A Tale of Two Platforms: The Etsy Seller’s Dilemma
Just the other day, I received an email from Sarah, a fellow member of the Made by Sellers community. She recently started selling her handmade jewelry on Etsy but was contemplating whether she should launch her own website instead.
Her question was simple: “What are the pros and cons of selling on Etsy vs having my own website?” Oh, Sarah, if only the answer was as simple as your question!
Fear not, fellow Etsy sellers! Today, I’ll walk you (and Sarah) through the ins and outs of these two platforms so you can make an informed decision about what’s best for your shop.
The Etsy Advantage: The Marketplace Charm
Instant Exposure and Built-in Audience
The beauty of selling on Etsy lies in its vast user base. With millions of shoppers browsing through the marketplace daily, you’ll be rubbing virtual shoulders with potential customers the moment you open your shop.
This built-in audience is a dream come true for new sellers who are just dipping their toes in the world of e-commerce.
Easy Set-up and Lower Costs
Starting your journey on Etsy is a piece of cake! The platform’s user-friendly interface makes setting up your shop a breeze. Plus, you’ll save on costs, as Etsy provides the necessary tools and infrastructure.
There’s no need to worry about domain names, hosting, or web design. For more information on setting up an Etsy shop, check out this step-by-step guide.
The Website Way: Independence and Flexibility
Control Over Branding and Customer Experience
When you create your own website, the sky’s the limit! You’ll have complete control over your branding, design, and user experience. With your own domain, you can create a memorable brand identity that showcases your unique products.
Customer Retention and Email Marketing
Having your own website means you can collect customer information for email marketing, allowing you to nurture relationships and encourage repeat business. Plus, you won’t have to compete with other Etsy sellers for your customers’ attention!
Etsy vs Website: The Ultimate Showdown
To help you decide which path to take, I’ve compiled a list of pros and cons for both selling on Etsy and having your own website:
|Selling on Etsy
|Having Your Own Website
|Need to build your own audience
|Set-up & Costs
|Easy set-up, lower costs
|Higher costs, need domain & web design
|Limited design options
|Full control over design
|Compete with other Etsy sellers
|No direct competition
|Fees & Revenue
|Pay transaction & listing fees
|Keep all revenue, no marketplace fees
|Policies & Rules
|Follow Etsy’s rules
|Create your own rules
|Payment & Shipping
|Etsy handles payments & shipping
|Manage payments & shipping yourself
|Limited customer data access
|Collect customer data for marketing
|Rely on Etsy’s platform
|Full control over SEO strategy
Why Shopify is a Great Choice for New Online Sellers
If you’re new to online selling, I’d recommend Shopify as a solid option to start your own store. Its user-friendly interface and customizable templates make it easy to set up a professional-looking storefront, even if you lack technical skills.
Additionally, Shopify offers a variety of tools and features to help you manage your store, from inventory management to order fulfillment. Their customer support is also available 24/7, so you can always get help when you need it.
As you might know, I come from a background in WordPress web design, and even though there are many great benefits with WordPress, it’s not as beginner friendly as Shopify and I believe I would do you a disservice to recommend it if you never built a website before.
The Verdict: It’s All About Balance
The decision between selling on Etsy and having your own website doesn’t have to be an either/or situation. Many successful sellers strike a balance by maintaining an Etsy shop while also launching their own website.
This way, they can enjoy the best of both worlds: leveraging Etsy’s exposure and credibility while building their brand and customer base independently.
In the end, it all boils down to your goals, resources, and commitment. If you’re still on the fence, I’d recommend starting with Etsy to test the waters, and once you gain more experience and confidence, consider expanding to your own website.
This way, you can continue reaping the benefits of Etsy’s marketplace while also taking advantage of the flexibility and control that comes with having your own site.
Time to Take Action: Finding Your Perfect E-commerce Balance
Now that we’ve explored the pros and cons of selling on Etsy vs having your own website, it’s time to take action!
Here are a few actionable steps you can take to make the most out of your e-commerce experience:
- Evaluate your goals and resources: Assess your long-term objectives, available resources, and the level of commitment you’re willing to invest in your online shop. This will help you decide whether you should focus on one platform or use a combination of both.
- Research and learn: Study the ins and outs of Etsy and e-commerce platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce. Familiarize yourself with their features, fees, and policies to ensure you’re making the most informed decision.
- Optimize your presence: Whether you choose to sell on Etsy, your own website, or both, always strive to optimize your shop for search engines and improve your customers’ experience. The more you invest in your online presence, the more likely you are to see positive results.
- Connect with other sellers: Join communities like Made by Sellers and engage with fellow Etsy sellers. Share your experiences, ask questions, and learn from others who’ve been in your shoes.
- Track and analyze: Keep an eye on your shop’s performance and analyze data to identify areas for improvement. Adapt your strategies accordingly to keep growing your business.
So, there you have it! Selling on Etsy vs having your own website doesn’t have to be a binary choice. By understanding the benefits and drawbacks of each platform, you can create the perfect e-commerce strategy tailored to your unique business needs.
If you have questions about selling on Etsy or building your own website, get in touch and have a chat – I’m always happy to help if I can! Good luck, and happy selling!