Could Etsy Be Your Downfall? Part 2

Could Etsy Be Your Downfall? Part 2

What the most successful Etsy shop are doing

In our last post we covered the 3 reasons Etsy could be your small, creative business’ downfall. To recap, the number one reason Etsy could be a major point of failure is because they could shut you down today. Or tomorrow. Or whenever they fancy.

Etsy is not evil, they are lovely. But there’s a pesky clause in their terms of use (an agreement every seller must comply with) that allows them to terminate your store without cause. That’s a pretty glaring risk, and from one small business owner to another – it’s just not smart to expose your business to that. Especially when you can mitigate the risk with your own ecommerce shop.

So, we were curious. When it came to selling through their own #ecomm shops, what were the most successful Etsy shop owners doing?

The above table shows the % of the top 13 shops in each category that have their own website. Click here for the complete spreadsheet.

The answer – 62% of of the top Etsy shops also sell through their own site.

The average varies significantly by category, so this tactic may work better for some stores; 77% of top sellers for Clothing, Home & Living and Jewelry have their own sites, but only 23% of top Toys & Games shops have their own site.

We spoke to one of the top sellers in the Home & Living category, Frostbeard, about why they chose to invest in their own site. Roxie, their fearless leader and #bosslady, said they “wanted to offer more options than Etsy allowed.” With their own site they were able to create a subscription box and incorporate digital marketing techniques like a blog and newsletter.

Made By Cleo, a top seller in Etsy’s Pets category, chose to launch their own site after struggling with Etsy’s lack of analytics. Leslie, the shop’s founder, says “Every business owner, especially for an e-commerce business, naturally wants to know where their customers are coming from. Etsy’s stats are still very limited in terms of giving a shop owner a complete picture of where the buyers came from.” She acknowledges that Etsy provides some useful general data on visitors, “but to this day there is no visibility as to exactly how many of your Etsy sales are directly correlated with specific campaigns or activity you may be conducting outside of Etsy, such as email blasts, social media marketing and pay-per-click campaigns.”

The answer – 62% of of the top Etsy shops also sell through their own site.

The average varies significantly by category, so this tactic may work better for some stores; 77% of top sellers for Clothing, Home & Living and Jewelry have their own sites, but only 23% of top Toys & Games shops have their own site.

We spoke to one of the top sellers in the Home & Living category, Frostbeard, about why they chose to invest in their own site. Roxie, their fearless leader and #bosslady, said they “wanted to offer more options than Etsy allowed.” With their own site they were able to create a subscription box and incorporate digital marketing techniques like a blog and newsletter.

Made By Cleo, a top seller in Etsy’s Pets category, chose to launch their own site after struggling with Etsy’s lack of analytics. Leslie, the shop’s founder, says “Every business owner, especially for an e-commerce business, naturally wants to know where their customers are coming from. Etsy’s stats are still very limited in terms of giving a shop owner a complete picture of where the buyers came from.” She acknowledges that Etsy provides some useful general data on visitors, “but to this day there is no visibility as to exactly how many of your Etsy sales are directly correlated with specific campaigns or activity you may be conducting outside of Etsy, such as email blasts, social media marketing and pay-per-click campaigns.”

The above table shows the % of the top 13 shops in each category that have their own website. Click here for the complete spreadsheet.

This investigation took us to Etsy shops in every level of growth, and we found that the shops that were both successful on Etsy and had their own sites had been around for a while. In the early days they used Etsy to experiment and, once they hit a certain level of growth, decided to invest in their own site.

Our conclusion, based on interviews with the owners and the metrics we gathered, is the owners that make the critical decision to launch their own site become top sellers and succeed over their Etsy-only competitors.

To take a deeper dive into our research please check out the complete Google spreadsheet.

In our next post we’ll be taking a deeper, qualitative dive through a series of interviews with top sellers about why they launched their own site.

And if you haven’t read our first post in the series, you should! We cover the top 3 reasons (plus a few more) you should not rely on Etsy as your only selling platform – if you’re an Etsy shop owner you need to know these things!

Ready to start selling on your own website? Yes!

Tell us a bit more about your company.

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Sophia Williams
sophia@andsonsdesign.com
2 Comments
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    Posted at 04:38h, 17 May Reply

    The next time I read a blog, Hopefully it doesnt fail me just as much as this one. I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read through, but I actually thought you would have something useful to say. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something that you could fix if you werent too busy searching for attention.

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