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Etsy comes to sellers’ promotional rescue


Online marketplace Etsy is announcing two new ways for sellers to promote their brands, both on and off Etsy.

Pattern by Etsy is a new service that lets sellers create their own custom websites on their own domains, powered by their Etsy shops and integrated with the platform’s tools. Research from the company shows that more than a third of its sellers are interested in opening a commerce site of their own, but many have found the process to set up and maintain a custom site too difficult.

Pattern is fully integrated with a seller’s Etsy shop and seamlessly imports listings and content, syncs orders and inventory between sites, provides analytics integrated with Etsy shop stats, and uses the same tools for checkout and shipping.

Etsy says average setup time will be less than five minutes. Sellers can select from one of five predesigned themes and customize with their own logos and brand colors. Sellers with the Direct Checkout service enabled can try Pattern for free with a 30-day trial, after which the monthly cost is $15.

“Pattern is an important milestone in our 2016 roadmap.,” said Chad Dickerson, chairman and CEO of Etsy “Not only is it the newest seller service in our portfolio, but it is also the first with a month-to-month payment model and the first service enabling us to support our sellers beyond the core Etsy marketplace. We know that more than half of our sellers already sell through other channels (even though our research shows Etsy remains their largest source of income), and Pattern aligns with our long-term goal of supporting our sellers wherever they choose to pursue commerce.

In addition to Pattern, the company is also trying to deliver a more modern look and feel to each shop’s landing page, called Shop Home. Shop Home, which has been available for three weeks, is designed to make Etsy storefronts more customizable, modern and mobile-friendly.

New design features include a prominent cover photo for sellers to highlight their brands, the ability to rearrange listings in whatever order they want, and a new, and a simplified shop policies option with a streamlined template.

Etsy is facing stiff competition from the similar Handmade at Amazon marketplace for handcrafted goods, and reported a net loss for the fourth quarter of 2015. However, the company has forecast revenue and gross margin growth (at least on an adjusted basis) in the next three years, and releasing a new paid service and more user-friendly storefront are certainly two steps in that direction.

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