CASE STUDY - PERSONAL PROJECT 
CASE STUDY - PERSONAL PROJECT 
CASE STUDY - PERSONAL PROJECT 

Side project, from data analysis to prioritization & execution.
(Build-Measure-Learn). Resume Angels is my e-commerce store on Etsy platform.

Side project, from data analysis to prioritization & execution.
(Build-Measure-Learn). Resume Angels is my e-commerce store on Etsy platform.

MY ROLE: 
MY ROLE: 
MY ROLE: 

Project management,
Data analysis, 
Prioritization,
Design & execution

Project management,
Data analysis, 
Prioritization,
Design & execution

RESULTS:
RESULTS:
RESULTS:

Revenue increase: from 150$ to 1300$/month.
Order conversions rate increase: from 0,5% to 2%.
Traffic increase: from ~100 views a day to ~400 views a day.

Revenue increase: from 150$ to 1300$/month.
Order conversions rate increase: from 0,5% to 2%.
Traffic increase: from ~100 views a day to ~400 views a day.

Etsy_1

What's the challenge? What's the goal?

"Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible."
―Tony Robbins

I was running my e-commerce store on Etsy since 2014 and after an initial good start things started to get worse.

From the past year, my revenue from this project was differing between 27-150$ a month and my traffic since the best period dropped by 82%.

Etsy_2

Traffic 2014-2018

There wasn't a single day I was not thinking to do something about it but to be honest I wasn't acting on it.

It was always a side project for me, like a laboratory where I can test my ideas & assumptions.

I'm still amazed by the new wave of entrepreneurs that through creating an online business are able to create more time for themselves. All of them are able to scale their businesses without increasing the time they are spending on managing it.

There are a few books like Elaine Pofeldt "The Million-Dollar, One-Person Business" or Paul Jarvis "Company of One" that show many examples of how it can be done.

With all the online tools that we have now, there has never been a better time to do it.

Having the ability to scale your client base and profit without expediently scale increasing your employees or resources is still mind blowing for me.

“That's it!” I said to myself  “If you never try you will never know…”

In August 2018 I decided that I will focus more time on my side project.
Learn as much as I can so my side project would be my main experiment.

The goal: Bring more value to my clients and increase my sales to 700$ a month in next 2 months.

Sounds like a plan!

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
―Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

I knew it was not something I could do in a weekend. The time that I could spend on this project was limited.

I knew I needed to commit to the process so that It could be effective for me in the long run.

There are many frameworks that I love (Design thinking, Lean development, Lean Startup, Google Sprints) and there are many articles about their similarities & differences and how to use them (so I I will not get into detail about this now). What I would like to focus on is that all of those frameworks at the core are based on the same formula; Build-measure-learn loop.

Etsy-BML

My plan was to apply these into my process:

  1. Develop hypothesis
  2. Get an idea/product/strategy to the market/target group as soon as possible
  3. Measure the results
  4. Learn from the results
  5. Repeat the process every week
  6. In the long term find ideas that are scalable/repeatable

I took those 3 steps to set up my "Build-measure-learn loop" up and running.

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”
― Abraham Lincoln

1/3
I took a deep dive into my data & I made a competitive analysis

I was using mainly Etsy Stats, Google Analytics, Etsy Rank, Marmalead, SimilarWeb & Buzzsumo to take a closer look at:

  • shop & products conversion rates
  • traffic sources
  • reviews
  • my past surveys
  • e-mails & messages from my clients on Etsy
  • presence in social media
  • other products focused on solving the same problem


Key insights:

  • 90% of my customers were women (mostly from creative fields)
  • My clients biggest problem was "How to write a winning resume"
  • My order conversion rate dropped from 1% in 2014 to 0,5% in 2018
  • My organic traffic also dropped by 82% (compared to the best period)
  • I had 2 quality traffic sources Etsy & Pinterest
  • The Pareto principle could be applied to revenue from my products (20% of the best products were earning 80% revenue)
  • The same 20% of products were the most popular and pinned from my Pinterest
  • I was able to estimate how big the market was of my category on Etsy (daily, monthly, yearly sales & revenue of my competitors) and based on that knowledge set more realistic goals
  • All of my main competitors were selling the same products with the same features. Differentiator was the design.
  • Pinterest was also a strong quality traffic source for them. Their bestsellers were the ones that are popular on Pinterest.
  • I had a highest Review Conversion Rate in my niche (from all of my main competitors)
  • I was able to analyse their Etsy search keywords strategies

2/3
I created a master doc with all the ideas based on key insights.

