Etsy is an online marketplace similar to eBay and Amazon, but it focuses on handmade and vintage goods. Etsy was launched in 2005, and since then it has helped to improve the workforce using the micro-business model.
The difference between micro-business and small-scale business is the workforce. The workforce of micro-businesses in most cases does not exceed 9 employees. Micro-business is a powerful tool for driving the economy. In the United States, over 55 million people make-up the independent workforce and they generated about $1 trillion in earnings. Also, there are over 5 million micro-businesses in the United Kingdom.
The emergence of Etsy has led to a change in the shopping trend. Shoppers have now switched from popular brands and online retail stores to independent sellers and marketplaces. With this development, people have begun asking the reasons for the sudden change.
Seareach, an online security label manufacturing company had carried out a research to study the reasons for the change. During the research, the company surveyed over 1000 people who shop online to find out how popular the global marketplace is.
Interesting revelations from Seareach study
The study revealed that about 30 percent of the online shoppers had shopped on Etsy, 53 percent of them had not shopped on Etsy before and the remaining 16% had not heard about Etsy. When the 30 percent were asked for their reasons for choosing to shop at Etsy, the reasons for their choice were majorly the love for unique and personalized items and their selection of independent sellers.
The Seareach study determined that:
- About 58 percent of them wanted a unique and personalized item
- 40% of the shopper went for their selection of independent sellers
- 33 percent gave a selection of items for sale as their reason
- 10% of them prefer to shop from independent sellers that chain stores, and
- 2% gave the niche items available as their reason
In the United States, 97% of sellers on Etsy run their business from home, and for 32% of these sellers, it is their only source of income. Also, 53% of Etsy sellers work independently, and 32% have other jobs. 72 percent of sellers consider their shop on Etsy as a business. And lastly, 87 percent of all the sellers on Etsy are women.
Etsy vastly different than other popular online marketplaces
Etsy is also a reliable online marketplace for art, craft and trade fairs. It focuses more on handmade and vintage items such as craft, food, clothing, jewelry, art, toys, etc. These items are what differentiate Etsy from other marketplaces. Online shoppers made Etsy their choice because they are looking forward to finding unique, handmade crafting supplies or vintage items. The only thing that might force Etsy shoppers to shop elsewhere is the lack of options.
Shoppers are more interested in having a good buying experience, and they want all the bells and whistles. They want well packed unique items, direct communication with the seller, and a good experience of shopping. These and more are what Etsy offers its buyers. Another reason why shoppers use Etsy is the fact that the search for items is not complex unlike on other sites. There is less competition which means fewer listings and ads. Also, search on Etsy is not dominated by big sores and conglomerates and this makes it easier to communicate directly with sellers/makers.
Etsy is a great place to get nice items that you can’t find in stores and that are not made by conglomerates. Etsy allows shoppers to get purchased items customized and personalized. Sellers on Etsy can be contacted to include prints or image on purchased items. Buyers can also request for specific colors or design of their choice. Etsy offers shoppers unique and personalized items.
Cheaper pricing not what Etsy is built on
The price of items on Etsy is not as important as in other online marketplaces. Though, it is the sellers that fixed the price of items. But shoppers on Etsy are more interested in the quality, creativity, and artistry of items than any other factors.
Stuart Jailer at Seareach when commenting on the research said:
“Websites such as Amazon have had some bad press over the last few years, from allegedly not paying enough tax to the poor working conditions of their staff, so it is no surprise shoppers are slowly moving away from them. Etsy has stepped into the area easily, offering unique products that you can’t find elsewhere online or on the high street.”
Jailer also commented:
“Etsy also offers small independent sellers or micro-businesses a way to get a foothold in the marketplace without having to spend time or money building their own bespoke website. This has allowed shoppers to easily find unique items or items which can be personalized easily and allows them to shop from independent sellers rather than big name brands. As people’s shopping habits change, I can only see the popularity of sites such as Etsy increasing.”
Etsy is the go-to platform for small sellers marketing niche products such as crafts and other hard to find items. Its power is in the customer base it services, and if your selling the types of products that aren’t in demand elsewhere, you’re missing out on the opportunity to take your business from the micro level to the big time.