March 12, 2022
What is the Etsy Shop Announcement Section
The announcement section is a blurb section somewhere on your shop page to write a shop announcement.
I say it’s located somewhere because Etsy keeps changing where it is. At the time of writing, it’s at the top of the page on my laptop. But it’s at the very bottom of the page, below all my listings on the app. There’s no telling if this will change.
Worth noting is that Etsy will automatically co-opt this space when you put your shop on vacation. Your vacation message will temporarily overwrite whatever you have here until you return.
Where do I customize it?
You can customize your announcement section in the Shop Manager and navigate to the Settings > Shop Info & Appearance.
Why Should I Use it?
Etsy intends to be very brief, quick notes to the public about shop news. They specifically invite you to write about your shop in the About Shop section, link to your socials/websites in the Links section, policies in the policies section, etc.
But that doesn’t mean that’s necessarily the best way to use the section, and it’s not how it’s used site-wide. As you’ll see in all the Etsy shop announcement examples below, there are many different ways to use this section of your shop. My goal is to outline each category I’ve found in my research and talk about it.
Etsy doesn’t give us a whole lot to work within our little box of a shop, so we gotta use what we have the best we can, right? 🙂
I looked at countless shops and divvied up the different strategies into these categories. I’m not saying these are the only categories ever, but it’s what I’ve found.
Note: I’ll only be pointing to the first to second lines of announcements- read about my reasoning for this at the bottom. But basically, much like sliders, anything inside the tab is unlikely to be read.
Etsy Shop Announcement Examples
The “Thank You” Announcement
This is probably one of the most common announcements I found. Maybe the most common if you count any announcement type that includes this type. Remember, announcements can be a mix of the styles I’ve seen.
It is a harmless use of the announcement section and could be helpful to specific shops, maybe. Honestly, in my opinion, this is as harmless as it is useless. It really doesn’t accomplish anything, and customers will likely know you want them shopping on your page. And they probably don’t care.
Actual Shop Announcements
This is the most obvious way to use this section, and it’s what it was intended for, after all.
Function by Fran is letting everyone know about a current sale here. Maybe it’s read, perhaps it’s not. Either way, if you’re shopping at her shop, you’ll notice that she does have a sale going on by the price discounting.
My problem is that people forget to update these announcements- thus making you look behind the ball when your sale ended months ago. So if you’re announcing sales, set some reminders to yourself to update it once it ends: mark it on your calendar with an alert, write it in your planner, or schedule an email to yourself.
You could cheat and create more slack from hard-end dates by being vague. A few weeks can mean 16 weeks or 2, right? I like how BBBeads143 does this since they include a call to action to follow on Instagram and come back to see any shop updates. If I was obsessed with a shop that said this, I would totally make a point to come back to check out the new stock.
FlyingSkullSilver basically takes these two thoughts with specific dates, calls to action, and teasing new stock. Using the announcements as intended is not a bad idea- as long as you can ensure you don’t forget.
Slogan and Tagline Shop Announcements
I call these slogans or taglines because they are usually 1-2 sentences of copy that act like a slogan or tagline. It’s not necessarily for search engines or anything beyond defining the shop: what it is, who it’s for, etc. This can be effective for repetitive brand messaging.
Like if I was gift shopping, this simple line OceansilverArt has here could help reinforce the idea I’ve come to the right place.
I kind of like this approach, that is, until Etsy changed where the announcements are located on the app. But again, it’s not a flawed approach.
Though this approach is probably better served in the actual place on Etsy for taglines: the content under your shop name. I really urge people to have this somewhere in their shop, regardless of where they put it. Like, in RabbitGirlCraft’s shop, they are basically expanding on the existing tagline under the name. It may even be helping in google searches- you never know.
But let’s be honest, their actual tagline under their name is better: it’s more to the point, says the same thing with fewer words, and tells me what they sell and who they are for. Therefore, they may want to rewrite their announcement like in the following Etsy shop announcement examples:
SEO Optimized Shop Announcements
SEO announcements usually do two things: first, spell out their shop name with spaces since Etsy doesn’t allow shops to do this already. This can be good if someone knows your shop name and searches for you. Secondly, the copy includes common search phrases on Google. My vegan ass has absolutely searched for vegan handbags on Google.
They may want to refine this copy to more specific searchable terms. Vegan handbags must return thousands of results from Google, and it will simply not be shown for such a significant search term. Maybe colorful Latin-inspired vegan handbags would be better, for instance.
