This month on the blog we are all about Etsy, the online marketplace for “unique goods.” We have a lot of local people who use Etsy as an ecommerce tool, and they’re the best people to talk to about the platform!
We love businesses who love to help others, and that’s exactly what Living Threads Co. is all about. Founded by Amanda Zehner in 2014, Living Threads Co. features handmade textiles from around the world, in an effort to join these communities with the American market. Here’s what she has to say about Etsy as a way to increase online exposure/awareness to products (BEC questions in bold).
What made you decide to use Etsy as a marketplace for your business?
Access to an already established customer base through a marketplace that attracts a similar demographic as Living Threads Co. is targeting. Access to resources and a network of other similar businesses.
Do you sell your products anywhere else online or in real life?
Yes, a majority of our business is done outside of Etsy. We primarily use Etsy as a supplemental platform and another way to get our name out, help new customers and businesses find us and then direct them to our e-commerce website. We also sell in seasonal pop-ups and through wholesale B2B relationships to expand our impact on small scale artisans.
What has contributed to your success on Etsy?
We view success on Etsy as relationship building and brand exposure but do not have a great deal of success in sales. Creation of a shop on Etsy does not mean sales and business. You have to prioritize marketing and driving people to your Etsy shop. That is not our priority as we choose to focus on driving customers to your own commerce site. However, the cost of maintaining inventory on Etsy is so minimal that it is worth it to us to maintain it.
We are a higher price point product then a majority of products on Etsy and as mentioned above, we strategically focus our energy on driving traffic to our own e-commerce site. However, I do think that our higher end quality product on Etsy helps us to stand out.
What’s your advice for anyone considering selling their products on Etsy?
Make sure that you have a strategy for driving traffic to your shop and standing out, high quality product images and a marketing plan with a focused effort to drive people to your site and convert that to sales. Whether that is a blog, Instagram, Pinterest, or all of the above.
Tell us about your most interesting Etsy transaction (i.e. weird customer questions/requests, or a purchasing experience).
Have had great experiences purchasing from other vendors and greatly appreciate the ‘small business’ feel. Also being able to interact directly with the owner, have custom work done and have questions answered very quickly. We have had people reach out about larger orders but have been on completely different pages cost-wise (there seems to be a lack of understanding of the value of hand made artisan products, which is why on our own site we try to tell that story really clearly).
(Just for fun) If you had $100 to spend anywhere on Etsy, what would you buy?
We would buy more custom handmade cotton tags for out handwoven blankets. I love being a part of the design process of each part of our final product and creating a final product that is hand made from fiber to tagging and supporting small businesses, entrepreneurs, artists and creatives from Guatemala to Maine or Colorado. So much fun!
Thanks again to Amanda for answering our Etsy questions, and make sure you check out her website!