I divided all ideas into different categories, depending on a field:

  • Conversion rate improvement
  • Etsy search
  • Pinterest traffic
  • Ads
  • Product Ideas
  • Virality
  • Content marketing
  • Promo/Giveaways
  • Customer Service

Then I used ICE method to prioritize the best ideas so every idea got the ICE score.

ICE_etsy

As a quick refresher, ICE stands for:

  • Impact: How impactful do I expect this test to be?
  • Confidence: How sure am I that this test will prove my hypothesis?
  • Ease: How easily Ican get to launch this test?

Each criteria is graded from 1–10 and the average presented as the ICE score.

At the end I added "expected outcomes & measures" & "start and end date" of each experiment in the doc. From then on I was treating my ideas as experiments and my master doc as my backlog.
(Psst... If you would like, here Is this doc with ICE score for you. Feel free to copy, modify & play with it)

3/3
I set up Kanban on Trello & committed to my weekly sprints.

Ideas with the highest ICE score were added into Trello. I knew how much time I could allocate each week and I had estimates on each strategy. Each week started with planning & ended with retrospective.

Experimenting made all the difference

“You don't learn to walk by following the rules. You learn by doing and falling over.”
― Richard Branson

Below you can see the stats and the number of orders since I started (August 2018). Those results below are based on many lessons from the past experiments.

Etsy_7

Orders in my shop from January 2018 to January 2019

The main advantage of testing a lot of ideas is that you get a lot of feedback.
You are starting to "connect the dots" and see patterns that you can apply to formulate a new hypothesis or new iterations of the same idea. 

You are able to move faster and each iteration brings you closer to your goal.

What did I learn?

1. It's possible to increase product chances of becoming a bestseller and save a tone of time doing it

Problem: Creating new products is a major time consumer. In the end I didn’treally know whether they were going to be a "bestseller" or a "noseller".

Hypothesis: The Design of the resume template is the most important factor for my clients during the purchase decision (decision of purchasing).

Idea: Instead of spending the time to create a Resume template pack (3-pages resume template + Cover Letter + Reference Page) I could create about four or five 1-page Resume templates in the same time.

After some time based on the order conversion rate - upgrade to resume template pack (this should increase Order conversion rate) or take them off from my shop.

Result: I created about 45 new resume templates and upgraded about 15 of them. (5 of them are now my bestsellers.) At the same time, I would be able to create only about 10 new resume templates packs.

The Pareto principle didn’t work anymore - I have now more products that are popular.

2. Lowering the price can increase your revenue

Price in my category on Etsy varies between 1-15$.

When I started my order conversion rate was 0,5% and all of my templates were priced at 15$.

I was able to increase my order conversion rate to 2% by experimenting on my pricing strategy and finally I lowered my price to 8$. (my profits increased)

3. You can set up a whole year promo-sale

Etsy offers a way to set up sales and coupon codes. It's not rocket science to set it up but it never worked for me so I just stopped doing it at some point.

In August 2018 I started again - each week I was testing a new approach.

The one that I ended up right now is generating +15% of my monthly sales. It is consistent every month.

4. Keywords on Etsy are everything

By experimenting with keywords and Etsy SEO I was able to increase my traffic.

Also I have more products that I'm selling so, if you think about Blog analogy, Each new resume template acted as a new blog post,. This added additional traffic to my shop.

Etsy_8

Traffic on Etsy from January 2018 - January 2019

5. You can increase your traffic from Pinterest by automation

In November 2018 I started posting daily on Pinterest. I'm using Tailwind to schedule the week up front.

Since November when I started I tripled my views on Pinterest & doubled the traffic from Pinterest to my shop on Etsy.

Etsy_9

Traffic from Pinterest February 2018 - January 2019

📮 Contact me anytime

📮 Contact me anytime

📮 Contact me anytime

📮 Contact me anytime

📮 Contact me anytime

I'm looking for a new challenges! Want to chat? Email me!

I'm looking for a new challenges! Want to chat? Email me!

I'm looking for a new challenges! Want to chat? Email me! 

I'm looking for a new challenges! Want to chat? Email me! 

I'm looking for a new challenges! Want to chat? Email me! 

Made with 🧉 in the beautiful city of Krakow © 2019 Mateusz Tatara

Made with 🧉 in the beautiful city of Krakow © 2019 Mateusz Tatara

Made with 🧉 in the beautiful city of Krakow © 2019 Mateusz Tatara

Made with 🧉 in the beautiful city of Krakow © 2019 Mateusz Tatara