Friday, April 3, 2009

Buyer's Notes: Etsy avatars

Probably the last thing on anyone's mind but I thought I'd bring it up in case you find yourself with a couple of minutes in between worrying about oh... taxes, marketing, figuring out how to take better photos, improving packaging... it never ends. I know.

One day I was checking out my convos on Etsy and noticed my avatar. It was basically white with black illustrated dandelions that really didn't look anything like dandelions but instead looked like paint blotches and I thought... must change that ASAP. It really didn't represent my work and frankly, it was more more self indulgent than anything - I thought it was artsy, abstract...

So I decided to use one of my product shots and have been updating the photo every time I have something new. I've received a couple of convos saying that they'd notice my avatar and that's how they discovered my shop. Your avatar shows up when you favorite a seller or an item so it really is another way for you to market your shop/products so why not take advantage of this 75x75 pixel space of marketing?

So I quickly did a search through my own faves and grabbed a few examples:


Clear: I know exactly what you're selling. If I wasn't familiar with these shops and someone showed me these avatars, I would know exactly what I would find in their shop - jewelry, soap, bath and body products, ceramics.

Stand Out: The first pic may not tell me what I'm going to find in the shop, but it definitely stands out enough for me to click on it. As for the grey box - believe it or not I've seen plenty of empty avatars - yep, wasted marketing space. Please please please take the time out to upload a picture - it's under "your etsy" then hit "profile".

Branded: I love how these sellers incorporate the name of their shop/brand but we still get a sense of what to expect.

Iconic: I can spot these sellers from a mile away. I suppose you can say they've achieved what I like to call the swoosh Nike factor (at least in my eyes). Typewriter? Michele Maule always comes to mind!

So I hate to add to your ever-growing list of to do's but I think this is definitely worth spending some time thinking about.

Avatars used:
actsofkindness.etsy.com, rifferaff.etsy.com, sweetpetula.etsy.com, yashabutler.etsy.com, BlueBoyGifts.etsy.com, neawear.etsy.com, thesmallobject.etsy.com, loulouandoscar.etsy.com, boygirlparty.etsy.com, thelittlereddoor.etsy.com, michelemaule.etsy.com


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12 comments:

NYCrochet said...

See, now you've got me questioning my avatar! *sigh* Something new to fret about.

becca.elpy said...

great post!
i was just thinking of changing mine. i do see a change it shop traffic when i have a branded or item pic avatar.

anabela / fieldguided said...

Please feel free to critique mine -- I just go with my instict!

Rachel said...

great topic! the etsy forums are great for critiques of ALL kinds, but after you participate in one of them with the task of "guess what they sell based on their avatar!", you realize quickly whether your avatar is working FOR you or AGAINST you. it IS free advertising and it's your FIRST IMPRESSION most times!!! gotta make it "clickable". :) thanks for the reminder! i'm bored with mine, i might spice it up. :)

rifferaff said...

thanks for including me. i had actually recently updated my avatar (to the one seen here) and took alot of these factors into account.

Katrina said...

Great article! I'll definitely have to reconsider updating my avatar every now and then... especially since the item shown in my avatar is no longer available.

Thanks for the tips.

awesomeasaone said...

I have been wondering if my avatar is doing me any favors... Hmmmm...

Tina of Pfeiffer Photos said...

Very good advice. I just updated mine again but I do every so often. I think it might fall in the iconic realm. I also matched it to my banner for the shop and my blog...

She Can't Decide said...

what a great post! I often think my avatars that I pick are boring, this at least can focus me a bit!

Head Bitch in Charge said...

I totally agree! After a year of mediocre avatars I finally paid another Etsian to design one for me. And a banner. Now i use the same av on all the social networking sites I belong to. It's nice to be recognized!

Beth said...

You got me thinking that my avatar was not good enough but I remembered that my avatat and logo for my business go hand in hand.

Marichelle said...

hi everyone!
Ashley: I know, I know it never ends right?
Becca: That's good to know! Thx.
Anabela: I'm definitely not an expert but what I can share is that it seems like more people noticed my avatar when it was product-based as opposed to just a "pretty" icon. BUT with that said, I really like your blogger icon (pink skirt/black tights/shoes)!!
Rachel: I should check out the forums!
Shannon: np, love the way your soaps are shaping up!
Katrina: I think that's a good idea, I noticed that I sometimes end up looking for the product featured on someone's avatar just to find out that it's actually no longer available.
AAO: I hear ya, I know it's pretty tough to gauge what's working or not! I hope some of the factors I pointed out can help.
Tina: Thanks! I think it's a very good idea to keep it consistent, so matching it to your banner is a very good idea.
She can't decide: love that name! Glad you found it useful!
HBIC: That's great, please feel free to share your designer if were happy with her/his work!
Beth: Oh no, didn't mean to do that at all, just wanted to share my experience and thought it would be helpful for others. I think being able to incorporate both your brand name and actual product name or image makes a pretty strong avatar.

I'm so glad you guys found this post useful and thank you for saying hello and for sharing your thoughts!
x Marichelle