Feedback Loops

by on January 30, 2013

Getting feedback from your customers is an essential part of developing a successful business.  It is particularly challenging for online sellers.

If you were running a traditional art gallery on Main Street, you would be able to chat with folks who walked in the door. Your conversations would reveal what they were looking for, what they liked or didn’t like in your product line.

The simplest way to get this sort of feedback online is to follow up with customers. You already know the importance of saying thank you, but why not also ask, “Did you have a jacket to match your new hat?” or “Where did you put your vintage watering can?” or “What sort of frame did you get for the print?”

As Tara notes on the Etsy blog; “You can learn a lot about how to market your products in the future if you find out exactly how they’re being used right now….You can also use blogs, email marketing, and social media to learn more about the feelings your product creates or who has your product on their birthday list. Each communication channel that you have at your disposal is a way to create genuine dialogue with your customers. Often, we consider communication channels only as a way to promote or sell. But if you ask the right questions to the right people, you create opportunities to listen that will greatly benefit your business.”

So build feedback loops into your daily Etsy practices. Your goal is to know who is attracted to your products, how they make people feel, and more about the folks who favorite, treasure and purchase your work.

Illustration of Leah’s fabulous Medusa Loop Scarf knitting pattern, copyright and courtesy Leah Coccari-Swift from  from RubySubmarine on Etsy.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Leah January 30, 2013 at 10:23 pm

Hi Kim, this is so true. Listening to the voices of potential customers is a huge help. When starting a small business, most people have no idea how to market their own work or who should be targeted. Feedback can give us valuable info about “our customer,” that elusive beast that we may not be able to identify in the wild! Great topic.


Porsha Deun January 31, 2013 at 2:37 am

I was having trouble with customers providing feedback so I started sending them messages asking how are they enjoying their product(s). I haven’t had a response from any of those yet, but it has only been a couple. I am hoping that in the long run this provides me with more feedback. Customer feedback is one of the best ways to improve our shops and products.


Heather Stone June 19, 2013 at 5:43 am

Hi Kim,
Awesome post. Feedback is important for any business, but, in particular, I imagine it’s important for retail. It was great to see your post shared via the BizSugar community.


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