3 Steps To Creating Winning Etsy Listing Thumbnails

etsy for beginners etsy tips and tricks May 03, 2024

No one will be able to discover how good your products are if they don’t click on your thumbnail image in the first place. So whilst having good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can bring in the traffic, you need to have a click-worthy listing photo too!

I’ll now go through everything you need to know to ensure you have thumbnails that stand out and bring in sales! But first, let’s define what we mean by an Etsy thumbnail image.

What is an Etsy thumbnail image?

An Etsy thumbnail image is the first photo that shows up in your product listing. When a consumer is browsing on Etsy, they will see several thumbnails from different listings on one page, so you need to be able to stand out from the crowd!

Now, let’s get into the 3 steps to creating a winning thumbnail!

Step 1: Research Your Specific Niche

Every category may differ in terms of the style of thumbnail, so it’s important to research the top competitors within your specific niche. For this, it’s best to use the EverBee Chrome extension tool to find the best-selling listings within your category. If you’ve never used EverBee before, you can check out my full EverBee tutorial here.

Once you’ve searched your specific niche/product, go to ‘Product Analytics’ on the EverBee tool. This will gather lots of data from all the listings on that page and it will look something like this:

It’s best to filter these listings from the highest revenue count to the lowest. You can do this by clicking on the arrow next to the monthly revenue column, and ensure the arrow is pointing down.

This way you can ensure that you're researching only the best sellers and can then analyze the key elements of those thumbnails. Now, start going through each of these top-selling listings and open each one in a new tab. Continue doing this until you have around 8-10 listings that you can analyze together.

๐Ÿ’ก TOP TIP: Some listings that show up won’t be relevant to your niche, so make sure you double-check the listing title before selecting it to analyze!

How To Research Etsy Best Sellers For Free

If you don’t want to use EverBee, there is another free method that you can use - though it doesn’t give you as much detailed data as EverBee does!

First, you search your niche or product on Etsy, then find the ‘Filters’ button. Click on the ‘Star Seller’ option, then click ‘Apply’.

This will show you all the star sellers within that category. And if you want to go a step further, you can also go to the URL, then change the word “star” to “best”, and click enter. Now it will show you all the best sellers!

This will allow you to see different mockups and thumbnail designs that have proven to generate sales and success on the Etsy platform. You can’t see specific details such as the revenue potential like you can in EverBee, but this is a great way to start!

Step 2: Analyze Competitor Mockups

Now that you’ve selected the specific listings that you want to analyze, it’s time to figure out what makes a successful thumbnail image! Notice how the different images are curated to craft a good storyline and the small details that are included to attract the buyer.

Collect All Thumbnail Images & Import Into Canva

To analyze these listings side by side, I’d suggest taking a screenshot of each thumbnail image.

๐Ÿ’ก TOP TIP: To only screenshot a specific section of the screen, click ‘Shift + Command + 4’ for Mac and ‘Windows Key + Shift + S’ for Windows. You then simply drag the mouse the select the section you want!

Now, you can use Canva to upload all these screenshots.

What is Canva?

Canva is a free online graphic design tool that is very user-friendly and therefore suitable for both beginners and experienced designers. You can create a huge variety of designs with Canva, including social media posts, logos, presentations, posters, videos, and more! Try it out for free here.

For this tutorial, we’re only going to create a basic Canva design just to easily compare the different thumbnails. So once you’re in Canva, select a presentation style document. Then, upload all of your screenshots and organize them across the page so you can see them all clearly. It should look something like this:

๐Ÿ’ก TOP TIP: You can also organize the listings from best-selling or highest monthly revenue to lowest monthly revenue. Even though these are all best sellers, you might gain even more detailed insights if you know which are doing the best among them all!

Analyze Thumbnail Images

For example, from the image above, there are 4 things to notice in the thumbnails:

1) The title is always at the top

The titles also explain clearly what the product is, they are very easy to read and have the word ‘budget’ in them. The fonts are also something to notice - these all use a more minimalistic typeface for example.

2) Most of them have a device mockup

Whether it’s showing the product on a laptop, tablet, phone, or all 3 of them, this seems to be an important feature of the thumbnails. This is to show the buyer the multi-purpose use of the template, indicating that it can be used across all mobile devices.

3) They have a similar color scheme

All the products have a similar gradient-style and pastel color theme, which can also be an indication for the target demographic for these types of products. Knowing who your target demographic is can be crucial when designing your mockups too!

4) Use of icons and badges

You can see sellers using different icons on their listing photos, for example the Excel and Google Sheets icon. A lot of them also have little badges on the side with extra details and information about the product. These can be a great way to showcase your USP (Unique Selling Point).

Step 3: Create Your Killer Etsy Thumbnails!

Again, you can do this using Canva, or using a site such as Creative Market to purchase mockups or Etsy thumbnail templates, which you then customize for your specific listings.

What is the correct size for Etsy thumbnail images?

Etsy listing photos should be at least 1000 pixels wide, but 3000 x 2250 pixels is recommended. You also want to ensure your thumbnail images have enough space so if it was cropped into a square thumbnail, you can still see all the relevant details.

On top of everything I’ve discussed above, there are 3 other important points to remember when creating your thumbnails:

1) Don’t just copy other top sellers

Whilst it’s important to research what the top sellers in your niche are doing, you also want to notice what they’re not doing and how you can make your thumbnails more attractive than theirs! If you simply copy what they do, buyers will most likely go for their products since their shop is already established. You want to come from a new and fresh perspective!

2) Make sure your listing images are mobile-friendly

More than 50% of traffic on Etsy comes from mobile devices, so it’s crucial that your listing photos and especially your thumbnails are optimized for mobile viewings. For example, the image on the left below has badges and tabs that are clear to see and read. However, the text at the bottom of the right image is a lot less clear and is much harder to read. The use of multi-colors in the left thumbnail also makes it stand out more!

๐Ÿ’ก TOP TIP: When creating your Etsy thumbnails, check what it looks like when it’s zoomed out and looks small as this is likely what mobile shoppers will see.

3) Take note of new thumbnail trends

As with all trends, they tend to come and go. This is true for thumbnails too, so it’s important to keep track of these and tweak your designs accordingly. When researching top sellers, make sure you look for newer shops and listings that are doing well too, as this shows what people are clicking on within the current trends.

You can even take inspiration from other categories to see what’s working well and if it’s relevant, you can bring this into your category too. This is a great way to stand out from the crowd.

Learn More

Hopefully you now understand the importance of Etsy thumbnails and have learned what it takes to create a winning thumbnail on Etsy! If you’re interested in learning more about my proven step-by-step process for building a successful digital product Etsy shop, make sure to check out my FREE masterclass here! Or check out my full YouTube video here to see me analyze different Etsy shop thumbnails! 

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