Etsy.com began in New York in 2005 as a selling platform for artisanal, handcrafted products.
In 2005, Etsy’s annual gross merchandise sales (GMS) were $170,000. This figure doubled the following year.
Between 2006 and 2008, the annual GMS skyrocketed to nearly 90 million dollars. And the trend continued. The most significant recorded leap (so far) was between 2018 and 2019, from $3931.75 million to $4974.90 million.
Even during a global pandemic, Etsy has managed to keep moving forward. While COVID-19 has affected revenue, growth continues to exceed 30%.
This growth is most active in marketplace revenue and active seller statistics. With lesser growth rates – but still positive growth – in services revenue (22%) and the number of active buyers (16%).
The only area where Etsy has suffered – almost entirely due to the effects of shipping delays in the early months of 2020, is in international markets. This small drop is already starting to recover.
The number of active buyers in 2020 has not yet been released, but the second quarter shows yet another upward trend with the Esty receiving millions of visitors each month.
A Short History of Etsy
This public company and leading online marketplace started from very different roots.
Founded by Rob Kalin, Jared Tarbell, Haim Schoppok, and Chris Maguire, the platform began as a way to shift wooden cases for working computer components. Kalin’s designs couldn’t find the right market – so he and his friends created their own. They offered this selling space to members of the crafts community they encountered online.
Etsy started as an anti-consumerist cause. This ethic has fallen to the sidelines as the business has consistently scaled up to massive proportions. It has upended its original game plan more than once.
As early as 2010, very little investment was necessary for customer acquisition. A marketplace that offered unusual, high quality, personalized goods was unique. In 2020, daily paid clicks total just 1/50th of organic clicks. Organic channels continue to make up the lion’s share of Etsy traffic.
In 2012, Etsy added Pinterest’s PinIt button to all of their listings. It also expanded into international markets and acquired another artisanal marketplace (Trunkt). Buying out other marketplaces has continued over the years, as well as social marketing apps and technology platforms.
It was in 2013 that the biggest game-changer occurred. Instead of selling handmade goods, Etsy added manufactured products to its listings. Within a year, seller behavior had adapted. Small-time country-cottage enterprises gave way to power sellers. Etsy also made it easier for buyers to purchase items on mobile devices.
How Does Etsy Generate Revenue?
Etsy generates its 2020 revenues through:
- Listing fees
- Transaction fees (sales commission)
- Direct checkout (payment processing)
- Listing promotions & Offsite Ads
- Labels (shipping)
Etsy Buyer Demographics 2019 vs. 2020
So, you want to sell on Etsy?
Congratulations! You will be joining (at the last count) 3.14 million sellers on this consistently high-performing marketplace. And Etsy 2020 statistics indicate that sellers are signing up at higher rates this year, while new buyer signups remain stagnant.
Sellers receive orders from just over 50 million active buyers. Seller sales have steadily increased over the years, and even with COVID, online sales have not indicated a notable slump.
Most buyers (61%) make their purchases via mobile devices. To be an active buyer, you have to have bought at least one item in 12 months.
To get them to buy from you, you need to be very visible on Etsy search results.
Typically, Etsy visitors and buyers are females aged between 25 and 40 years. Over half of them have a college degree and a mid-range household income. Nearly 40% live in a rural location.
This female trend has been consistent throughout the marketplace’s lifetime. If you want to sell to males, aim for younger age groups, craftsmen, and male outdoorsy types.
Returning Etsy visitors and buyers make over 80% of purchases. Again, this is a consistent Etsy trend that has been of value since its beginnings. Therefore, retargeting your shop visitors is an essential strategy within the complex field of successful Etsy selling.
About 65% of Etsy buyers live in the US. These are followed by buyers residing in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Western Europe.
However, location – aside from large, bulky, or heavy items – does not always limit you to strict geo-targeting strategies. With Etsy, you can offer international free shipping of your products. Of course, you are advised to up your asking price in order to cover these ‘free’ shipping costs.
While upping the asking price by $300 to attract international buyers might not sell your restored vintage bookcase, free shipping is a crucial selling point for all buyers. And if someone really appreciates your handmade, one-of-a-kind bookcase, perhaps high shipping fees won’t turn them off as they would for standard, easily-sourced furniture.
That’s the beauty of Etsy buyers. They want something different; most Esty visitors are prepared to pay more for unique items.
What Sells on Etsy?
Top-selling Etsy items in 2020 are likely to be found in its craft and supplies, handmade, jewelry, and wedding essentials categories. These are the categories where most of the competition operates, too.
While Etsy’s ethics have changed, those of its customers are more traditional. Zero-waste items are popular. For the audience that has no time for handicrafts (but admires them), convenience culture in the form of subscription boxes is another top Etsy trend for 2020.
In other words, anything goes. As long as:
- It’s handmade and designed by you
- It’s vintage (at least 20 years old)
- It’s a manufactured (or handmade) craft supply
Prohibited Etsy items are tobacco, drugs, human remains (?!), hate items, hazardous materials, and guns.
Better Etsy Statistics: Traffic-Increasing Strategies
All Etsy sellers need to keep a constant eye on their shop and every object for sale by analyzing Etsy statistics. Traffic to your pages is regulated by SEO both inside and outside the Etsy domain.
This means that, just as with a website, multiple marketing channels are necessary to drive traffic that will convert.
There’s a problem. If you are selling handmade goods, you need time to make them. If you offer vintage clothing, you need to source, mend, wash, and iron each item. Every object for sale needs photographing, measuring, and listing. Selling lots of products can be extremely time-consuming.
Does this leave you enough time to research your market? Can you find a few spare weeks to learn every trick and strategy in the world of SEO? Are you aware of how to generate the most effective backlinks? Decorate your storefront? Write content that gets your visitors to place an order?
Etsy is not a get-rich-quick scheme…unless you are a fully-fledged marketing professional.
The next best thing is to hire the right marketing service to promote your Etsy items.
EtsyGeeks: Etsy Ranking Services
When you take the right steps, your product rises in the Etsy ranking list. Instead of being hidden on page 8, your stunning photograph jumps out at people looking for your product right at the top of the page. Just like with Google, top search results get the most targeted traffic.
At EtsyGeeks, we know all about Etsy’s ever-changing search algorithm. We also know about Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and Quora. We’ve delved deep into backlinks and targeted traffic. We understand how to retarget your earlier visitors and tempt them back to your store.
The EtsyGeeks team integrates multiple marketing channels to increase your store’s SEO both on and off Etsy. Social media traffic, referral traffic, and organic traffic – all of these can significantly improve your Etsy ranking. You’ll see and experience the results of our Etsy ranking expertise within a fortnight.
We don’t use underhanded ways to drive traffic to your Etsy shop, either. EtsyGeeks refuses to install automated activities that lead to Etsy bans. With us, you can rely on long-term, organic traffic that locates your product by choice.
We’re so confident of our services, we offer a full refund if your item isn’t ranked in the Etsy top 10.
Do you want to become a Top Etsy Seller in 2020?
Not enough time or not enough know-how to get your items to the top of the Etsy listings?ORDER NOW