Etsy vs. Your Own eCommerce Website

Many of your friends and family members keep telling you to hurry up and start selling your items already and now you’ve finally decided to take the plunge to start selling online.
But now you are stomped on which platform is best for a newbie like yourself? If Etsy is the first thing that comes to mind, you’re not the only one. Etsy is the biggest and most popular site available for individual craftspeople, it is a fantastic place to get started selling fast. But there are some downsides to selling on Etsy like growing and expanding that are big enough to draw many of the more successful crafters to sell through their own eCommerce sites instead. Etsy as your only main sales channel will drastically stunt the growth of your business. Here’s why…

You Have No Control On Etsy
Etsy is a company with many investors and it does not necessarily have the same goals as you. If Etsy decides that they need to make more profits, they can easily raise their transaction fees at any time which can drastically reduce your profits. Etsy can also make any changes to their site without warning you which could lead to a negative impact on your sales. You have absolutely no control over what they decide to do on their site. But like I said earlier don’t get me wrong Etsy does have some Pro’s:

  • Ready to go. You’ll have to do some work in getting it set up, but an Etsy store is far easier to being done than any eCommerce site.
  • Instant customer trust. Since Etsy has been around longer then your site people trust it more.
  • Help is only a community board away. If you have any problems or questions you can always refer to the community boards and they can be of assistance instantly.

But do these pros really outweigh the cons? The best way to make sure your business is around for the long haul is by creating something that you own and have full control over like an eCommerce website. Below are just a couple of the Pros of having an eCommerce website.

  • More control over the design. You’re in control of just about everything. You decide on the layout, design and branding of your site and if that changes, all you have to do is change your site. Want to change your policies? Do it. Want to add a newsletter? Do it. On your own site, you won’t have to worry about having your store shut down and having to start all over again.
  • Fewer on page customer distractions. You won’t have to worry about a competitor advertising their product right next to yours. On your site only your items are listed to no more wondering customers.
  • Media and customers take you more seriously. If your site is well-designed, the media tends to take you more seriously on your own site than on Etsy. It only really happens if your site shows that you’ve put time and effort into branding and design far more than if you just entered information and uploaded a few pictures to Etsy. Now that won’t happen if your eCommerce site looks out of date and thrown together, in which case you might as well just do Etsy.

So does that mean you should drop Etsy right away and start your own online store? Absolutely not! If you are making a decent number of sales on Etsy already, then by all means you should keep listing your products there. However in the background, you should begin working on your own website. Once your online store is up and running, you can then begin the process of drawing your customers away from Etsy and having them shop at your store directly.
How To Get Customers To Your Shop
The easiest way to get customers away from Etsy and to your store is to offer incentives. First,I would try to set the prices in the store a little bit lower then your Etsy prices. Since you won’t have to pay Etsy fees anymore you can afford to price a little lower. Now, when customers purchase from you insert a flyer with your website on it encouraging them to bypass your Etsy store and to start buying straight from your website. The customers will begin to realize that it is more convenient and cheaper to buy directly from your site then through Etsy.
Are you making a decent income from your Etsy shop? If so, it’s probably a good time to think about starting your own website. As with any business, getting traffic to your website takes time. Have you make a decision yet? Are you more confused than ever now? Do not worry. Many first time sellers start on Etsy to see how the store will do before moving on to their own site. Once they build their loyal customers they move on to their own eCommerce site. But the sooner you begin, the sooner you can take charge, own your business and stop relying on marketplaces.



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