Etsy recently launched a program called the Star Seller program.
They say that this is to reward Etsy top sellers – and in this case, it doesn’t necessarily mean sellers who earn the most sales.
Top sellers within this newly launched Etsy program refer to sellers who consistently offer top-notch shopping experiences to customers.
Getting the badge isn’t something that’s make or break for Etsy shop owners. But it is a good way to establish trust with shoppers as it lets them know a shop is reliable and consistently delivers a high-quality shopping experience.
To learn more about what the Etsy Star Seller Program is and how you can earn the Star Seller badge, keep reading below. I talk about the criteria Etsy uses to reward sellers with the badge and what you can do to improve your shop to get it.
Let’s take a look…
What is the Etsy Star Seller Program?
According to Etsy, the Star Seller Program is “a way to recognize and reward Etsy sellers who consistently provide an excellent customer service.”
Customers value quick response times, on-time shipping, and five-star ratings so Etsy wants to reward sellers who consistently deliver these things to shoppers.
As of September, 2021, Etsy will begin handing out Star Seller Badges to sellers whose shops have a track record of great customer service. The badge is displayed on shops’ homepage as well as on each of their listings.
To determine eligibility, Etsy looks at the last three months of sellers’ shop performance. The benefits of acquiring the Star Seller badge include more opportunities to be featured in buyer marketing and the potential for increased sales.
How do you qualify for an Etsy Star Seller Badge?
There are four categories that Etsy looks at for Star Seller badges. They are…
- response rate
- reviews (5-star ratings)
- orders and sales.
I’ll talk about each category below and how you can make improvements so you have a better chance of getting the badge.
NOTE: You can check your store’s Star Seller progress by clicking the Star Seller section inside your Shop Manager. This will tell you how close your store is to meeting the Star seller criteria and when your next chance to qualify will be.
This refers to how quickly you respond to shoppers’ direct messages. You want to aim to respond to 95% of your shopper messages, especially the initial ones, within twenty-four hours.
Shoppers look at the number of five-star reviews shops have as a way of deciding whether they want to do business with them. Your goal should be to have 95% or more of your reviews be five stars.
Accurate shipping information is really important to customers. They want to have a good idea of when their orders will arrive, especially since many shoppers are buying things as gifts.
And once again, you want to shoot for that 95% or higher mark in terms of the percentage of your orders that ship within your stated processing time. You also need to make sure your orders include up-to-date tracking information or a shipping label purchased on Etsy.
Orders and sales
Last but not least, Etsy requires you to have earned at least ten orders and $300 in sales within your three-month review period. Plus, you need to have been on the platform for at least eighty days since making your first sale. These criteria may exclude some new sellers from earning the badge, but with time, you can still get it.
How to improve your message response rate with Auto-Replies
The response rate metric only counts towards your initial response to shoppers. So, to make it less likely that you miss that twenty-four-hour window to reply, you can set up your messages to have an automated response for a set period of time.
While it’s good customer service to respond to ALL messages, not just the initial ones, within twenty-four hours, auto-replies are a good way to reduce the number of messages that slip through the cracks.
You can’t set up auto-replies indefinitely, though. You can set them for up to five days only, so you will need to re-setup your auto-replies each week if you choose to use them.
Given this technicality, here’s what I would suggest: If you don’t want to worry about responding to messages over the weekend, every Friday, set up an auto-reply to go out to anyone who messages you on Saturday and Sunday. That way, you can relax and your Etsy response rate won’t be negatively affected.
Here is the process for setting up Auto-Messages on Etsy:
- Inside your Shop Manager, go to Messages
- At the top right, click where it says Auto-reply
- Switch your Auto-reply settings to the on position
- Write your auto-reply message
- Set your auto-reply message for 1 hour, 4 hours, 12 hours, 1 day, 2 days, 3 days, 4 days, or 5 days
- Click Save
An example of an auto-reply message might be something like…
Thanks so much for your message. We have received your inquiry and will respond as soon as possible.
In the meantime, please check out our shop’s Frequently Asked Questions.
(You can learn how to set up a FAQ for your Etsy shop here.)
If for some reason, you don’t want to set up an Etsy auto-reply message, another suggestion is to install the Etsy Seller app on your phone. That way, since most people carry their phones around with them, you’ll be more likely to get the notifications right away when shoppers message you.
