We routinely get asked this question by curious crafters and other small business owners who are just getting started selling their products online. Should they sell on Etsy? Should they create a website to sell their products? Should they do both? The answer to this isn’t as black and white as it seems. There are several factors you should consider – keep reading to learn more.
Get Real With Yourself
Do you already have a great following on social media or an established customer base at a brick and mortar location? If so, taking the dive and investing in a website may be a good choice for you. Having a pool of qualified buyers before you launch is AWESOME and almost guarantees you’ll be able to make sales on your website right away without also having to invest heavily into marketing and advertising upfront.
If you don’t already have a brick and mortar shop or loyal social media following, you may want to hold off on creating an e-commerce website for now. Launching a website without being established elsewhere will require more financial investment (and a significant time investment) for marketing your site with word of mouth efforts and paid ads. For a lot of new small businesses, time and money are often the most scarce of available resources. If this is you, fear not! I’ll tell you how to get a low cost, easy to create informational website that can point customers to the sites that carry your products later in this article.
Why sell on Etsy?
In September 2020, Etsy had roughly 341,500,000 visits to their site. That’s A LOT of traffic! You can easily have a piece of that traffic by listing your products on their site and paying their nominal service fees with each listing and transaction. For many, these fees are significantly less than what it would take to effectively market your own site when you’re bootstrapping those first months. Not to mention, even with a perfectly optimized website and an awesome marketing team, getting hundreds of millions of visitors is going to be next to impossible. Ride the traffic coat tails of Etsy for as long as you can!
Can I Use Both?
If it’s in your budget, you can absolutely do both! Just be prepared to market your website via social media and with paid ads otherwise it will just sit there until you’ve built up enough brand recognition or site traffic to start making regular sales.
Another thing to consider is order fulfillment across 2 platforms – this can get hairy if you have limited quantities of products and/or lack the inventory management tools to juggle this.
Sell on Etsy and Use a Basic Website for my Brand
If you want to sell on Etsy and have a website just for contact information, special orders and to showcase your products (without the worry of marketing or dealing with orders and payments), We highly recommend using SquareSpace if you choose to take the DIY route. With SquareSpace, you can easily customize one of their templates to match your branding. These templates look great on mobile and are perfect for small business DIY-ers who need a little corner of the internet for contact information, email list building and promotion.
We hope that this helped guide you to a decision on where to sell your products if you’re just starting out. Make sure to follow us on Instagram so we can follow you back and support your small business!