The 4 Things Etsy Sellers Get Wrong When They Try to Expand

Now, more than ever, Etsy sellers are looking to branch out beyond Etsy to establish shops of their own on platforms like Shopify. With the Etsy landscape ever-changing, and new policies like ODR and the push for free shipping, any successful Etsy seller should have their own website if they are at all serious about their business in the long-term.

If you are an Etsy seller committed to growing your business, you no doubt have spent a lot of time learning the Etsy platform, and optimizing your shop to the Etsy environment. The problem is that what works on Etsy basically goes against all of the best practices of e-commerce out in the “real world.”

I am going to go through the 4 biggest challenges that I have found Etsy sellers struggle with when they try to make the transition off Etsy.

What do I mean by that?

  1. Many Etsy sellers subscribe to the idea that more listings = more chances to get found, and therefore are constantly striving to add more, and more, and more listings to their shop. I don’t think this is a good idea even on Etsy, but it is definitely not the right strategy when it comes to launching a Shopify store. For starters, one of the biggest barriers to purchase when shopping online is being over whelmed with too many choices.

  2. They haven’t established their brand beyond “an Etsy shop,” because up until this point, Etsy has done most of that work for them. There are the obvious things, like your brand name, colors, and aesthetics, but there are other elements to a brand that are less obvious. The way that you layout and organize your shop effects the overall experience a customer has with your shop, and therefore can be considered as part of your brand. Since Etsy does all of the layout and site organization for you, these are some of the bigger challenges I see sellers facing when they try to set up their own shop for the first time.

  3. They don’t create a sense of trust for their customers. Being on Etsy, sellers have the backing of large, well known brand behind every purchase. When Etsy sellers branch out on their own sites, they often don’t realize what a key part this will play in their conversion rate. Beyond obvious things like reviews, things like an about page with photos and details about who is behind the brand and posting clear policies help customers feel confident in their decision to purchase.

  4. They don’t know who their target market is. Ask any Etsy seller what their BIGGEST challenge is in starting their own site, and they will tell you that it’s traffic. But, most of them would be wrong. The issue is actually figuring out how to get the RIGHT traffic to their site. Anyone can get traffic by paying a few bucks in pay-per-click ads, and you can pay any Joe-Schmo “marketing guru” to bring traffic to your site. What they need to be doing is first understanding exactly who that traffic should consist of (answer : their target market). And, maybe Etsy sellers have not put much thought into who their target market is. By first getting into the mindset of your target customer, you can then start to figure out where those customers are (what social platforms, what blogs, what are their interests, what are they searching) and then you can start targeting them with ads, posts, or whatever form of marketing you are using.

Once you know that these elements are going to be a key part of making or breaking your shop’s success beyond Etsy, it makes it a whole lot easier to address them, and set your website up in a way that will avoid these pitfalls.

Have you found other challenges when trying to move from Etsy to your own website? I would love to hear, let me know in the comments below!