Hey there, fellow small shop owner! I know the thought of branching off from Etsy has been in the back of your mind for a while now. The marketplace is SO saturated and is filled with competitors whose product may be similar to yours but may be lacking in quality or is simply hurting your prices due to saturation and proximity! There are so many reasons to get onto your own online storefront and hopefully after reading this, you’ll be ready to make the jump. Trust me, it’s a good decision for any small shop or brand to pursue!
Get Credit for your Work.
I know this has happened to all of us most likely, but have you ever asked someone where they bought something cute and gotten the response, “Oh, I got it on Etsy!” and the conversation typically ends there. No mention of the particular shop that the cute item came from, unless you are an avid small shopper and inquire further. Most people simply refer to items bought off the marketplace as being “a great find on Etsy!” What does this mean for the company that actually makes the item? It means Etsy gets all the credit for their hard work and creativity. The number one benefit in my book, of building your own online shop is that your brand and your business gets recognized. People refer to your company to inquisitive friends and family, and this is huge as you try to grow through word of mouth.
Build your Brand.
Being on the Etsy marketplace definitely has it’s perks, that’s undeniable, but one thing that really sucks is the lack of ability to customize your little piece of the marketplace. You basically get to change your banner and icon, that’s it. Your brand has no ability to truly stand out other than pictures and product quality. Which is important for sure, but being able to truly build and portray your brand identity on Etsy is impossible. Designing your own website gives you the opportunity to build your brand. You select the graphics, the design, the colors, the fonts everything that tells your customers who you are and what you do. It is so important to have this power if you are getting serious about your side hustle or your full time shop!
Your Product Stands Alone.
Being on Etsy is great for driving traffic to your product line. That’s pretty much the main perk in my book, traffic. But while they are driving traffic to your shop, they are also showing potential customers products that are just like yours. Whether they are of similar quality or not, you are bound to be price shopped and you are bound to get asked to “haggle” on your prices. Which is annoying, I’m sure you know. You have worked hard on your creation and you have it priced as such. But let’s say Shop B has a similar product that is $5 less than yours, you are probably going to lose a few customers if their item is shown right next to yours or as a “related item”. If you are on your own website, your customers are going to see your products only and they are going to go there more intentionally and know what to expect a bit better. They most likely are finding you through social media and are probably fans of yours, not just someone who is browsing for the cutest and cheapest option for a baby shower gift. Leave behind the side by side comparison to equal products that are your direct competition or subpar products that bring down the value of your own.
Higher Price Point for Products.
This kind of goes back to point 3. You have a product that you have worked hard on and have valued for what it’s worth for your time, labor and material spent. On Etsy, your market value is driven by just that, the market. You are surrounded by HUNDREDS or THOUSANDS of similar products to yours. This saturation drives down prices as the marketplace is super competitive. A lot of people are severely undervaluing their work on Etsy for numerous reasons… The two most common reasons are the following: creating and selling could just be a hobby or outlet for them, and profits aren’t as important or they have dropped their prices to compete with everyone else (which is most likely you). Get on your own platform and sell your product for what it is worth. Also, the attitude for Etsy is that everything is “handmade” which is great. But handmade takes a lot of time, a lot of time that you may not get paid for at the market prices. Sometimes it is better to outsource certain aspects of your business or product and with your own platform that is much easier to do and your product prices can inflate a bit to reflect that.
More Professional Appearance.
I sold on Etsy for a couple years. It is a great tool and place for someone starting out. It’s easy to set up and get going. But on the other hand, for more seasoned sellers and shops looking to really stand out, having your own site and brand definitely gives off a more professional, stable vibe. It puts you in the category of all your other retail shops that you browse online. Customers see your products in the light that you want and they feel more confident they are buying a quality product and that you will be around to take care of any issues they may have.
I want to reiterate how Etsy is such a great marketplace for those just starting out and finding their niche, testing products, etc. If you do decide to transition to your own storefront, it’s even a good idea to keep your Etsy shop open during the transition as you figure out the right way to drive traffic to your new site. Speaking of that, Etsy is so great for that aspect, it does drive traffic to your products, but is it the traffic and customer base that you really want? Social media is an amazing source for bringing people to your new personal storefront. It will take a lot of work but I think in the end, you’ll see the pros definitely outweigh the cons, and it is so exciting to truly create your brand and have total control of it!
If you are ready to take the plunge and branch off and build your brand, check out our guide on building an online storefront using Shopify.com. Shopify is an amazing platform for ecommerce and I love the ease of design, product management, and customer service that I can provide through it! My guide will walk you through the basic setup of your shop from customizing your site to setting up payment and shipping options.
Have you already made the move to your own website? What challenges and successes have you had and what would you recommend to others considering creating their own online storefront?
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