Etsy Review 2022 – An in-depth look.
A few notable marketplaces stand out in customer-to-customer (C2C) e-commerce. Perhaps, you’re familiar with industry giants such as Amazon and eBay, where you can find just about anything. However, another popular C2C platform you’ve likely heard of is Etsy. In this article, we’ll provide comprehensive Etsy reviews for each of its features to determine whether it’s the right fit for your business.
What Is Etsy?
Before we dive into a detailed feature overview, you may be wondering what Etsy is. In simple terms, Etsy is an online C2C marketplace. But unlike eBay or Amazon, Etsy focuses on handmade and vintage items. Individuals and, less commonly, businesses use it to sell jewelry, clothing, home décor, wedding items, arts and collectibles, and toys. The platform describes its mission as helping talented Etsy sellers turn their hobbies into successful businesses.
Now that you know how Etsy differs from other major ecommerce platforms, let’s dive into a detailed features overview.
Ease of Use
Etsy is among the most straightforward solutions for individuals wishing to turn their ideas into cash. There’s no need to build a personal e-commerce website and set up the product catalog, search engine optimization, or navigation. Everything is already taken care of – all you need to do is register and stock your store. This system is highly convenient, straightforward, and doesn’t require you to be particularly tech-savvy.
One of Etsy’s significant advantages compared to other online marketplaces such as eBay is its simple design and clear navigation options. In addition, new users are guided through the entire store setup process to ensure everything is well-optimized. Once the process is completed, you can start selling – as simple as that.
Stability is an essential factor when choosing an e-commerce platform for your business. In the e-commerce industry, your personal website or marketplace is the online equivalent of your brick-and-mortar store. If it’s down, potential buyers won’t be able to access it, just like if a physical store was closed.
Thankfully, Etsy tends to provide a consistently reliable service. The website is rarely reported to be down, and even if issues occur, they never cause significant disruptions. In fact, Etsy may be a more reliable platform than a personal e-commerce website. This is because Etsy’s developers constantly update safety certificates and keep an eye on the server connection.
Payment flexibility is vital for consumers, while business owners are typically more concerned about payment processing fees. With Etsy, your potential buyers have a wide array of payment options − they can pay by credit card, debit card, Etsy Gift Card, Etsy Coupon, bank transfer, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and more. Furthermore, each payment is automatically converted into the customer’s domestic currency, and the platform automatically calculates the shipping costs.
However, Etsy’s payment processing fees aren’t the most beneficial for business owners. Etsy charges a 5% transaction fee for every sold product, plus a 3% + $0.25 payment processing fee. For comparison, popular payment getaways like Stripe and Square charge 2.7% + $0.10 payment processing fees and no transaction fees.
Etsy features powerful built-in analytics tools to identify your shop traffic volume and its primary sources, popular products, and target audience. Overall, Etsy Stats provides detailed insights into your shop visits, orders, conversion rates, and revenue. You can also compare these metrics by period. However, if you’d like to learn more about how your Etsy shop performs, you can integrate Google Web Analytics or another third-party tool into your Etsy account.
Simply posting your products on Etsy won’t bring you a sale – just like creating a personal e-commerce website. Therefore, search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for generating leads and conversions on Etsy. After all, the platform lists over 50 million products, so standing out from the crowd is vital.
Etsy offers basic tools to help your customers find you: keywords and SEO product descriptions. However, there’s no guarantee your product will reach the first pages of search results, even if you’ve figured out how keywords work. Etsy’s SEO simplicity is both a pro and a con. You have less control and less trouble, such as not needing back-end optimization, meta description writing, and alt texts.
Etsy’s design is responsive on any mobile device, and each store is optimized for mobile view automatically. Furthermore, you can access Etsy both via mobile browser and app. That’s a significant advantage of Etsy compared to personal e-commerce websites, where you must take care of the mobile responsiveness yourself.