Are Etsy Shop Announcements Indexed by Google?
Yes, I had double checked by searching a shop’s announcement and found it quickly in the google search results:
Like when I googled “full plant makeup line,” I found this shop. It’s a weird search phrase, but it proves my point. A specific less saturated search phrase is found on Google since Etsy works differently in search engine results. You’ll either be found on an Etsy category page (like this) or in a more specific phrase: like your shop name or an exact, less saturated phrase.
Shop Information Announcements
This is like a tagline, but it’s detailed information for the customer to understand the shop instead of quick quips. Essentially, it’s like a shortened version of the actual section Etsy provides (far down the page or away in another tab in the mobile app). These shops use the announcement section at the top of the page as an introduction on desktop.
I like the choice Thistle makes to write about the handcrafted nature of their products. Spiritual folks are most likely to appreciate the human authenticity of handmade items. Pointing out they are intentional with design (symbolism) is just as wise to further emphasize the selling point they offer. This is far away from trendy motifs and thoughtless mass production.
Similarly, both PalmaPottery and JuliePaperWorks blend the allure of artistry and inspiration. What they are inspired by not only tells us what they sell but the thought behind it. What they are inspired by inspires the customer. It may not be the best place to present this, but I love it, honestly. And at least on desktop, as of writing this, the announcement section is in the right place for this. (Maybe bringing these sentiments are perfect for their Etsy banners)
DepQuaClothing stands out to me by spotlighting an often invisible demographic. I want to know more- just by them defining what the shop name means- I’m fascinated.
MatchstickGoods strikes a similar chord by its cause and good work. Again, there are other ways to communicate these messages, but using the announcement section to talk about it will not hurt the shop.
BadHaas and ObjectApparel take advantage of this section to quickly outline their values that shoppers may specifically look for:
Covid-Related, Shipping & Time Sensitive Announcements
If your analytics point to most of your customers and visitors visiting on a web browser instead of the Etsy app, using the announcement section as a bulletin board of shipping information is not a bad idea. These two shops do just that:
My only word of warning is to NOT rely on this as your only way of communicating these things. If shipping is important to talk about, you need to literally have it in the product’s photos (not just its product description).
Run your shop assuming people avoid reading because Etsy already is with how haphazardly it moves, hides, and experiments with the product description around. I think if Etsy gets any braver, they will do what Poshmark and Depop do with barely any place to have captions.
All that said, not bad to use this announcement section as it’s intended but be aware it’s probably not enough for the big important things customers need to know.
Also, I am wondering if Covid-related announcements and disclaimers are necessary at this point. It feels pretty evident that shipping times are unpredictable these days. People may disagree with me on that, though. And I did say this is a good place for reminders.
Options about Orders Announcements
So this isn’t a bad idea to talk about order options and openness to custom orders here, but I would not expect any results. It requires reading, and secondly, the announcement section is too often scrolled past. Instead, I’d put invitations to custom order in an actual listing, a teaser image in existing product listings, and even in the shop banner.
But, like with shipping information, it’s not wrong to repeat this here. Keyword being “repeat”: don’t rely on this but use it as a reinforcing reminder section for this message.
This stood out to me and I had to include it here:
I call this a scroll stopping announcement since it can manage to stop your scroll to make you click that “read more” section and read. I know, I gasped too. This is a very difficult thing to achieve but if you can do it, more power to you!
Offsite Link Announcements
So this is a shady use of the announcement section in that Etsy outright does not like people leading people off the website. But I have never heard anyone actually get in trouble for it. Proceed with caution, but it seems to rank low in the list of Etsy crimes.
And as someone who believes in having your own website and building an online presence, I think it’s a good use of this space. It’s just unfortunate that links don’t automatically become clickable here.
Though I’ll admit, you could argue linking to social media may be less effective since you’re potentially leading users away from a sale. However, I don’t think this space is used enough to be a real threat to this, personally. But I’m throwing that out there for people to consider in this approach.
Likewise: newsletter links are my personal favorite use of this space. Building an email list is one of the most beneficial actions you can do online- even more than a website, and I say this as a web developer.
So anywhere I can pitch my newsletter, I usually will. It’s why many e-commerce brands annoy you with pop-ups to join their email list. Unlike social media and websites links, you have an email indefinitely to try to sell directly to over and over again.
