Written by our partners at ecomdash.
Etsy is the swap meet of ecommerce — folksy, friendly, and the best place to buy rare and unique goods. The big difference, though, is that Etsy drives billions in sales and their active customers quadrupled since 2012. There’s never been a flea market with 44.8 million shoppers!
Here are the five most compelling reasons to sell on Etsy:
1. Niche Markets
Why sell on Etsy? In a word: niches.
Ecommerce benefits from niche marketing. Large general stores can’t cater to small special interests — there’s not enough demand on those products to make up the costs. But with ecommerce, especially Etsy, retailers can serve greater geographical regions. That means more of those special-interest customers, and enough demand to turn a healthy profit.
Of the big ecommerce markets, Etsy is the best for niche products like homemade goods and crafts. If your sales strategy is to hone in on a specific customer group, in particular, you may find that your community already exists on Etsy. It’s where people go when they can’t find what they want elsewhere.
That goes for big niches as well as small ones. Etsy serves not only the fringe markets but also the most popular ecommerce niches, like handmade jewelry and bodycon apparel. It’s the mainstream outlet for non-mainstream products.
2. Etsy Seller Community
Other ecommerce platforms tend to be cutthroat with the competition, viciously undercutting each other with prices and special promotions. Etsy, however, doesn’t operate this way. The seller community is united and usually willing to lend a helping hand.
The “Etsy Community” exists as a forum for sellers to ask and answer questions, vent frustrations, or just share advice. The setup is similar to the forums in Amazon Seller Central, but Etsy Community has more of a friendly and personal atmosphere.
On top of that, you can take partnerships to the next level with Etsy Teams. Just as it sounds, these are groups of sellers working together, typically within the same industries. You can join teams specific to your niche for product sourcing recommendations, or more general teams to assist each other in promotion and advertising, among others.
3. Easy to Use
Etsy is designed so that anyone can use it. Some ecommerce platforms require coding skills, design knowledge, or just huge amounts of time, whereas Etsy lets you set up a shop in just a matter of minutes.
Many Etsy sellers praise how easy it is to create both new shops and new product listings. Customization is limited on the site, but template-style editing makes the process easier and more approachable.
All-around, Etsy is known as a user-friendly platform. All of your sales and product data are readily available for downloading, which makes budgeting at the end of the month easier. They even have a mobile app for instant customer engagement, adding listings on-the-go, or just simply checking in.
4. Turn Pastimes Into Profits
While the ecommerce industry as a whole largely attracts mainstream vendors, Etsy has a fondness for artisans. A lot of vendors on Amazon or Shopify are there to make money first and foremost, but Etsy’s a little different. Etsy merchants are often passionate about their craft first — it’s the selling that’s the hobby.
Because Etsy is so easy to use, you can set up a small shop in no time at all. How successful you are largely depends on how much time and effort you put into marketing. However, even if you don’t spend much effort publicizing yourself, you still may get a handful of customers.
5. Built-in Customer Base
The hardest part about starting an ecommerce brand from scratch is building a customer base. It’s always an uphill battle for new online stores to get noticed, and those first few customers are no doubt the most difficult to attract.
Etsy tries its best to accommodate new and first-time sellers, making it just a little easier to break-in. Starting a store on Etsy, you have the advantage of millions of visitors browsing through the marketplace and seeing your products. That traffic takes individual websites years to accomplish, if at all.
There are also benefits to outreach. Etsy’s search algorithm prioritizes new listings, so you have an automatic boost the first time you populate your online store listings. Additionally, the simple and intuitive advertising platform gives you a head-start on marketing, and small stores can coast by on an advertising budget as low as $10 per week.
Like any other ecommerce store, your success on Etsy depends on how well you attract shoppers to your store. Most of that is business as usual, but there are a few special tips and tricks just for this marketplace.
Because Etsy serves different shoppers than other ecommerce platforms, it follows its own set of rules for marketing and outreach. To get started, read the Do’s and Don’ts of Listing Products on Etsy and start selling like a pro.