We reveal the best-selling shops and most popular items of 2016
It’s time to do a little dance because the Folksy Charts are here! We’ve gone through all the stats for 2016 to review what happened and identify trends in how people are shopping. All this information can help you (and us!) plan for the future and work out where to concentrate your efforts. We’ve also added in some useful tips that you can apply to your own shop to help you grow and reach more people in the year ahead. So grab your notebooks as we count down the best-selling shops, most popular items, best social channels and most loved makers of last year.
Number of visitors to Folksy in 2016:
4,287,165 (up 4% from 2015)
That’s more than 350,000 visitors a month.
This figure does not include visits to the blog or forums.
Number of people selling Folksy:
(shops that listed at least 1 item in 2016)
Number of items listed for sale on Folksy in 2016:
Best-selling shops of 2016 on Folksy:
1. Claire Gent
3. Faith Hope Love Jewelry
4. By Charlie’s Hand
5. James Green Printworks
6. By Lisabellah
7. Deborah Jones Jewellery
9. Barry D Bulsara Fine Art Printmaker
10. Red Hand Gang
Although the shops in our top 10 best sellers make very different things, one thing they have in common is their social media presence. All these makers are active on social media and most focus on one platform, where they engage with their audience. They have conversations with their followers, post photos from their lives, reply to comments, run competitions, and share other posts or stories they find interesting. They do more than just post pictures of their work and spam people with the hard sell; instead they give people a reason to follow them and an insight into what, how and why they make. While some of the shops have huge followings on social media (Claire Gent has nearly 6k fans on her Facebook page, Abi from Red Hand Gang has nearly 17k on her @myredhandgang Instagram account, and Lisabellah has over 20k Facebook followers), it’s not just about size – there are makers on this list with much smaller numbers but incredible reach. What they do all have is the ability to engage people and understand what their audience wants from them.
Another thing these Top 10 shops have in common is that they all do one thing, which shows how important it is to find your niche. Rather than doing a bit of this and a bit of that, these makers all focus on either one artform or one style. Read our tips on How to find your niche here >
If you want to learn more about social media, we have lots of blog posts in our dedicated Social Media section. Click here to find it. These posts are a good place to start:
Most ‘loved’ shops of 2016:
(shops with the greatest number of ‘favourites’ in 2016)
At the end of 2016 we introduced a new feature: a regular email that’s sent out to Folksy members who have favourited a shop. The email shows a selection of new items from the shops people have followed (one new listing from up to six shops). This is a chance to get your latest pieces seen by your perfect customer – you know they already like what you do because they’ve favourited your shop, which makes them more likely to click through and buy.
So why not make one of your goals this year to increase the number of people following your shop. You could start a campaign on social media to encourage your followers to favourite your shop, include a note with every order letting customers know that if they favourite your shop they’ll be the first to see your new pieces, or send out a reminder in your newsletter. If you haven’t got a mailing list, this post explains why you should: Newsletters: how to build your mailing list (and why you should!).
This article has more information and tips on how to gain more shop followers: How to Get More Favourites and Shop Followers. If you already have lots of followers but they’re not converting into sales, read this: SHOP SOS: Conversion rates and how to boost sales
Most ‘loved’ items of 2016:
(items with the greatest number of ‘favourites’ in 2016)
1. Bunny Rabbit & Flowers Embroidery Hoop by Do a Little Dance
2. Chunky crochet cowl by Knittingtopia
3. Birch Tealight holder by Hitchcock Collection
4. Mixed Media art with butterflies and flowers by GweddusArt
5. Hand knitted heirloom baby blanket by Knittingtopia
6. Moths and Butterfly Embroidery by CoverStory
7. Cloud Coasters by The Cornish Coaster Company
8. Clutch bag by KB Creations
9. Handmade fused glass candy bowl by Heavenly Anarchist
10. Needle Felted Goldfinch by Orchard Felts
Picture credit (above and in the header): Bunny Rabbit Embroidery Hoop by Do A Little Dance
The top 10 most loved items on Folksy are a mix of items from our featured shops, items shared on social media and in our weekly newsletter, as well as items shared on the Folksy forums. There are lots of opportunities on the forums to share your work with other makers – keep an eye on the Showcase category to see the daily listing challenges and themes set by other sellers. If you’re new to selling on Folksy, the forum can offer a great source of support and help you get seen when you’re starting out. Another way to highlight your items is to join a Facebook group like the Folksy Shop Group, which is group especially set up for Folksy shop sellers. Remember, every time an item is ‘favourited’, it appears on the Folksy front page, so it’s worth putting in the time to promote your items and network with other sellers who can share the love.
Best-selling categories on Folksy:
(Top 10 sub-categories organised by the total value of items sold)
Picture credit: Silver Stacking Bangles by Written in Silver
This is an interesting snapshot showing what people buy on Folksy. It reveals that as far as jewellery goes, necklaces and bangles are particularly popular, and although you might expect to see the high-value jewellery categories in this list it’s perhaps more surprising that ‘Cards’ comes in second. As a ‘low-ticket item’, it just goes to show how many cards are sold on Folksy every day.
