This is a question that is a surprisingly easy thing to overlook until you’re actually getting your PNGs ready and thinking, “wait…how many products should I have in my shop?”
Truth is, there is no one magic number of how many items = the perfect amount of items for your shop. From the audience to the product to the parent site, there are a ton of variables that come into play when deciding the right amount for your shop.
So, to cut through the conflicting info out there, here are a few guidelines to help you figure out the magic number of items that would be best for you.
BALANCE HOW MANY PRODUCTS
Columbia University did an experiment to see whether or not “too much of a good thing” was indeed a real thing. Customers were offered a choice of six different jams in one location, and 24 flavors of jam in the other. Those at the six choices location were 40% more likely to actually throw down cash and buy some jam vs 3% faced with 24 choices.
Having too many choices makes it exhausting (and overwhelming) to narrow down your options, but also might tip-off customers that you’re not confident enough to offer the best of your best. It’s all about striking a balance between having enough to give people a choice, but not having so many that people get overwhelmed and click to the next shop.
Roughly Magic Initial Numbers
Like I said, there’s no one magic number for how many designs to have in your shop. But the golden range seems to be around 6-12 items to start with. Discussions on sites like Etsy talk about listing 100s of items at a time, because that’s how your shop gets noticed quicker on Etsy. But remember the jam experiment – you don’t want to overwhelm people, and you don’t want it to look like you’re not confident in your product. Not to mention, you want to keep interest up by adding new products here and there to keep people coming back to your shop for more. So rather than adding all of your products at once…hold some back (see next section).
Keep Adding New Items
Adding new items keeps interest up for existing customers. New items increase urgency and the desire to be the “first” to have it. New items also attract new customers — you never know when a product might appeal to fresh eyes in a new way, even though those eyes might not have given previous inventory a second glance. It also plays into the frequency theory. Sometimes all you have to do is ask more than once to achieve a sale. By holding inventory back and adding a little at a time, you’re also achieving frequency and statistically increasing your odds of making a sale. Finally, you want to keep your brand fresh, new, and updated, and adding product at regular intervals shows you’re active and involved with your shop and creates news.
To avoid spreading yourself too thin, check out this shopify post.
Curate Products for Your Customers
One thing that kept popping up everywhere was “don’t be Amazon.” When you offer too many products, sure, more people might visit. But in the jam experiment, while the place offering more jams did attract more actual customers, it elicited fewer sales…which is the whole idea, right? For people to actually buy your stuff? The designs you add should 1: be your best selections and 2: should be things that cater to your audience. Curating builds your brand (you know who you are versus the whole throw-spaghetti-at-the-wall method) and in turn builds customer loyalty (your fans know who you are and what they’re getting when they shop at your store — you have an artistic point of view that your fans know and love). This shows that you know what they like and are confident that these items you’ve selected are things that they’ll like. Then the shopping experience transforms from deciding if there’s one your customer likes to choosing which one(s) they like best.
For more info on how to curate for your audience – and how many products to include in general – Demac Media has a great guide.
We’re an artist community built on the power of helping each other succeed — if you’re reading this and have tips of your own to share, please do so in the comments! Thank you!