Why You Should Be Using Collections On Etsy To Promote Your Shop.

When you favorite something on Etsy, you get a popup that gives you the option to add it to a collection. A lot of people might skip this step, but if you’re an Etsy seller you might want to take advantage of this feature for a bunch of reasons.

promote etsy shop with collections

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Table of Contents

Etsy collections and favorites

What are collections on Etsy?

Collections on Etsy are groups of favorites that are categorized by the Etsy user in their personal profile section.

When you favorite a listing on Etsy, a little popup appears that says “add this to a collection,” and you can either add it to a collection that you already have, create a new collection, or just leave it as an individual favorite.

Collections are basically like Pinterest boards where you categorize things to organize them.

I’ve seen Etsy customers who have collections for specific events they have coming up, or just to keep things that are similar in one place.

You can make collections to group things however you want to, and since you can name the collection it doesn’t have to fit into a specific category that Etsy provides.

How are collections different than favorites on Etsy?

Collections are basically grouped favorites, so they’re not really that different, they’re just categorized.

However, having things in collections gives Etsy the ability to share groups of listings that have been “curated” by Etsy users, so it gives them a way to spread more listings around on and off of Etsy.

During an investor presentation a year or so ago, Josh Silverman, the CEO of Etsy, mentioned that they were going to start letting customers curate their own groups of listings, and this seems to be how they’re doing it.

It’s similar to the old Treasuries that Etsy used to let us make, but there are some interesting differences, which I’ll talk about a little further on.

When you’re in your profile, you’ll see your collections under your profile picture, and under that will be your favorite items listed individually.

The individual items are still included in collections, and you can put things in more than one collection.

You can also add listings to collections without putting them in the default “favorites” collection, and you can change the privacy settings on collections if you want to make them private.

Making a collection on Etsy

How to make a collection and make it public or private.

To create a collection, you can favorite a listing then follow the prompts that come up, or you can create one from your Etsy profile page.

When you favorite the item a popup will come up that asks if you want to add that item to a collection. If you click that button, it will show you the collections that you already have, or you’ll be able to choose to make a new one.

If you make a new one all you need to do is give it a name, and it will put that item into the new collection.

All of your collections will be shown on your personal profile page so you can find them later.

Collections are public by default, but if you want to keep something private you can toggle the button off to keep anyone else from seeing the collection.

You can also edit the collection on your profile page to make it private or public later.

Remember that if someone is logged into your account they’ll be able to see things that you’ve privated, so make sure to log out of any shared devices if you don’t want people snooping in your account!

add to collection button on Etsy

You can also add an item to a collection by clicking the “add to collection” under the add to cart button on the listing itself.

Clicking that button automatically favorites the item for you and adds it to your favorites on your profile page.

You can uncheck the box to add it to your favorites and just put it into a collection instead, but the favorites box is checked by default.

Why should you use Etsy collections as a seller?

Now let’s get to the reasons why you should use collections on Etsy…It all basically comes down to having more of a footprint on the platform, and giving customers more ways to find your listings.

A collection on Etsy

You can add your own products to your collections.

At the time that I’m writing this, you can add your own listings to collections even if you can’t favorite your own listings.

By using the option to add to a collection under the add to cart button on the listing page, you can put your own stuff into groups that people who see your personal profile can see.

This is a major change from when we could make treasuries but you weren’t supposed to add your own things to them, but you should still do it sparingly.

If you want to add your own listings to a collection, make sure not to be spammy about it. Just add one of two to a collection that includes other peoples listings, or it’s going to look very sales-y, and that will turn customers off.

In the photo above, I’ve put a couple of my listings into a collection of baby shower decorations, but it also includes other people’s listings.

It makes it look more natural and less spammy, so make sure to do this in moderation for the best effect.

Etsy shoppers can see collections if you want them to.

When you make a collection public, shoppers can see them, and they can click on them to find your listings and other listings that you’ve included.

I have a group on Facebook for people in my EShop Success programOpens in a new tab. and my Pinterest classOpens in a new tab. where we share each other’s listings to collections.

It’s similar to Pinterest group boards where people share each other’s pins, and it spreads your listings around Etsy, which gives you more of a chance of being found.

Etsy promotes collections to shoppers on Etsy.

Etsy shows shoppers “collections we think you’ll love” that are based on the things they’ve searched for on Etsy, as well as on what kind of collections you’ve created for yourself.

I’ve seen these show up on the Etsy homepage and on the favorites page itself, and it gives shoppers who are browsing another way to find your products.

I’ve also seen notifications about suggestions for items that are similar to things I’ve put in collections, so customers are shown related listings when they use collections.

That’s not exactly promoting the collection itself, but it shows how Etsy is actively using collections to suggest things to people.

Etsy promotes collections off of Etsy.

The most interesting thing that we’ve seen with collections recently is Pinterest pins that lead to a person’s personal profile instead of to a listing.

That means that favorites and collections are being promoted to people who are coming to Etsy to browse, which makes sense to do.

If Etsy pins something and that listing sells out, the person who came to the listing sees an “item unavailable” message, which isn’t great, even if they’re also shown some things that are similar.

When Etsy takes someone to a person’s profile page, though, they’re shown a page full of favorited items and collections, so they’re more likely to stay on the page longer.

collection suggestions on the Etsy homepage

Etsy promotes collections in emails.

I’ve seen collections linked to in some Etsy marketing emails, or they’ll link to the homepage where more collections and similar items are suggested.

That means that your collections could be shown to more people, or that if someone has put one of your listings in a collection, they might be shown more of your listings that are similar.

That’s not necessarily a direct use of YOUR collections as a suggestion, but it does show once more that Etsy is using collections for the browse sections on Etsy, which leads me to another important reason to use collections yourself.

Etsy uses collections to categorize things.

This is a key thing that people seem to overlook. When you put a listing in a collection, you’re basically telling Etsy exactly how you categorize it.

If customers put one of your listings in collections that have very similar names, Etsy takes note of that and will start linking that listing to that collection name.

It’s another type of keyword that gives the search engine more information about your listings.

Remember that you can put your own listings in collections, so if you do that and you put other things in that are clearly related, that can tell Etsy that the things in that collection have similarities, and they might suggest your listings to more people because of it.

It’s similar to how Pinterest boards work and how Pinterest figures out how pins are related.

If they’re all on the same board, they must have something in common. If someone clicks on a pin that’s on a board, they’re usually shown more pins from that same board. Collections are probably working the same way.

Collections on Etsy serve multiple purposes, but the main thing is that they let you get your listings in front of more people than you’ll reach by relying on SEO alone.

If you’re in my Pinterest classOpens in a new tab. or my EShop Success programOpens in a new tab., check the intro sections in each for the link to join the private Facebook group for Etsy collections!

Kara Buntin

Kara Buntin has run a profitable home-based business since 1999, and has a background in art, theater design, and cake decorating. She's a top Etsy seller with over 51,000 sales on Etsy and her own website, and helps other home-based business owners with their business goals and SEO. She founded the Artisan Shopping Directory website to promote the artisans who are members of her EShop Success marketing program.

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