Is it super effective here? Maybe, maybe not. If you’re not sure and super clever, create a form just to link to from here. That will give you stats on whether or not people join your email list from here or not. If not, you can reuse the announcement section for better content.
Call to Action & Charity Announcements
These are calls to action that do not lead the user off-site or off-site to another website unrelated to your shop.
Like here, this site does a good thing by saying they donate a percentage of profits to charity…
…only to possibly risk a sale by leading users off-site. Considering this is the announcement section, it probably isn’t; let’s be real. But it’s something to be aware of and consider before ever linking to another site when you’re trying to get a sale.
You could argue or weigh the pros/cons of this approach by comparing SeaWitchBotanicals with thePunkyBunny. Is SeaWitchBotanicals more effective by providing more information about their charity of choice (more “proof,” so to speak?), or is thePunkyBunny smarter to not link out and simply make their charitable giving known? You decide.
I low-key adore this shop and how they use their announcement section. I call this a great call to action because the call to action is literally to buy to keep an art alive. I just find it a stronger reason to purchase since I can donate to a charity myself, but I can’t necessarily pick up a rare craft to keep it from dying. And amazing- I’M helping to keep an art alive! Me! The shop involves me in its mission, and I get to feel self-satisfied.
(I love their products, though- my tea kettle gets so many compliments.)
Its shops like this- authentic handcraftsmanship make Etsy such a unique marketplace, and it’s why people visit here.
“Don’t Do This” Announcement
- Don’t repeat that this is a shop announcement. Etsy already said that for you and you want to use this limited space as effectively as possible.
- Don’t tell users to read before purchasing unless its absolutely necessary (example: custom orders IN the product description and, better yet, in the product photos). Telling users to read before purchasing creates a road block to customers. Time is of the essence and often, shops benefit from impulsive shopping. Sad and gross, but true.
- This shop asks the user to read several paragraphs about the shop, the shop owner, and shipping, etc. Don’t give so much homework and keep it short and sweet.
- Customers just want the facts as simple as possible. If they’ll assume the obvious then you don’t need to require customers read it. Have it somewhere in yuor shop policies instead.
- Don’t require customers click the “more” part of announcements unless absolutely necessary. Otherwise, it will likely not be read.
My Biggest Takeaway
I’m going to say a phrase I dread to hear as a web developer: “keep it above the fold”. Basically, I’m saying, keep the content short so that people do not have to click to read more. Otherwise, they will most likely NOT read it.
But also, there’s not a lot of options to make this piece of web real estate work in a way that really benefits your shop. After all, just look where it’s located in the Etsy app nowadays:
Yikes. This is virtually impossible to get to if the shop has a ton of listings and automatically loads when you scroll to the bottom to read this.
If I had to make a prediction- Etsy may do-away with this section altogether. Or at least, pretend it doesn’t exist after hiding it like this. It’s at least immediately visible on desktop.
And it’s visible to search engines and the more eager customer who want to read more about your shop. And you may have an audience that is more reliable about reading it. So until Etsy gets rid of this or improves this section, make the best of it.
What to do with your Etsy shop announcement section:
1. Assume it won’t be read
2. Keep the content to 1-3 sentences.
At least it’s the most important part in the first 1-3 sentences. Otherwise, Etsy will cut you off mid sentence and hide the rest inside the tab.
So keep this in mind, especially with the next point:
3. No one is ever going to click “read more.” Probably.
Plan how you use the section accordingly.
4. Review your shop analytics to see the percentage of your visitors are on the app versus a web browser.
The announcement section is in different places. So having an understanding of most of your customers’ experiences helps you make informed decisions.
5. Treat this as an opportunity to remind, not inform.
Since customers don’t like reading and announcements get moved around so much, you cannot rely on this section to communicate important messages to users. If you have critical info you want customers to know, put it in product images, in its product description, message customers, and your shop policies. Then let the announcements section help you remind people of it.
6. Every shop is different.
What works for any of the shops above may not work for the next one or yours. What is the best use of this real estate for your shop and customers?
7. Check in occasionally to see if Etsy has moved it on the website and app.
You never know what Etsy is up to. Check-in sometimes just so you stay informed.
8. If you can, track who uses links you place here.
If you have an email newsletter, create one to link to from the announcement section. This gives you a way to track how often (or if) people visit. You can do similar things with your website links- google “UTM parameters.”
9. Don’t obsess over this
The announcement section is like a bonus mini-section. There’s not much to it, and even if you do everything “wrong” with it, it’s unlikely to hurt your shop.