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Etsy Marketplace Review

Etsy – is a worldwide selling platform developed for merchants who want to sell crafted items or add another channel to distribute their goods online. Launched in 2005, the platform was initially designed with a focus on small shops and independent merchants who do not want to handle the process of website building. It makes it easy to add products within the existing eCommerce ecosystem and start selling without the need to clarify such terms as hosting, domain, coding, or web designing.

Today, the system hosts thousands of different digital stores located globally. Merchants sell a variety of items that may range from designer bags and clothes to jewelry, toys, pieces of art, supplies, etc. The platform comes with simple product management and a set of eCommerce features in a pack. However, some users state that it will work only for small shops without the opportunity to scale.

In this review, we are going to check if it is true and what limitations you may face when using the digital marketplace.

Etsy
  • Free-entry marketplace.
  • Platform to sell handmade goods.
  • Great for independent merchants.

Pros and Cons

Etsy offers a fast and simple way to start selling online without building a store from scratch. It is a good place to start. On the other hand, the control panel may look a bit confusing at first, while getting started with the first shop may take some time. So, here is the list of major pros and cons to look for:

Pros:

Cons:

A free-to-use eCommerce platform.
Fast access to the global buyers’ audience.
No coding or web designing skills are needed.
Integrated reports and analytics.
Transaction and other fees.
Designed to sell handmade products only.
Limited merchant options.
Requires lots of promotion to succeed.
Limited payment options.

Features and Tools

Developed with beginners in mind, Etsy comes as a simple eCommerce platform to get started with your sales project. It will suit those who are not eager to deal with more complex website builders or CMS systems, buy hosting, register domains etc. Users get a simple and straightforward solution where they only need to add products with some details, customize the shop a bit and start selling items. Bigger merchants, however, may not be satisfied with the software as it does not reserve a place for scaling and growing a store. If you plan to set up a large business, then it makes sense to pick another eCommerce platform. Take your time to explore the system before making the final choice.

Read also: Etsy vs Wix

Easy to Get Started

Easy to Get Started

Unlike standard website builders, Etsy requires some time to get started. To access the digital marketplace, you will need to complete an easy and fast registration process. At the next stage, you will have to highlight your future shop preferences like currency, location, language and other store personalization details. Besides, the platform will ask to indicate additional data such as local bank currency, type of seller you are (full or part-time) etc. The final step is to give your shop a name.

Once you have completed the initial configurations, you will need to add products – either physical or digital. Users will be able to add up to 5 photos, a video review, title, description, and other details that might interest potential buyers. Adding payment details is possible on this stage as well.

Although Etsy is not originally a website builder, it still offers several baseline editing tools to customize the template and change some design elements before going live. Here you may add photos, links to social media channels, etc. What’s more, the system will automatically assign a default domain.

Product Management

Product Management

We have already discussed the process of adding products in the previous paragraph. We should add that the system makes it easy to add either separate goods or items’ listings. It helps to create collections or seasoned offers. To highlight products, users may add 5 photos. The task might be a challenge, as the system will not accept them in case the mages do not meet default requirements.

The good news is the ability to indicate item thumbnails making them more recognizable for potential buyers. What’s more, users will have a chance to describe products in detail. You may add information about the build date, manufacturer, type of product, and more. Users may set an auto-renewal feature to update product information. However, you will need to pay for the services in addition to all fees charged by the platform.

Online Store Management

Etsy has quite an understandable dashboard that comes as a central hub for managing your shop, including orders, listings, stats and shop settings. This is where you can also create and manage product listings, adding detailed descriptions, multiple photos and tags. Tools for processing orders, printing shipping labels and managing customer communications are available here as well.

Integrated Analytics

To track orders, manage customers, and monitor sales, Etsy offers a built-in dashboard with all major stats and measurements generated automatically. Here you will find all launched, running, and stopped ad campaigns along with stats in references to a particular item or product listing.

Marketing Tools

Marketing Tools

Promotion tools appear to be the only way to make your shop a bit more recognizable and notable. While Etsy does not offer SEO tools, you will have to do much work using integrated Etsy gift cards. The main downside here is that customers will have a chance to use them only when shopping inside the platform. Not third-party marketplaces or shops are involved. Additionally, users may launch dynamic ads on social media. Not much for an eCommerce platform.

Payment Gateways

Users will have two major options to get paid. The first one involves PayPal. Simply connect the shop with your account and start selling. However, a single payment option is not enough for demanding shoppers, who require enhanced flexibility in terms of payment possibilities. This is where Etsy Payments will help.

