Etsy plans on doing more marketing to bring more people to etsy.com.
How do they do that? Well, there are only a few major ways to market a business online:
- Run Google Adwords ads
- Run Facebook & Instagram ads
- Optimize their website for SEO (searches from Google)
- Run YouTube, Hulu or Netflix video ads
- Try to inspire more people to do word-of-mouth and get excited to talk about Etsy
- Advertise on other 3-party websites
Etsy has announced that they will be running more Ads throughout the internet, as well as "retargeting" ads. Retargeting is where you show lots and lots of ads to the same people over and over, so that they get more familiar with Etsy over time.
The problem is that most people in the U.S. and the world do not understand that Etsy is a marketplace of thousands of independent sellers who all set their own policies.
Just about everyone knows Amazon.com - when was the last time you or someone you knew talked about buying on Amazon? It's the #1 place to buy stuff online. And Amazon has more strict policies, like standardized shipping rates and turn around times. They also have a higher 15% commission for sales.
But when was the last time someone you knew talked about buying on Etsy? If you are in a creative circle, probably all the time. But it's not engrained into the culture. It's not something people talk about on a daily basis, and Etsy is not changing the way people shop online.
Etsy is a huge website and has a lot of potential.
The board of directors at Etsy know this. They are currently ranked as the 56th most trafficked website in the United States, which is very impressive. That is a huge, huge audience of people. But not enough to "change the way the world buys." Companies like Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon have done that.
Out of all the shopping platforms online, Etsy is actually ranked number 7 in the entire world. That's big. Etsy is behind Amazon, Ebay, and Walmart, and is ahead of shops like Ikea, BestBuy, HomeDepot and Target.
So why is Etsy making all of these dramatic changes?
They want to be up there with Amazon. And with the crazy amount of traffic Etsy already has, they have the potential to do it. But they have to change.
This is why I am excited for the future of selling on Etsy. There is a long way to go, but a lot of opportunity. The problem is that Crafty sellers on Etsy will get crushed if they do not change. Instead, they will have to seek other platforms, or start turning into a more serious business.
Another opportunity is to think about selling on Amazon - but that is where mass produced items are sold. And Etsy is more for handmade creative businesses.
If you plan to adapt to Etsy's changes, here's what I believe you will need to do:
- Start thinking of how to streamline and event mass produce your items. While Etsy started out as a handmade marketplace, in order to compete with Amazon, they will have to allow for mass-production. They've already made this move by allowing "production partners."
- Start marketing like a real business. This means doing more branding, marketing, storytelling like how Apple does with their products, where they sell an emotion and belief system more than just selling iPhones or computers.
- Take control more of your own marketing. This means doing email marketing and building your own website to control more of your own marketing process. Etsy is a fantastic place to start, but in order to grow and scale, you also need you own place to bring back repeat customers to.
- Learn more about things like SEO, Online Ads & Online Marketing. This is crucial to stay in business as more and more things go online. If you are not learning how to sell online, you will always be at the mercy of the Etsy, Amazon, Google Ad or Facebook Ad algorithms.
These changes are exciting for people willing to adapt to the future, but frightening for people who wish we could go back to the "good old days" of Etsy.
I believe Etsy is not looking back at all to the original crafty sellers on Etsy. They are thinking bigger and looking towards businesses like Amazon to compete with.
What do you think of the coming changes on Etsy?
Will you adapt to these changes? Leave your comments below.