Integrations and Apps
Etsy can be integrated with hundreds of third-party apps, platforms, and tools. For example, you can connect email marketing extensions like MailChimp and AWeber, payment getaways like Stripe and Square, or CRM tools like Zoho CRM, Salesforce, and LionDesk. Furthermore, you can integrate your Etsy store with your personal Shopify, WooCommerce, or another e-commerce website. Other supported integration examples include but are not limited to Weebly, Microsoft SharePoint, ClickUp, Dropbox, Slack, Instagram, Facebook, and Gmail.
Like most online marketplaces, Etsy has a help center laying out solutions for the most common issues for both shop owners and buyers. If you haven’t found the answer to your question in the help center, you may seek it in the community forum. Alternatively, you can email or call Etsy’s team directly.
Pricing is one of top Etsy’s benefits. Running a personal e-commerce website involves a range of different fees that may easily add up to dozens or hundreds of dollars monthly. Etsy doesn’t have any monthly fees, so there’s no commitment. However, the platform does charge you a fixed $0.20 listing fee, transaction fees, and payment processing fees. Even considering the above-average transaction and payment processing fees, the lack of monthly charges makes Etsy a highly affordable option. Of course, the more you sell, the more you pay, which is fair.
Etsy’s built-in inventory management tool provides insights into your store’s open orders, sold-out products, total products, and other vital metrics. In addition, you can add a unique stock-keeping unit (SKU) number to each listing for even easier tracking. Overall, store inventory is easy to track and manage, be it small or large. Additionally, you can integrate a third-party inventory management app of your choice, such as Zoho or Craftybase. These tools can provide even more data about your inventory status.
Internet commerce is associated with numerous security threats. Thankfully, Etsy implements the latest safety measures to prevent seller and buyer data from being stolen and misused. The platform has advanced encryption protocols to ensure no one can access user payment information. All buyer financial data is stored by the platform, and the seller can’t gain access to it for any reason. The same applies to shop owners’ personal information – no third parties can view or use it, thanks to the SSL protocol.
Additionally, Etsy offers optional account security measures such as two-factor authentication, sign-in notifications, and sign-in history.
Etsy Pros and Cons
Now, let’s summarize Etsy’s benefits and drawbacks to determine whether this e-commerce platform is the right fit for you.
- Ease of use
- Quick store setup
- Detailed guidance
- Advanced data security protocols
- Wide variety of payment methods
- Hundreds of supported integrations
- Built-in analytics, SEO, and inventory management tools
- Server stability
- No monthly fees and low listing fees
- Responsiveness and a handy mobile app
- Multiple support options
- High competition
- Lack of customization freedom
- The need to strictly comply with Etsy’s company policies
- Higher than average transaction and payment processing fees
- SEO tools are very basic
Who Is Etsy Right For?
Etsy is a convenient and straightforward ecommerce platform for people wishing to make some money from their passion. It’s a much better option for beginning entrepreneurs selling vintage or handmade items than a personal website.
First, Etsy handles all the dirty work for you, eliminating the need for hosting, back-end optimization, or advanced SEO. Secondly, the store setup is quick, user-friendly, and affordable. Finally, you’re guided through the entire process and don’t have to pay much unless you make a sale – only a $0.20 listing fee.
Etsy is also a great additional source of income for those who already own an online store, thanks to supported Shopify, Weebly, Wix, WooCommerce, and other e-commerce platform integrations. In addition, you can use Etsy as an additional traffic channel, navigating leads to your landing page.
However, Etsy’s guidelines clearly state that the website is created for selling handcrafted and vintage items. It isn’t suitable for dropshipping or selling mass-produced items – you may be banned for listing something you haven’t made yourself. Furthermore, the store customization options are minimal, and you must strictly comply with the platform’s guidelines. Consider getting a personal online store if you prefer a little more freedom.
Etsy’s popularity among online marketplaces is well-deserved – it’s a great place to buy and sell crafts and vintage items. So naturally, it isn’t a fit for everyone. But if you’re looking for an additional source of income or don’t want the hassle of running a personal website, we highly recommend checking Etsy out.