It is a custom, built-in, multi-currency environment to process transactions globally. Potential customers will have a wider option with credit and debit cards, Google Pay/Apple Pay, Klarna, Discover, and other methods included in the list. The main downside here is that, as a seller, you will not get paid instantly after a transaction. Etsy Payments use a scheduled depositing system, which means you will receive funds as per schedule. What’s more, you are supposed to have a valid bank account. This fact definitely adds some hassle.

Read also: Etsy vs Shopify

Customer Service Tools

To be able to react to your customers’ requests and inquiries, you can access a set of built-in tools. The integrated messaging system allows communicating with buyers through Etsy’s built-in messaging system. The platform also makes it possible to request custom orders, providing a personalized shopping experience. An important feature is the availability of reviews and ratings that allows building trust and credibility with potential customers.

Templates and Design Customization

Templates and Design Customization

Etsy is not a website builder although it still offers store templates to choose from. The bad news is that all templates look the same. It does not matter what layout you are going to utilize. Your digital store will hardly stand out from thousands of other competitors within the marketplace.

One of the key design-related elements, though, is the ability to personalize your shop’s appearance. This will let you create a project that will have at least slight differences from the rest of web stores powered by the software.

Sellers can upload custom banners and logos to create a unique brand identity that reflects their style and products. The shop banner, displayed prominently at the top of the shop page, can be designed using tools like Canva or Adobe Spark, allowing sellers to incorporate their brand colors, fonts, and imagery. Additionally, a shop logo helps establish brand recognition and is featured next to the shop name in search results, enhancing visibility.

Beyond the overall shop appearance, Etsy offers detailed listing templates that allow sellers to showcase their products effectively. Each listing can include up to 5 high-quality photos, a short video and a detailed description. The platform’s built-in photo editor provides basic editing tools to enhance images, ensuring they look professional and appealing. Sellers can use simple HTML formatting in their descriptions to create bold text, bullet points, and paragraphs, making the information easy to read and visually engaging. Attributes and tags further help in categorizing the products, improving their discoverability in search results.

Of course, users are also free to indicate more info about the shop, add a bio, make product pages more engaging, etc. However, some of these features are paid for. The good news is that users may still change the layout structure and rearrange some of the page elements. Besides, they will have a chance to create additional navigation bars and sections without coding.

For those looking to expand their brand presence, Etsy Pattern offers a customizable standalone website that syncs seamlessly with the Etsy shop. Sellers can choose from various templates and customize the design elements such as colors, fonts, and layouts to match their branding. This not only helps in maintaining a consistent brand image across different platforms but also provides a professional web presence with the option to use a custom domain.

Etsy Plus subscribers gain access to additional customization options, including advanced banner templates and promotional tools, enabling them to create a more compelling and personalized shopping experience for their customers.

Customer Support

Customer Support

Users should not expect much from customer support, as it does not include a Live Chat feature or phone. You may find the answer to the question in a pretty rich knowledge base located in the Help Center. Use the navigation bar to find the issue quickly. The Help Center is divided into two major categories. The first one refers to shop management and configuration. The second one applies to the selling process.

If you are stuck and fail to find the answer to the question, the Etsy community may come in handy. It comes in the form of a global forum, where you may find experienced users, start new threads, or ask questions directly.

Plans & Pricing

Esty does not have traditional subscription-based plans. It charges different types of fees depending on the tools you use and product volume sold. What’s more, the fees may vary depending on your country and type of product. The three major types of fees include:

  • Listing Fees – they are charged NO MATTER if you sell the product or not. The system will redeem $0.20 from every item you add to the listing. On the other hand, you will pay only for the products listed and available for sale. Shop pattern items are not charged.
  • Transaction Fees – they refer to every sale you make. Once a customer has purchased a product from your shop, the platform will deduct 6.5% from the transaction cost. What’s more, get ready to pay an extra $0.30 payment processing fee.
  • Advertising and Promotional Fees – they include ads and offsite fees including a 15% attribute fee and ad campaign costs depending on the budget limit, bids, and some other factors.

Conclusion

Etsy is a simple and easy-to-use digital marketplace with its custom eCommerce ecosystem. It offers simple tools to start selling handmade products online fast without special skills or background. It comes with integrated analytic and promotion tools along with an intuitive product management system. The system is a good destination for small and independent sellers who do not want to deal with website builders.

Despite all simplicity, the platform does not allow enough flexibility to scale, grow, and promote your future shop. It will make no sense for medium and large businesses. What’s more, a set of promotional tools looks also pretty limited. We could say it is a good option to get started and see if your products will have success if it was not for high fees. Maybe, you might want to look for more flexible options.