Etsy Terminology – Orders vs. Sales – Etsy Blog Series

Colored paper bagsYou see ‘Sales’ listed on your shop page and ‘Orders’ listed in your Stats.  So what are they and why do these numbers matter to you?

Orders: Each time a customer submits an order to you.  (This is what we live for!  Our phone goes ‘Cha-ching’ and we rush to see what was purchased)!

Sales:  It counts each individual item that is purchased.  BUT if someone buys three of the same thing at one time Etsy will only count that item once.  ‘Sales’ can be misleading when you are trying to figure out how many items you’ve actually sold, especially if your shop tends to get sales for duplicate items in one transaction.  


Example 1:

Here’s an example from my own shop. This was all in one order:

  • 1- Bunny Clip
  • 1- Pumpkin Clip
  • 2-  Christmas Tree Clips
  • 1- Shamrock Clip
  • 1- Turkey and Snowman Clip Set (each set has 2 items)
  • 2-   Ghost Clips

Stats for this:

  • 1 order
  • 6 sales
  • 12 items that I had to make

Example 2:

I set up a custom order for 36 headbands and 12 hair bows.  I had to make 48 items but it counted as one order and one sale.


So, do I need to pay attention to ‘Sales’?  

Etsy doesn’t disclose to the public how many orders you’ve had so ‘Sales’ is the figure that shoppers look at to see how much business you’ve done through your shop.  The higher your sales number the more credible you may seem to a potential buyer.  Are you more likely to purchase from a shop that’s had 10 sales or 800?  Also, it can offer a sense of accomplishment as you see that number increase.  If you usually sell one item per transaction it can be a quick way to check your cumulative sales since it is listed on your shop home page.

When You Get Multiple Sales Per Order Regularly 

Maybe you regularly sell several things per order, like me!  Because I sell hair accessories, it is very common for someone to purchase more than one item at a time.  Therefore I don’t pay much attention to the ‘Sales’ number.  Instead I use my ‘Orders’ stats to help me with my sales goals and marketing.

I’ve been selling on Etsy for 2.5 years so now I have the benefit of being able to look back at my statistics and determine trends of slow and busy times throughout the year.  Instead of comparing this months sales to last month I can compare them to the same month last year and that helps me set better goal for growth.  Another way I use my Orders information to help me is to divide my revenue by the number of orders I’ve had in a given timeframe to see how much money the average customer is spending per transaction.  In addition to looking at ways to increase the number of orders I receive, I also work on ways to increase the total amount that the average person spends with me.  

Maybe you are a ‘One Sale Per Order’ type of shop 

Take a look at your own shop.  Are the majority of your orders for just one item or do you often sell multiple items per transaction?   If you sell one item at a time your biggest challenge is to increase the number of orders you get in order to increase revenue.   You will want to investigate ways to increase your sales.  Do you need to try new advertising?  Are you priced right?  Do you need a different selection on items?

Learning which of these numbers are important to you and why can make it easier and faster for you to look at your statistics and devise a plan for future goals.  

Don’t Forget!

When you have questions about Etsy, remember to go to your Vend Raleigh – Etsy Shop Owners group!  It’s a wonder resource for Mompreneurs that sell on Etsy!  Get fast answers from other moms that have been there, too!

We are running a week long Etsy blog series by our very own Etsy Shop Owners!  Look for earlier posts and tomorrow’s post! 

Mom owned businesses Raleigh, Raleigh small business, small business owner raleigh


Hunter Forstchen
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