equivalent of the U.S.’s Mother’s Day. Consider offering gift ideas for moms to account for both dates of this holiday.
  • Easter: With Easter Sunday falling in early April, March is the ideal time to list your full line of Easter offerings for holiday shoppers. Think in terms of decor, clothing, accessories, and all the fillings for easter baskets. Classic symbols of this holiday include rabbits, baskets, eggs, sweets, small toys, lambs, chicks, pastel colors, crosses and light, bright formalwear.
  • Fashion: With Paris fashion week underway, all eyes are on new lines. Consider introducing your newest collections of clothing, accessories, jewelry and fashion related lines now. While labels are introducing fall lines, spring clothing and accessories are key for shoppers. Take advantage of spring break and vacation season by offering your lines of swim, beach and resort-wear now. Tagging Tip: Try adding the term “fashion” to appropriate items to reach a broader shopping audience.
  • Weddings: Wedding season is in full swing; determine how your line of goods could expand into wedding offerings and tag accordingly if appropriate.
  • Seasonal Escapes: Offerings for seasonal destinations: spring breaks, resorts, beaches, cruises, and ski excursions, along with appropriate luggage, travel gear, fashion, and gadgets.
  • Birthdays: March’s Birthstone is aquamarine and star signs include Pisces and Aries (February 20 – March 20: Pisces, March 21 – April 20: Aries).

March’s Trends:

  • April Fools: Gag gifts and practical jokes abound.
  • Gardening: Planters, vertical solutions, tools, garden markers, heirloom seed varieties, compost bins, terrariums, bird and bee houses.
  • Sports: Time for both college basketball and baseball spring training. Think in terms of teams, colors, brackets, predictions and wagers.
  • Vintage Fashion and Decor: With the return of Mad Men‘s season 5 late this month, expect to see inspired vintage collections trending once again.
  • Weddings: Vintage, retro and rockabilly references, photobooths and props, fan programs, Mad Libs, personalized wine labels, fingerprint guest books, DIY decorations, and creative takes on the little details from save the dates all the way to favors.
  • Organization and Storage: Spring cleaning! Fresh solutions for getting organized.
  • 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.
  • Cottage: Chic decor and accessories.
  • Home: Window curtains, drapes, shower curtains, bedding and hardware.
  • Fashion: Spring basics and accessories, lighter layers, leggings, and bright colors.
  • Wizardry, magic, owls, and mysticism
  • 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, 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 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 match? That’s great! 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. Check out some great how-to’s on item photography to get started. For those who enjoy making treasury lists, we’ll be looking to highlight lists that interpret these themes in a creative and cohesive ways. Please tag your treasuries accordingly.

Upcoming Dates to Remember

  • March is known as: National Craft Month, National Poetry Month, and was named for the Roman god, Mars. March is also Prostate Cancer Awareness month in the UK.
  • February 28 – March 7 Ready to Wear FW, Paris
  • March 1 St. David’s Day (United Kingdom)
  • March 1 Official start of Autumn (Australia)
  • March 2-4 Ethical Fashion Show (Paris)
  • March 8 International Womens’ Day
  • March 12 Labor Day (Victoria)
  • March 12 Plant a Flower Day
  • March 10 – 17 College spring break
  • March 11 Daylight Savings at 2:00 a.m.
  • March 14 Pi Day
  • March 17 National Quilting Day
  • March 17 St. Patrick’s Day
  • March 18 Mothering Sunday (UK)
  • March 20 Spring equinox
  • March 21 Human Rights Day (South Africa)
  • March 21 World Poetry Day
  • March 25 British Summertime Begins
  • March 31 Earth Hour

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