An online seller’s first choice of platform is Amazon. And while that may be a great choice, there’s nothing wrong with exploring and expanding your reach. As your business grows, it is good sense to take it to other platforms where you can increase your brand awareness and sales.

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What is Etsy?

In a nutshell, Etsy is an online store launched back in 2005 that mainly revolves around handicrafts, DIY products, and vintage items. It is the go-to place for both sellers and buyers who have a knack for the unique and unconventional. It has a similar vibe with Amazon handmade, where local artists showcase and sell their masterpieces.

Like many online marketplaces, Etsy classifies products as well. Below is a chronological ranking of few of the popular categories on Etsy according to demand in 2020.

  1. Craft Supplies.
  2. Handmade Items.
  3. Jewelry.
  4. Wedding
  5. Accessories
  6. Paper and Party Supplies
  7. Clothing
  8. Vintage
  9. Home and Living
  10. Art and Collectibles
  11. Books, Movies, and Music
  12. Electronics

Etsy Recent Statistical Data

Etsy is the homeland of authenticity in the online market. Locally-made products, vintage, grunge, boho, chic – things that appeal to the old soul – are all found on Etsy first before they even make it into Amazon.

Here are the promising numbers of Etsy by 2019:

45.7 Million – Active Buyers

2.5 Million – Active Sellers

58 – percentage of Etsy’s mobile sales volume

Over the last ten years, Etsy has been steadily gaining new sellers. In a span of seven years, from 1 million stores in 2012 to 2019, Etsy became a highly-regarded e-commerce platform with a seller growth of 1.5 million. Etsy has climbed the ranks of high-end online stores in the United States as well, joining Amazon, eBay, Walmart, and Target in the top five. It has 3.5% share of site visits according to data collected in late 2018.

However, from a seller’s perspective, the numbers seem to say that Etsy is more favored than Amazon. It’s hard to say if this is due to the lesser competition on the platform, a simpler sign-up process, and stronger and better relations between buyers and sellers. Regardless, it’s safe to say that Etsy has come a long way from being a small-scale handicraft store – now competing with the big names and being a full-blown online marketplace.

Does Etsy require fees for using their platform?

Just like any other certified marketplace on the internet, Etsy collects fees when you sign-up as a seller, and other additional fees for further access to their services.

A listing fee of $0.20 is charged to your account whenever:

  1. You add a new product listing
  2. You have a listing auto-renewed after four months
  3. You have multiple quantities of a single product in one listing (all the other products will be charged individually)
  4. You make a private listing

These are mandatory listing fees, irrespective of your generated sales. Also, there are other fees that a seller needs to keep in mind.

  • Shipping and Labeling charges
  • Transaction fees (5% of the price you put on a product listing, and the shipping or wrapping services)
  • Value-added tax on the ones mentioned above
  • Advertising fees (on Etsy and on other external websites)

You can learn more about the specifics of these fees by signing on to website itself.

  • Account > Shop Manager > Finances > Payment Account > Fees and Taxes

Optimization of Etsy Product Listings

It’s not enough to have your products on the site. One of the best ways to have your products visible on the market and gain customers is to optimize it. Make the best use out of the millions of potential market available. Selling is not just posting, it’s marketing, it’s advertising.

Amazon has an efficient optimization system that their sellers utilize. It works similar to a search engine optimization where you will make use of effective keywords, tags, customized URLs, and a lot more.

I will give few proven tips to have your product listings appear on top of search results .

Title and Tags

The title you give your product listing is just as important as the product itself. It will define primarily where your product is placed in search results. It’s the big picture, the most relevant and apt description of your product. The first words weigh the heaviest so make sure that you name it wisely. Tags are more of the general details or the context of the product. The words need to coincide with the ones on widely used tags that appear on listings and search options. These two must match so that your listing has a better chance of making it on the first page.

Attributes

The tricky thing is that Etsy is not a generic online store. Most of the products being sold on the platform are not the typical goods. Instead, the things found on the site stray far from the conventional. It is where all things hippie, vintage, weird, or unique, and even combinations of those, can be found. It is recommended that your attributes be specific as possible whenever you set them on a product listing. You can specify everything from color, to size, texture, and occasion associated with the item.

Listing Quality

Any interaction with a product listing is recorded and noted by Etsy’s system. To achieve a high listing quality, great product photos, effective titles and tagging, exposure to social media, are the ways. Having a high score on listing quality improves your ranks on search results.

Customer Experience

All those things mentioned above, along with abiding by the established Etsy Customer Service Guidelines can help improve customer experience. It does not necessarily mean handling customers directly via inquiries, but the service you give with the way you list your products through giving of sufficient product information is a huge plus. Always make it a point to put accurate details in terms of shipping status and shipping time. Be accommodating in the About section of your store in such way that it answers all commonly asked questions by sellers about your products, and a little background about the story of your store.

Shipping Deals

According to Etsy, sellers that offer free shipping for orders that amount to more than $35 within the US are prioritized on the US search results.

Creating Your Seller Account

Have you set your mind on being an official Etsy seller? Well in that case, read on for a general guide to setting up your Etsy store.

  1. Go to the Etsy website.
  2. At the bottom of the page, you will find a “Sell on Etsy” option.
  3. You should be landing on a guide page where all terms on fees, support, and FAQs can be found. Take your time to familiarize yourself with these.
  4. Scroll down and click on “Open your Etsy Shop.”
  5. If you’re a new account, enter in the details required for signup.
  6. Afterwards, you will be tasked to provide specifics about your shop and have at least one product listing to complete the process. It’s quite simple to navigate through.
  7. Provide the essential information.
  8. The last stage is to provide your billing information. Here you will input your bank account details, credit card, and address.

Voila! You are now in the world of Etsy business. On your shop manager dashboard you will find the different options such as listings, messages, orders, stats (basically analytics of your store), finances, and marketing.

Don’t hesitate to wander around your seller page and the outskirts of the site. Give the seller handbook a read if you can.

Friendly Advice

You won’t get anywhere by staying in one place. You may be an Amazon seller looking to expand, or a newbie on the e-commerce business, regardless, online business is a very versatile industry with tons of options to choose from. Growth is achieved by stepping out of your comfort zone. Safe is good, but the best opportunities are found by taking risks. Amazon is an e-commerce giant, but Etsy is also making its way to the top ranks – the numbers are proof of that. A dedicated entrepreneur like you would fit in well in the Etsy world where a lot of potential market awaits.