One of the best things about the Internet is the sheer number of opportunities for you to build your brand and open an online crafts business. Creating an Etsy website is just one of those options. Etsy is an online buying and selling site that enables you to market your wares to a larger audience. It’s a good platform if you want to get started on the ecommerce business. But a lot of users find that it does come with a few limitations.
Pro: You get to market to a large audience
Over the years, Etsy as a crafts website has attracted a huge following among people who want to source unique handmade pieces at an affordable price. If you have a niche audience to target and you have the right kind of products to sell, an Etsy site may work to your advantage.
Alternatively, you can also leverage on marketplaces and websites like etsy such as Amazon and eBay. These sites follow the same business structure in that they are also buy and sell platforms albeit they target a more general audience.
Con: This marketplace is saturated
On the flip side, with more than 2 million sellers using the Etsy website builder, the market may already be saturated with the same homemade crafts that you intend to sell. Unless you’re selling really unique items, you’re competing with thousands of other sellers on this platform.
What you can do is create an extension of your Etsy website by building your own website on Strikingly. Adding an Etsy link to own website is a good way to create a following for your products outside of the shadow of Etsy but still leverage on the massive audience that the buy and sell platform has.
Pro: Website analytics tools are available
Every business owner understands how important it is to make crucial decisions based from hard data. Etsy comes with built in analytics features to track your sales metrics such as traffic, visits, orders, and revenue that you’re getting from every visit.
Strikingly also has a built in website analytics tool that gives you a good overview of your site traffic. The difference is that because this platform allows you to create a full-featured website, the traffic data includes information on your most popular pages and where your visitors are coming from. You can also get more granular data by connecting your Google Analytics account.
Con: Transaction fees
When you sell through Etsy, get ready to pay fees for every transaction. There is a listing fee that applies when you list an item for sale on the website and transaction fees whenever you make a sale. You’re subject to additional fees for credit card payments so be prepared to factor this in when you mark up your products.
This is where Strikingly’s Simple Store becomes a viable alternative to an Etsy website. Simple Store does not charge a separate transaction fee for selling items on the platform. It doesn’t take a cut from your profit so you can offer your products at a lower cost compared to if you sell them through Etsy.
Overall, if you have a good product, an Etsy website may be a lucrative first step. However, if you want to create your own brand and make it stand out, you might want to scale up by building your own separate online store. With the right site design and marketing strategy, it would be more profitable for you in the long run to go solo. Etsy serves a need particularly for those who do not have the technical skills to open their own ecommerce shop. But with website builders like Strikingly, it’s possible to build a unique online store that can rival the quality that Etsy websites have and start a successful crafts business.