To make or not to make, that is the question

I have been playing around with Google Analytics, trying to answer the question “What should my Mother make?”  For her birthday, I created an Etsy website so that she could sell her handcrafted jewelry online.  She had been selling bracelets, earrings, necklaces and lanyards at fairs and events. 

Well, she has been making bracelets like crazy.  She has 40 or so on her website and at least that many which have not yet made it online.  She has only a handful of necklaces currently available on the web and probably less than two dozen which could be posted to her website.  Should my Mother be making so many bracelets?  

I analyzed this from two different angles.  First, I analyzed what pages visitors were viewing on her site.  With Google Analytics you can set an entrance path and see what pages were viewed next.  I choose her home page to be the entrance path and found that:  

  • 36% went to the second page of her shop
  • 15% looked a her featured jewelry
  • 13% clicked on the necklace section of her shop
  • 8% visited the bracelet section of her shop

Google Analytics also tells you where visitors went next so I know if they continued browsing her inventory, looked at her profile page, or reviewed the feedback purchasers provided about her.  In addition to understanding how visitors are navigating the site, it also indicates what items are most popular.  For example, one jewelry item had many page views.

Visitors clicked on the necklace section more often than the bracelet section, which indicates that necklaces are more popular.  However, necklaces are the first section listed and it may be that the order is causing more page views.  Thus, I will switch the order and check back to see if the pattern continues. 

Next I analyzed her online sales.  Necklace sales outpace her bracelet sales.  In addition, the average cost of a necklace was more than twice the average cost of a bracelet.  I had thought that visitors would gravitate towards bracelets because they are less expensive; however, her online sales suggest that visitors are more likely to purchase necklaces even though they cost more.

From a business perspective, it makes sense for my Mother to make more necklaces; however, my analysis doesn’t take into account her offline sales or her artistic goals.  My Mother is an artist and not a factory.  However, I will suggest that we update her necklace inventory on the website.