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Have you thought about Etsy as an option to launch an online business? Maybe you have but never really got the ball rolling because you aren’t fully aware of what the website is about and how to make the most of it. Whatever the case, Etsy presents numerous opportunities for entrepreneurs who want to sell unique products online. But what exactly is it beyond the satisfying viral Instagram videos created by some Etsy sellers?
What is Etsy?
Etsy is a global digital marketplace where people sell a variety of unique and creative items. The platform hosts web shops that typically offer art and craft products, vintage collectibles, and handcrafted pieces. Jewelry, clothing items, paintings, hand-knits, decorative items, rare toys, tools, beauty accessories, and even cosmetics are among the various goods that can be sold and bought on Etsy. In addition to shipping physical products, sellers on Etsy also offer a number of downloadable and printable items, including artistic prints, planners, and designs for stationery.
The company was launched in 2005 by founders Rob Kalin, Chris Maguire, Jared Tarbell, and Haim Schoppik. Since then, it has grown to become one of the top sources of extraordinary collectibles and gift items. Today, over 2.7 million sellers and upwards of 47 million buyers use Etsy across 83 countries, and there are more than 60 million products listed for sale on the website.
Who Uses Etsy?
All types of creators and collectors make use of the Etsy marketplace, along with the buyers who are interested in the products on offer. The list of sellers include:
- Jewelry makers
- Fashion designers
- Owners of vintage products
- Graphic designers
It should be noted that the vast majority of sellers on Etsy are listed as female at 86%. Most buyers are also female, accounting for 81% of total shoppers. Also, most Etsy users fall within the age range 25 – 40. But anyone can use the platform to sell or buy product offerings that fall under the categories of unique, original, creative, and/or vintage. Etsy has strict policies governing what qualifies as original, unique or vintage, which prevent anyone from just selling anything they feel like. This is what separates it from other marketplaces such as Amazon, where merchants can sell almost any product.
How to Use Etsy
Setting up a shop on Etsy is rather simple. Once you have created an account, it is recommended to upload a profile picture and write a bio to introduce yourself to the Etsy community. Next, you can start setting up your shop with your products or buy items from other users. Here are the steps to get started as a buyer:
- Select “Sell on Etsy” at the top of the page once you are signed in
- Then click on “Open your Etsy shop”
- Fill out the relevant details, including country, language, currency, etc.
- Create a shop name
- Click save and continue
That’s it! Your shop is pretty much open, but there are a few things you can do later on to complete setting it up. These include adding a brand logo for your shop, writing an “About” message to tell potential buyers what your shop is about, writing a short “welcome” message, and stating your shop policies as it relates to shipping, returns, exchanges, special requests, etc. If your shop is based is based on an actual business with employees, you may also introduce the other members of your team.
Once you have finished setting up your shop, you can start adding listings. This involves uploading images and writing a short description that explains what the item is.
Making the Most of Etsy
Attracting the right target audience is crucial for sellers who want to succeed on Etsy. This involves maintaining product listings on a regular basis and promoting your business on social media networks. Etsy is, in itself, a search engine of sorts. With that said, you need to pay attention to ensuring you use proper keywords in your product titles, descriptions, and tags, to make it easy for your offerings to show up when people carry out searches on the platform. In addition, blogging can also be used to generate sales on Etsy as it allows you to pull in readers who may be interested in hearing more about what you are offering. Let’s discuss this some more.
How Bloggers Can Use Etsy
Blogging is one way to potentially connect with Etsy’s core target audience, which is mainly people looking for one-of-a-kind craft pieces and supplies. If you blog about anything craft-related, there is a chance buyers on Etsy may be interested in what you have to offer. The Etsy community includes a number of sellers who also blog as a means to drive traffic to their web shops.
This works because, as the saying goes, people buy relationships. Having a blog allows people to get to know your brand and what you are about. If they like your content, they may decide to interact with the stories on your blog and possibly go on to check out your offerings.
Blogging as a means to attract people to your Etsy store requires a subtle and indirect approach. For example, if you are selling unique wedding accessories, your blog could be about wedding planning. If your shop is offering vintage furniture, your blog could be about furniture care. As you can see, the strategy is to blog about a related topic instead of writing directly on items you are selling on Etsy.
Etsy is not free to use. However, it is considered one of the most affordable platforms on which to launch a business. That’s because you can get started with as little as $0.20, which is far cheaper than setting up your own e-commerce website, for example. The $0.20 fee is for each product listing in your web shop. Other charges you will encounter on Etsy include:
- 5% transaction fee on each sale
- Processing fee of 3% and $0.25 on each sale
If you dabble in the creative and artistic world, setting up shop on Etsy can be a viable option for you. If you decide to try it out, you can look into using a blogging strategy to help boost your earning capacity on the website.