Getting customers is one of the most important things in a business. And a major way to get them is leveraging the digital marketplace. With virtual stores, people can find your goods and services faster than usual. Etsy is one such online store. In 2021, over 96.3 million active buyers purchased goods through the Etsy ecosystem. So, you could set up your online shop there. However, setting up your own website tailored to you from scratch is another option. And with the right tools, it can be a great customer magnet.
So, which of these options should you go for? How do you navigate the Etsy shop vs. own website dilemma? Is it better to use Etsy or your own website? This piece helps you to clarify things.
Etsy is one of the world’s most successful e-commerce platforms. It is an American company that allows vendors and business owners to set up shop on its marketplace, especially those with handcrafted businesses, home craft businesses, and those pushing homemade online businesses.
Interestingly, customers who frequent the eCommerce platform would be able to patronize you if you set up shop there. Etsy has its use merits, and at the same time, there are some downsides. Below are some reasons you should try out selling on Etsy vs. your own website.
Free and seamless setup
Most people set up shop on Etsy because of its seamlessness. It is easy to build compared to a personal website. As a matter of fact, an Etsy store requires no costs! It is free to create your own store on the platform. The same goes for the design of the digital shop. It is completely free and has been made for you. You can tweak it to your taste, but you have a free template to work with.
To make things even more interesting, you do not have to pay a dime for hosting since you are setting up the online store on the Etsy platform. Hence, the domain and hosting have automatically been taken care of.
An average of 96.3 million active buyers purchase goods on Etsy per year. That makes it about 8 million people patronizing the Etsy platform monthly. You could choose to get a share of this market by pitching your tent in the commerce store. By this, you would be leveraging the available customer base of the Etsy store to push your business to the next level.
The opportunity that the Etsy store offers would resonate with you more if you are an entrepreneur just starting. Rather than making strenuous efforts to get customers, you could leverage the already established Etsy platform. So, you could focus your energy on more pressing needs for the business. Mind you, getting customers for the business is a never-ending venture. The eCommerce store gives you a good springboard to kickstart your entrepreneurial journey.
Many people would come to the Etsy store to buy goods and services because the platform has earned their trust. Customer trust is one of the advantages of using Etsy. Thus, if you set your shop on Etsy, customers would most likely relate with you based on their trust in the platform itself, even though you are just setting out.
Etsy can boast of many new and repeat customers. This is because it has built good customer trust over the years. You can use this to your advantage.
Business tools and community
With Etsy, it is not business as usual. You are not just to set up your store and see to things yourself. Instead, Etsy helps you with growth mechanisms. So, if you are looking for how to grow a handmade business, this is a valuable platform. The eCommerce platform avails you of business growth and development tools. These tools would help you to keep track of your enterprise and see how well you are doing over time.
You have access to handy Etsy seller tools like sales statistics and social media tools. With these kinds of tools, you would not only be able to see where you are doing well as a business. But you will also be aware of things you need to work on, such as your marketing strategy.
Etsy also houses a rich community of business owners and sellers looking to grow together. These folks are keen on helping each other out. You can find marketing partnerships in a community such as that.
Making your own eCommerce website could be a really good thing. In fact, many business owners thrive using their own sites. So, it is not a disadvantage. However, it has its peculiarities as opposed to the use of Etsy. So, are you thinking Etsy shop vs. website? And are you looking for how to grow your craft or homemade business? Here are some reasons you could use a personal eCommerce website for your business.
You are in control
With your own website, you control what people see. Your business is in your hands, and you can see to the brand visibility yourself. The business and website marketing are all in your hands and not that of another hosting platform. The same goes for the kinds of content that go on the site. You have a choice than having a few pictures of the goods and services you are selling on a small e-commerce shop. You can execute a full-fledged website design compliant with your brand identity.
Also, the search engine optimization to push traffic to your website is determined by you. This is opposed to having your entire business at the mercy of an eCommerce store algorithm.
No marketing distractions
This is a good point when considering your own website vs. Etsy. You would not be disturbed by another store advertising their business next to yours. Everything on the site’s pages is yours and carefully chosen by you. It is your show, from the design, colors, and arrangement to the content and the goods/services marketed. Everything tells your business story and why people should buy from you.
An eCommerce store avails you of an extended customer’s trust. And this trust is based on the faith reposed in the platform itself. Not you or your brand per se. However, having your own website changes the ballgame. Your brand is what customers now have faith in.
There is less brand confusion. As a matter of fact, customers would find it easier to remember your personal URL than your Etsy store.
4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
First off I want to explain what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is! SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the method of maximizing your website’s free, organic traffic by improving your ranking and usability in search engines like Google using words. Your content is more likely to show up for your audience without you spending a dime when you add the right keywords together! Etsy also allows for you to rank in Google, however, Etsy gets all the credit for the ranking and once you leave Etsy or you shop gets shut down, you lose all the SEO you had built up for your business.
When you spend time on SEO for your own website, even if you Etsy store disappears one day or you decide the fees are too high and close shop, you are still ranking in Google on your own website. And no one can take that from you!
So, Is It Better To Use Etsy or Your Own Website?
Are you still wondering whether it is better to have a website or Etsy? Here is a simple answer to the Etsy store vs. own website debate. Why have one when you can have both? You can leverage the peculiarities and advantages that both options bring to the table and boost your business. No rule says you cannot have both an Etsy store and your own website, especially if you are an established business. Even if you are just starting, give both a shot—just two ways of making more profit for the business.