Do you need a website if you sell on Etsy?

Etsy is a fantastic marketplace for small business owners to sell their products because the platform does a lot of the legwork for you — especially if you’re new to ecommerce. Platforms like Etsy know that they’ll make money when you make money, so they dedicate a lot of resources into increasing your chances of making a sale. 

Redacted image of an Etsy shop listing.
Image Credit: Redacted Etsy Listing Screenshot

What tactics does Etsy use to help their sellers make more sales?

Etsy builds trust with users by adding badges like Star Seller & Bestseller to show shoppers in what ways they can trust a listing. The number of reviews and the number of times the shop was favorited are also metrics about a shop that Etsy displays prominently on listings in order to gain the user’s trust. 

Etsy creates a sense of urgency for users by displaying how many people have an item added to their cart, as well as if the item is almost sold out. 

Etsy provides the information that they know users are looking for front and center. Information like shipping policies, shipping times, and return policies. This is important because 74% of users want to see shipping costs up front according to Shopify.

Etsy not only tries to help you get more sales, but also tries to increase your average order value by suggesting more items from your shop that users can add to their cart. Then instead of buying one item, the user may buy multiple items.

So… why would you build your own website when Etsy is doing all of the hard work for you?

Three primary reasons why Etsy store owners should invest in their own website as soon as they are able to:

  1. Etsy is constantly changing their policies. You never know when one of them will drastically affect your store
  2. Many people have had their shops suddenly shut down for violations that they didn’t even know they made. 
  3. You can’t build an email list directly from Etsy. This is significant because for every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return is $36 according to Constant Contact
A decorative image of a purple workspace in the style of digital line art.
Image Credit: DALL·E 2

It’s clear that having your own website on a platform like Shopify gives you more control. The good news is that Shopify, like Etsy, knows that they’ll continue making money if you do; therefore, they dedicate a lot of resources to helping you implement the same tactics that Etsy implements for their marketplace.