What Is The Etsy Materials Section On Listings Used For?

When you’re filling out the information when you list something on Etsy, you’ll be given a section for materials. Some sellers think that they should put a lot of keywords in there, but that isn’t what it’s for.

The Materials section on Etsy listings is for just that, the materials that were used to make the item. It’s not an SEO section, the information in it isn’t used for search placement. It’s there to tell the customer what the item is made from, as well as any other pertinent information that could help them decide whether to buy the listing.

Filling out the Materials section correctly can help to sell the item, and it can also screen people out and prevent returns and complaints!



What should you put in the Materials section?

The Materials section should include the actual “ingredients” that were used to make the item. You can also put in things like “Made in the USA” or other information that will give the customer more insight into whether they want to buy that item or not. Some people do care about the materials that go into products, so it’s important to fill that section out accurately.

Depending on what kind of thing you’re selling, you might have to deal with allergens, so materials do matter to people.

I just had brunch with a friend who has a lot of food allergies, and the menu didn’t mention that the granola she was going to order had nuts in it. When she asked, and the waiter checked, he told her that there were nuts, so she had to choose something else.

That’s an example of how materials (or ingredients, in this case) can matter to people, and it can be pretty important.

If you sell bath and body products, food products, jewelry, or anything that could give someone an allergic reaction, you should use the materials section to list everything that goes into the product so that people have a clear idea of what they’re dealing with!


Yarn in the store
Some people have allergies that make it important to know what things are made from. Woll or acrylic? It matters!

Some people also have strong feelings about not buying things that are tested on animals, or are sourced from countries that have a record of human rights violations in their factories.

If your materials are sourced domestically, or if they’re vegan or recycled, you might want to include that information in the Materials section to give people a clear idea of what they’re getting.

Since the Materials will show up on the listing page, customers will be able to see pretty easily what went into making the item, and it can help them decide whether to purchase or not.


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Some tips on filling out the Materials section:

  • Make sure to include all relevant information to give the customer the complete picture of what they’re getting.
  • Avoid using phrases like “Made with love” and other cute phrases that don’t tell the customer the facts about the item’s actual components.
  • If the item was made in your country, you should put that in there to let people know it was made domestically. However, if you used components that came from other countries (mugs, shirts, etc.) don’t say that they’re made domestically because that can confuse customers when they get things that are marked with the “made-in” country.
  • Just because the materials are mentioned in the attributes, it doesn’t mean that you can’t put them in the Materials, too. Materials are visible to the customer, and attributes aren’t. Attributes are used for SEO, and Materials aren’t, so the two sections don’t serve the same purpose.


Do you have to fill out the Materials Section?

Etsy sellers don’t have to fill out the Materials section in order to list something. The section is optional because you can also describe the materials in the description of the listing, or add them to the attributes. Filling it out will help the customer, however, so it’s worth it to at least fill in the basics so that the customer can get the basic information at a glance.

The Etsy Materials section on desktop.
The Etsy Materials section on desktop.

The Materials show up in the listing highlights right above the description on desktop, and right under the add-to-cart button on the Etsy app.

It’s shorthand for the customer, and it can give them details if they don’t read the description, which we know a lot of people don’t do.

So even though you don’t have to fill it out, taking the time to do it can tell people some quick information about the listing, and it shows on the listing page even though the description might not.

Now I will say that I’ve seen some people try to use the Materials section for things like “sign up for my email list” or “Use this coupon for a discount” type messages, but you shouldn’t do that. Trying to exploit the way that materials show up isn’t a good idea when it’s there to give the customer information.

Fill the Materials section out accurately if you’re going to fill it out at all. Give the customer that information, because knowing details about the listing can help to sell it.

Just be aware that it isn’t used for SEO or search placement, but it’s still important because it’s information for the customer.

Kara

Kara Buntin has run a home-based business since 1999, and has a background in art, theater design, and cake decorating. She's a top Etsy seller with over 46,000 sales on Etsy and her own website, and helps other home-based business owners with their business goals and SEO.

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