As a previous seller on Etsy and Amazon myself I know how much hard work goes into creating a successful Etsy shop. Eventually, I think, most Etsy sellers start to wonder whether they should open their own website but often there are so many questions to answer! Hopefully this little blog will help answer a few of them.
Etsy is great - it's a world wide brand, known by millions of people and used by millions - both sellers and buyers! It really is a go-to website in itself. The majority of items for sale on there are fabulous and I love to buy from there to support small makers across the UK (in particular).
Saying that, I will always go and buy directly from the seller on their own website it they have one. I will search Etsy for what I'm looking for, find something I like and then head off to Google to find them. If I can find them I will buy directly through them and not the third party. I think this is because I know what it's like to be a small e-commerce business and I know how tight margins can be sometimes. Who wants to give that money to a big corporate (however crafty and cute their branding is) when they can give it directly to the seller. If I'm doing this then I know others will.
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If you're an Etsy seller and you're thinking you might be at the next stage in your business you're probably thinking about a website. Here are a few of my thoughts about Etsy sellers having their own websites...
A website, in general, regardless of the industry you are in, can provide you with a number of benefits.
Increased visibility: A website increases the seller's online presence and makes it easier for customers to find them.
Branding: A website allows a seller to create a unique brand and establish themselves as a professional business.
Increased control: A website provides a seller with more control over the customer experience and how their products are presented.
Diversification: A website provides a seller with an additional sales channel, reducing dependence on a single platform such as Etsy.
Increased credibility: Having a website can increase a seller's credibility and make them appear more established and professional to potential customers.
A website is a great idea for a crafter / small business because it allows them to reach a wider audience, showcase their products and services, and establish an online presence. Additionally, a website can provide an opportunity for a crafter to engage with customers in the way they want, sell their products online in the format they want, and manage their business more efficiently. With a website, a crafter can also build their brand and establish credibility in their industry.
There are always going to be a few pinch points when it comes to selling on another platform (Etsy or Amazon for example) so it's worth considering whether diversifying where you sell might help you actually save money (or make even more money!). A few things to consider...
Fees: Etsy charges fees for listing items and processing payments, which can be a significant cost for some sellers.
Competition: With millions of sellers on the platform, it can be challenging for individual sellers to stand out and attract customers. You will nearly always have to advertise extensively to compete with the other sellers on the platform.
Lack of control: Etsy sets the policies and guidelines for the marketplace, and sellers must comply with these rules. Some sellers may feel restricted by these policies or frustrated with the lack of control over their shop and brand.
Dependence on Etsy's algorithm: The Etsy search algorithm determines how and when a seller's items appear in search results, and some sellers may not agree with the results.
Overall, while Etsy (or Amazon) can be a convenient and accessible marketplace for some sellers, it may not be the best fit for all. It's important for sellers to carefully consider their needs and goals before setting up shop on any platform -success on Etsy does not guarantee success on your own website, as the two platforms have different dynamics and challenges.
However, if you have a successful Etsy shop, it can provide a solid foundation for building a successful website. You can leverage your existing customer base, brand, and product offerings to transition to your own website. Additionally, having a successful Etsy shop can demonstrate market demand for your products and provide credibility for your brand - this is key when you need a bit of confidence about your business. If you're a success on Etsy then your product is something people want - feel good about that!!!
Having your own website also offers greater control and flexibility over your business, such as customizing the look and feel of your website, setting your own policies and procedures, and retaining a greater share of sales revenue - whilst you will still need to pay certain fees (hosting fees, small payment processing fees etc) you won't be paying any commission per sale so there's that % back in your pocket straight away!
If you need to speak to anyone about getting your own website then please do get in touch - with a background in e-commerce and selling products on both Amazon and Etsy and then moving across to Shopify - I know where you're coming from!
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