Much like Amazon, Etsy is an online marketplace that houses millions of products created and sold by businesses from all over the world. Founded in 2005, this e-commerce site used to be all about handcrafted or vintage goods, as well as craft supplies. And because of this, many had the impression that Etsy was made solely for artists and craftsmen .
Thankfully, things have changed within the past few years and now, more business owners have the opportunity to sell on Etsy - even if they can’t paint a Picasso or sculpt a David. However, is it really the best option for those who are looking to open an online shop?
Those who have been in the Etsy scene for quite a while know that Etsy websites may be the solution they need to grow their website. After all, selling on multiple channels seems to be a trend in the ecommerce industry today. But first of all, what is an Etsy website and why are so many considering creating one for their Etsy business? Read on below to find out.
What Is Etsy Website?
In a summary, an Etsy website is a standalone version of your Etsy store. It is a self-hosted e-commerce site containing the same inventory but with less policy restrictions and more freedom to expand. Now you might be wondering why would anyone need to duplicate their own Etsy business to their own website? Good question. Lucky for you, this article will cover everything you need to know.
But before we dive into deeper discussions on Etsy vs your own site, let’s first discuss the pros and cons of Etsy. If you’re wondering whether or not you should create an Etsy site, this comparison guide might just be the thing you need to finally make a decision.
Pros and Cons of Etsy
1. Market to A Large Audience
One of the greater perks of selling on Etsy is having access to its huge online market. According to statistics, a total of 45.7 million people purchased an item from Etsy in the year 2019. What’s more interesting for business owners is that the numbers will continue to increase within the next couple of years.
That being said, it is no question that Etsy is a great place to start for an online shop simply because of its available traffic - no need to worry about having no visitors to your website. If you’re using keywords and tags correctly, your products are bound to show up on the Etsy marketplace.
2. Built-in Analytics
Etsy makes it easy for first-time online business owners to track their business’s performance, thanks to its built-in analytics. All accounts come with a tool that shows how much views a listing has, and how successful they are in making a sale. Although not the most sophisticated among all tools, Etsy’s built-in analytics is a great tool to have for small businesses.
3. Easy to Open Shop
Those who are new to online businesses will find that Etsy is more user-friendly in comparison to other ecommerce sites. Upon creating an account and accomplishing the payment settings, all there is left to do is to create a listing. And the instructions are pretty straightforward: create a title, write a description, add product photos, and include relevant tags. With a click of a button, the listing is then ready to take in orders.
1. Competition is Tough
Along with the high number of buyers on Etsy also comes the millions of stores who are also selling on the platform. If your business belongs to a popular category on Etsy, like jewelry for example, opening a shop on the website is similar to building a store right next to your biggest competition in the offline world.
When customers search for an item on Etsy, millions of results pop up and it's easy for items to get lost in the crowds. Competition on Etsy is undoubtedly tough, and it’s not just about which shop has the better design or quality. Sometimes, it all boils down to being smart with keywords and tags, and learning how to utilize Etsy ads.
Without the necessary knowledge, shop owners will find themselves in a constant race to the top. And even if they do find themselves there, there is still no guarantee of a sale because it’s easier for customers to compare when the products are practically listed side-by-side.
2. Listing and Transaction Fees
Usage of the Etsy platform is not completely free. Although there is no charge for opening and maintaining an account, creating a listing does take a bit of money. Each product listed on your Etsy account is charged $0.02. Additionally, these listings also expire and it would take another $0.02 to renew. Not to mention, Etsy also charges transaction fees per item sold, leaving shop owners with less revenue than they have hoped to receive.
3. Market Saturation
The downside of selling on Etsy instead of your own Etsy website is the possibility of your items getting lost in a sea of similar products. It’s difficult to stand out in the market without the right tools and understanding of Etsy’s system.
Etsy vs. Your Own Website: Why You Should Have An Etsy Site
- Visual Branding
Etsy websites have the upper hand when it comes to design and branding as it allows more room for customization. With a self-hosted Etsy site, online shop owners can design their store according to their visual branding. They have the option to change colors, try out different layouts, and make their online store a beautiful experience for their visitors.
Plus, with the help of innovative site builders like Strikingly, Etsy store owners can now choose from a wide variety of well-designed layouts, without having to worry about coding or graphic design skills. Installing new designs is as easy as creating an account and clicking a button. Even those who consider themselves lacking in computer skills can easily open an Etsy site.
- Gain More Control
Etsy websites don’t just offer more control over customization and design; it also means having the freedom to sell items that may not adhere to Etsy’s policies. Although the Etsy marketplace is no longer restricted to handmade items only, reselling items not related to crafting is still not allowed on the platform. Such policies are a hurdle, especially for business owners who are looking to expand their inventory. If you build an online store with Strikingly as your site builder, you have the freedom to add as many products as you wish on your Etsy website.
- Access To Marketing Tools
Marketing tools are a complicated topic when it comes to the Etsy vs Your Own Site argument. Some say that the Etsy platform comes with enough marketing tools that satisfies the needs of any independent business on the website. Apart from the fact that Etsy is a respected domain, users also claim that its paid advertising program is all they need to run their biz on the site.
While all that may be true, one cannot deny that Etsy websites have more options and tools. Email marketing, for one, is something Etsy does not offer. But when building an Etsy site on Strikingly, for example, users can also create and send emails to their customers. Sale promotions, new product announcements, and even holiday greetings - all of which are integral when it comes to creating customer relationships.
- Build Customer Loyalty
They say that it’s easier to market to customers who have purchased an item before. Unfortunately, Etsy does not offer a lot of opportunities to connect with previous buyers. Although there is space for business owners to share updates, there is no way to reach out to customers on a more personal level.
Etsy websites, on the other hand, have the potential to build customer loyalty by including features that customers can interact with such as emails, social media sharing, and more. Site builders like Strikingly have tons of fun widgets you can add to your site that will make it more interactive; a place where your customers can be heard and get support.
- No More Extra Fees
If you’re still on the fence about selling on Etsy vs your own store, perhaps this will catch your attention. Having your own Etsy site means you no longer have to pay for each listing you create. Although you do have to pay for a premium plan for a self-hosted site, there is no budget limit as to how many items you can sell on your Etsy website.
Besides, instead of wasting your money just to create a listing, why not invest your cash on something that truly creates an impact on your business like branding, advertising, and marketing?
Start Your Etsy Site Today
Now that you’ve read all the pros and cons of Etsy, we invite you to take control of your online business today by creating your own Etsy site. Strikingly has all the tools you need to get started, from layout designs to marketing applications.
Plus, importing your Etsy store to your very own self-hosted site is as easy as one click of a button. Check out our website now to find out how, so you can finally start growing your biz with your very own Etsy site!