We thought it would be useful to give you all an update on what’s been happening at Folksy recently. We’re currently looking at the best way of communicating this regularly, but in the meantime here’s a summary for the last quarter(ish):
Shopping Trends and Analysis
Over the period Jan-April, sales revenue was down 3.72% year on year, but the average order value was up 9.3% and conversion rate was up 4.9%, showing shoppers are buying less but spending more when they do. This seems to reflect wider trends in online retail.
Almost 950,000 people visited Folksy during January to April - which is almost exactly the same as during the same period in 2022. We believe there is more we can do to covert all these visitors into customers, and in this next quarter we are focusing on improving the basket and checkout experience to make it even easier for customers to buy. Work has already started on this and we’re hoping we’ll be able to launch that in the next few weeks.
Visits from organic Google searches was up 21% year on year, however there was a drop in the number of visitors from both Facebook and Instagram (that’s from all sellers’ social pages combined, not only Folksy’s). There was also a disproportionately big drop in the number of orders coming from Facebook (down 50%), which could be linked to people moving away from Facebook but is likely also due to the changes Apple made to how Facebook can track people’s behaviour. In contrast, the number of orders coming from Pinterest was up 75% year on year.
The busiest day for sales was Sunday 5th February, which was our Seconds Sunday. This shows how effective these shopping events are, particularly when they involve time-limited discounts. Based on their success so far, we will continue to hold regular shopping events on different themes. The next one is our Beautiful Bundles shopping event on 3&4 June, followed by a Summer Sale event in August and another Seconds Sunday in October. Do let us know your ideas for other events that would work for you.
We made the decision to cancel our Press Loft account
After trialling Press Loft for a year, we found it wasn’t getting us the high-quality coverage we were hoping for. The majority of coverage came from small blogs, overseas publications (in countries many Folksy sellers don’t sell to) or free local publications who often didn’t credit the maker. The higher-quality features we did receive largely featured cut-out images the Folksy team had created manually (most images on Folksy are not shot against the pure white background that magazines need, which makes sense as styled images tend to work better for Folksy customers). Sadly as creating these white-background images is time-consuming for us to do manually, it didn’t make economic sense to continue, particularly as we found we were able to reach more people through Google Ads (see below).
If you’re interested, you can see a selection of the press coverage Folksy has received here - https://folksypress.tumblr.com/
We optimised our Google Shopping feed
The trials we have run comparing different types of promotion and adverts have shown that Google Adverts are the most effective for us, in terms of Adds-to-Basket. Of the various social media platforms we have tried advertising on, Facebook ads have the best reach but still do not perform as well as Google Adverts.
We therefore focused our time last quarter on optimising our Google Ads feed. All products on Folksy (that are eligible according to Google’s T&Cs) should now appear in the Google “Shopping” Tab. We also pay for products to appear in the sponsored Shopping section. These are included as part of the standard service we provide for all sellers, with no additional charge for you…
We have been working on making the Folksy Plus account even better value
In March we launched the Trusted Suppliers Directory. This is a free resource we have created for all sellers, with discounts, offers, workshops and events for Folksy Plus members. You can see the directory here and access the discounts in the new Plus page of your seller dashboard.
We will continue to add more suppliers, discounts and events every month, so look out for those. If you have any recommendations for our directory, please do let us know!
As part of our aim to give you more, we held our first free webinar for Plus members: a Costing & Pricing Advice session run by Patricia from The Design Trust. We wrote a recap of that here for anyone who missed it: https://blog.folksy.com/2023/04/18/realistic-pricing-advice-for-artists-and-makers
Google Analytics have recently changed the code they use to collect data, with the old one being turned off in July. We have now updated the site to accept the new codes. There is still some additional work for us to do but we will do a separate post with step-by-step instructions on how to set up Google Analytics for your Folksy shops, once we know everything is working as it should.
Please do let us know if these updates are useful and what format works best for you.