On a practical note, as you can only list an item in one subcategory, make sure it’s the right one. You should always list your item in the most relevant category but sometimes you may find there are different options that are all applicable. If that happens, you could try listing different items in different categories or sub-categories and see which ones get the most views. It’s also worth noting that Search results on Folksy take into account the sub-categories and categories that items are listed in, as does the recently released ‘similar items’ view – read more here.
Most viewed item on Folksy in 2016:
Hand-knitted Wool Booties by The Wool Fairy
These hand-knitted baby booties by the Wool Fairy were the most viewed item on Folksy in 2016, with over 21,000 views. The majority of views came from Pinterest, where they’ve been repinned almost 12k times. This demonstrates what an incredible source Pinterest can be, and that it’s one of the best social media platforms to use if you’re a designer and maker.
Even if you’re not a Pinterest user yourself, if you have good enough pictures or create interesting things, people will share them on Pinterest. So make sure your photos are tip top – we have loads of tips on how to style and photograph craft in our Product Photography Section – see it here.
Because images/products continue to get repinned (shared) months or even years after they’ve originally been listed or pinned, they can continue to bring visitors to your shop. So it’s important to keep your shop stocked up with alternatives and not to delete listings or pins after they have sold – otherwise you could be missing out on lots of new customers and sales.
TIP: You can see whether your products or images have been pinned by doing a reverse image search. Find out how to do a reverse image search here
How visitors came to Folksy in 2016:
During 2016 people came to Folksy from five main sources: organic search (32%); social media (26%); referrals (21%); direct (17%); email (5%); and paid search (0.5%). Organic search includes Google and other search engines, referrals means links from other websites, direct is people coming straight to Folksy (typing the URL straight into the address bar or clicking on a bookmark, for example), and paid search refers to the adverts we run that appear in Google’s Shopping results (also called Product Listing Adverts or PLAs).
These figures shows that over a third of visitors came to Folksy from search engines like Google. Most of these visitors arrived at product pages. This highlights how important it is to write good product titles and descriptions that get picked up by search engines as relevant results. Having lots of good-quality links into your page from trusted sources can also help boost your ranking on search engines, as well as being a source of traffic in itself. So take some time to review your products and see how you can improve their visibility on Google. Here are some articles that might be useful:
Social media visitors and sales in 2016:
It’s important to note that these figures aren’t just for Folksy’s own social media – they refer to all visits from social media. That’s yours and every other Folksy seller’s social media too, and every share from bloggers, press, family, friends etc.
During 2016 Pinterest overtook Facebook as our best-referring social media platform. But although Pinterest brings in the most visitors to Folksy, Facebook is still streets ahead in the number of sales it generates. We call this conversion – ie how many visits ‘convert’ into sales. We’ve heard from lots of sellers this year who have given up on Facebook, but these figures show that it’s worth persevering!
Interestingly Instagram seems to be punching above its weight. Although it only accounted for 3% of all visits from social media, it generated 6% of sales from social media. So it seems that although it’s hard to get people to click through to your shop or a product from Instagram, once they do, they are more likely to buy. The number of Instagram users in general is rapidly increasing, so we’d expect to see an even higher proportion of people arriving from Instagram in 2017, as more sellers start using it and linking through to their Folksy shops.
Read our tips for using Instagram:
Where shoppers came from in 2016 (by country):
In 2016, almost three-quarters of all visitors to Folksy came from the UK. As designers and makers must be based in Britain to sell on Folksy, it’s not surprising that the majority of our audience is here. However, a quarter of views came from the rest of the world – that’s a lot of people and a lot of potential sales! Many Folksy shops are missing out on these potential sales because they don’t list postage prices for overseas. In fact, although 74% of visitors came from the UK last year, 93% of sales were within the UK. Remember, a lot of visitors are coming from Pinterest, which has a predominantly American user base, but if they land on a product that doesn’t ship to the US, that’s a lost sale.
If you want to take advantage of this huge section of the market, make sure your shop is set up to welcome to overseas visitors. Set your postage prices for Europe, America and the rest of the world, and explain how you will send the item if buyers are abroad. Other things you could do include displaying your product dimensions in inches as well as centimetres and add alternative spellings in your descriptions. You could even add a note to your listings to give overseas buyers confidence when buying from you, possibly something like: “This item ships from Sheffield, UK – orders from overseas are welcome and will be posted within 3 days.”
Read our tips on postage and selling overseas:
Most popular search terms on Folksy in 2016:
7. Stained Glass
10. Fused Glass
Picture credit: Set of six crochet coasters by Hook & Loop
Here are the top 10 most popular search terms on Folksy in 2016. When someone searches for an item on Folksy, we show them results based on the word used in tags, titles, description, plus the category and sub-category an item is in. So if you want your item to appear in search results within Folksy, you need to think carefully about your titles, descriptions and tags, and make sure you use the most appropriate words in all three. And when choosing your tags, remember, you can use single words, combinations of words or short phrases – you just need to choose the most relevant ones that people will actually use to find your product.
So that’s the end of the Folksy Charts for 2016. We hope you found all the stats interesting and inspiring, and that there are tips in here you can apply to your shop this year. Why not make it one of your goals to appear on the Folksy Charts 2017? Let us know how you get on.