How to improve your 5-star reviews with our customer follow-up templates
While you can’t ask customers for positive reviews, you can offer all of your customers a follow-up discount for any review they’d be willing to write — regardless of whether the review is positive or negative.
That way, you won’t be “shilling,” which goes against Etsy’s policies. (To learn more about what Etsy has to say about shilling, click here.)
Here’s an example of what you might say to customers offering a post-purchase discount in exchange for a review:
Thanks so much for choosing my store for your purchase! :)
It would really help my small business and future customers if you could leave a review!
All authentic reviews will receive a DISCOUNT code on my store to be used on a future purchase as a thank you for your business and your time. I look forward to hearing back from you!
And if you’ve never left a review before, here is a super easy YouTube Tutorial about how it’s done:
Also, improving your products, customer service, and shipping times will all lead to better reviews long-term.
Creating realistic processing and shipping profiles to improve the On-Time Shipping and Tracking
The third category that Etsy focuses on when it comes to the Star Sells Program is prompt shipping according to your shipping profiles.
This doesn’t mean you need to have super fast shipping speeds, such as 1-2 days. Etsy just wants you to adhere to whatever you have laid out in your shop’s shipping profiles. So if you have 1-2 weeks in your profile, Etsy wants you to make sure you stay within that timeframe.
So be realistic. If you put 1-2 days as your shipping speed to entice customers but then the bulk of your orders don’t ship for two weeks, neither your customers nor Etsy is going to like that. And it’s going to hurt your chances of getting the Star Seller badge.
Always double-check with your third-party manufacturer, whether it’s CustomHappy or someone else, about how long their processing speeds are currently so you can make sure your shipping profiles and shop announcements are up to date on Etsy.
To check your shipping profiles, go to the Settings section of your Shop Manager then click Shipping settings. Here, you’ll be able to create, edit, and duplicate your shipping profiles.
Orders and sales
The last category Etsy looks at to determine a seller’s eligibility for the Star Seller badge is their orders and sales.
To improve these metrics, you should focus on the first three categories: your response rate, reviews, and shipping. Optimizing these components leads to more orders and sales.
According to Etsy, to set the Star Seller badge, you need to have 10 orders (without any refunds) and $300 in sales over the last 3 months. To help meet these standards, try adding a variety of items to your shop along with different options, such as different sizes, colors, and customization.
For example, instead of selling only 11-oz white mugs, offer an 11-oz black version and 15-oz versions in both colors. Scaling up your Etsy store gives shoppers more choices and opportunities to buy from you. And the more opportunities you give shoppers to buy, the more sales you’ll make.
Other Star Seller badge benefits and FAQs
A few of the benefits of earning the Etsy Star Seller badge include…
- Letting shoppers know they can expect top-notch customer service from your shop
- Offering more opportunities for your shop to be featured in buyer marketing
- Increasing your shop’s sales (since shoppers prefer buying from businesses they know are reputable)
A couple of additional questions sellers might have about Etsy’s Star Seller badge include…
“Will not being a Star Seller negatively impact my sales?”
No. Not having a Star Seller badge won’t decrease your sales. The Star Seller program is just an incentive that Etsy offers for sellers to improve the quality of their shops.
Ultimately, your keywords, designs, and SEO will determine your sales. There are a LOT of successful sellers who make a ton of sales who don’t have the badge, so being part of the Star Seller Program definitely isn’t make or break.
“Do I need to respond to every message right away for it to count towards the 24-hour response rate?”
I touched on this earlier, but I want to make sure the answer is clear. It’s only your response time to the very first message shoppers send that affects your response rate. You should still aim to respond to any message that comes in within twenty-four hours. But those response times won’t affect your response rate for the Star Seller badge.
“My store met the criteria, so why can’t I see the Star Seller badge?”
To earn the Star Seller badge, your shop must comply with all of Etsy’s policies and it must continue to comply with all of those policies in order to keep the badge.
If your shop earned the badge but no longer meets the program’s requirements, Etsy can take the badge away. Etsy may also remove the badge for the following reasons:
I hope you found this post useful! If you have any other questions about the Star Seller Program and badge, please leave a comment below. And if you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends!