Time to Startup!

The BizFilings blog covering business tips and trends.

Entrepreneur Inspiration to Draw From Etsy

Published on Jun 14, 2013


BizFilings outlines five ideas to start and grow an Etsy business such as providing outstanding customer service and making a visual impact.

Best Practices Etsy Teaches Us

Many of us are familiar with Etsy, an online marketplace that gives entrepreneurs a secure online storefront to sell their vintage and handmade goods. Etsy’s growth since opening its virtual doors in 2005 has been explosive to say the least – for example, Etsy currently sells an average of over 2.9 million items a month, welcomes over 690 thousand members a month and shows a growth rate that is almost identical to eBay.
Another stat to throw on this already incredibly impressive pile is the number of entrepreneurs behind Etsy’s growth. With over 875,000 Etsy shops, a significant volume of entrepreneurs are turning to the site to start an online business and are truly the heart and soul of the company. While we have covered how to turn your hobby into a business here before, we not only outline the core elements that make Etsy effective and profitable entrepreneurs, but also point out when it’s time to take the steps to incorporate: Customer service will make or break you Etsy shoppers are on the hunt for a personalized, one-of-a-kind product. Imagine the journey of an Etsy customer who is searching for the ideal Father’s Day gift: this buyer sifts through several pages of handmade and vintage products, finally selects the perfect gift and trusts the quality of the product without having the ability to see the gift in person. Successful Etsy sellers understand their customer’s purpose and journey and provide tailored customer service that appreciates their customer’s time. For example, provide an update on product availability, shipping preferences and even sending a simple thank you note will create a memorable experience and encourage the customer to return. Provide a product no one else does It goes without saying – provide a product that is superior in quality and offered with distinguishing features will differentiate the product or service from competitors. For example, AHeirloom offers handcrafted cutting boards of states and allows buyers to personalize the gift with initials, shapes and specific finishes. The quality of the product combined with exceptional service and a detailed view of the sellers, enables buyers to have a hand in the design process and develop a personal connection to the sellers. Be visual On one hand, this recommendation is fairly simple: high-resolution pictures easily show the quality and details. However, with so many social networks – Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, to name a few – making it easier and easier for members to share photos, visuals can gain a viral life of their own. For example, Etsy is one of the top sites referenced by Pinterest users, so engaging visuals with a pop can draw potential customers in as well as incentivize buyers to share with their followers on their social networks of choice. Re-evaluate your business While Etsy provides the framework and wide buyer community, even the more successful Etsy shops needed to stop and revisit their model. Evaluating the quality of the product and identifying how to develop a more personal relationship with buyers are good regular practices. However, determining when it’s time to build the brand outside of Etsy and understanding when to incorporate a business can keep entrepreneurs sharp and flexible around the market and customer needs. Success will not happen overnight

While Etsy removes the costs of opening up a brick and mortar store and offers a community passionate about homemade and vintage goods, competition is fierce. Many shops have been around for years and these owners are not only power Etsy users, but also have an established and passionate customer base. However, building a unique product, consistently updating inventory and maintaining a warm, transparent dialogue with each and every customer can build buyers’ confidence and ultimately, a returning customer base.