Let’s be honest. When Etsy first came out, it was seen as a relatively kitsch venue for selling things only your grandmother would like. Of course this wasn’t the case then and it’s far from the case now. Etsy is a powerful selling tool that shouldn’t be ignored by business owners with valuable commodities to offer.
Buyers have the option of quickly filtering different vendors for a specific item. Instead of shopping around or even wasting time on Google, you get a quick search result for exactly what you’re seeking. For better or worse, your business is sized up alongside your competition. If you’re confident in your business model, you shouldn’t have a problem here. This means you’ve got great keywords, desirable images and competitive rates. Once a potential buyer clicks a link to your page, this means you have your categories sorted, and that you have appealing, informative, creative and well-written product summary. You should also have competitive rates and incentive to purchase either through a sale or unique item, via easily found information offered with minimal bias.
A vendor will gain a lot more recognition competing on Etsy than they would vying for Google’s attention, Pinterest’s flood of images without the much-needed timeline feature, and even once-popular eBay.
If you’ve visited Etsy as either a buyer or seller, you’ll have quickly noticed one thing: Etsy is a strong community. Being part of a transaction there is much like how a transaction would be in the “good old days.” People do business with a smile. You always get someone “real,” and you can reach out to a vendor directly. The whole process is just so much simpler that it actually facilitates more business.
Etsy browsers can also “like” a product. This goes a long way in e-commerce/social shopping. All “liked” products are viewable on a profile by any other user, offering greater cross exposure through the social window Etsy offers on each account home page.
If you’re a small business owner that doesn’t really know what direction they want to go in yet, Etsy is perfect for you. You don’t have to build an entire e-commerce store. You can take advantage of their very affordable pricing model to set up shop, and you can use the simple widgets to plug your shop contents on your own website without having to fuss with any complicated coding. It’s drop dead simple and it’s a direct call to action.
With that in mind, Etsy is best for the truly small business owner that doesn’t have the time or the money to spend on digital marketing, and Etsy is brilliant for wholesale suppliers who want to reach out to more vendors. Suppliers are welcomed by business people who may not be ready for a resale license commitment, who just want a simple transaction, and who want to shop internationally. Again, you determine your connections and transactions based on your specific search results – results based on your parameters and not Google’s convoluted index.
Etsy isn’t perfect though. It still has a few limitations, including a lack of social integration onto a shop page. In a perfect world, you could link your social media accounts there as well as a newsletter signup button. After all, you want to be able to keep up with your followers to encourage sales – a move that would benefit Etsy’s bottom line.