Best Etsy Alternatives | 3 Easy-To-Use Tools To Diversify Beyond Etsy

Last updated on July 12, 2017

best etsy alternativesIf you have are already have an Etsy store, you might be thinking of setting up your own ecommerce store outside of Etsy.

Why should you consider this?  What are some Etsy alternatives?  And what are some strategies to funnel traffic from your Etsy store to your own ecommerce store?

This article will give you a bit more direction and strategy about how to approach your business to have more control over your brand.

There are no absolute right or wrong answers, but there are a number of issues you should think about to see there are any alternatives to Etsy.

Before we get into discussing some tactics on how to leverage Etsy to grow your own online store, and what are some good Etsy alternatives, let’s get into the pros and cons of using Etsy to get things started!

 

Pros & Cons of using Etsy

Why having your own Online Store Makes Sense

Pros of Using Etsy

1) Easy to Setup Your Store Front

Etsy is a fantastic platform to start and grow your online business. It allows you to quickly get a store front up and running and gives you the tools to sell your products.

You don’t have to worry about getting your own hosting services, have your website designed and built, setting up payment processors, or any other technical mumble jumbo that’s reserved only for super computer users!

2) Exposure to Shoppers

Furthermore, Etsy is frequently visited by a lot of visitors who can potentially be your customer – so you don’t have to worry as much about sourcing your own prospective customers! A lot of these visitors are ready to buy. Pretty darn awesome platform if you are just starting out, don’t you think?

Cons of Using Etsy

1) Etsy Fees

So what are some drawbacks or limitations of using Etsy? Most users would agree that fees are one of the top concerns.

Etsy Alternatives - Fees

Individual fees are not high, but will start to add up when you have more products and sell more.

 

Even though you can set up a storefront for free, Etsy charges you a 3.5% fee for each sale you make. There is also a $0.20 listing fee (for each product you list) which has to be renewed / paid again every 4 months.  Although individually these fees aren’t high, they really start to add up once you start to add more products and sell more.

So in a way, it’s not really “free” to set up your shop with Etsy – the saying of “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” holds true here.  But it’s not unreasonable given that they are providing you a great service and platform.

2) Increasing Competition / Branding Challenges

While having a store on Etsy gives you exposure to shoppers, as more merchants create stores on Etsy, it becomes more challenging for you to stand out from other merchants.

Why? Each Etsy store looks almost the same, making it difficult for you to stand out from your competitorsyou know exactly what I’m talking about!

Etsy Alternatives - Store Layout

Side by side comparison of 2 different stores – Looks fairly similar!

 

Even if a shopper sees your Etsy store, it’s challenging to really make them remember you (especially if there are others selling similar products as yours).

With your own online store (separate from Etsy), you can control your design, flow, layout and ultimately, your own branding. Design is so important when it comes to marketing your business, and a good design can help you bring back shoppers.

Let’s face it, most shoppers don’t buy on impulse, and takes a few visits before they open their wallets. So what can you do?

Here are some free, professional looking ecommerce storefront templates that you can use to build your online store.

3) Etsy Can Shut Down Your Store Without Notice

One of the challenges with using Etsy is that if they deem that you have violated their Terms of Use, they have the ability to terminate your store and account without any notifications to you.

If you inquire as why they shut down your store, their reasons could also be vague, as it is really up to you to read and understand their terms. This is one of the risks of depending on a marketplace to operate your business. The same risk exists if you are operating an Amazon store.

Etsy alternatives - account termination

(See the full story at Ladypreneurleague.com)

We’re pretty sure that Etsy conducts proper due diligence in assessing if a store owner has complied with their Terms of Use, and won’t be randomly shutting down stores just because they can. The point we’re trying to say, is that if you are relying solely on Etsy for your business, perhaps it’s time to think about what would happen to your business if Etsy shuts down your store, or if Etsy no longer existed.

 

Your Own Online Store Strategy (Together with Etsy)

We’re not saying that you should completely ignore Etsy, but one alternative, which we’ve seen a lot of successful Etsy store owners do, is to build a separate online store to sell your products.

So basically, your customers can purchase your products either through your Etsy store or through your own separate, online store that you create.

Here are some strategies for doing this:

1) Funnel Traffic from Etsy to Your Own Online Store

One easy strategy to take advantage of Etsy visitors is to make sure you let the shoppers who visit your Etsy store know that you have a separate store that they can visit.

You can let them know through a variety of ways:

  • Insert your online store link under the “Related Links” section
  • Mention your online store in your “About” page
  • Mention your online store in the “Announcement” section

Etsy Alternatives Website Links 2

Etsy Alternatives Website Links 1

Etsy Alternatives Website Links 3

“Designed by Lei” Etsy store

(This Etsy store “Designed by Lei” (the image directly above) was featured in Entrepreneur.com.  She built her ecommerce website outside of Etsy using Shopify, and have grown her business to over $100,000 in sales while attending university. More about her story below.)

This way, you increase the chances of them going from shopping on Etsy to shopping on your online store where you can “wow” them with your unique website design, versus seeing you as just another cookie cutter store on Etsy.

2) Motivate Traffic to Visit Your Independent Online Store

In addition to telling shoppers that you have your own non-Etsy online store, one very effective way to “encourage” them to visit your store is to let them know that you have a broader product selection that is only available in your online store (the products are not listed on Etsy).

This is a solid strategy to gain their curiosity, lead them to your own store, and an opportunity to build your brand to stand apart from your competitors.

3) Email Your Etsy Customers to Visit Your eCommerce Store

One thing you can do is sign up your Etsy customers to your newsletter series automatically.

Good businesses have newsletters where they send regular emails to customers (or people who have expressed interests) to highlight complementary products, new products, seasonal discounts, or just cool tips and tricks as part of their overall marketing and branding exercises. Keeping in touch with people is one of the most effective ways of generating new or repeat business.

Aweber is a very powerful newsletter tool where you can write newsletters and set a specific date and time when you want the newsletter to be automatically sent out to your list of subscribers. So they make it very easy for you to keep in touch with your subscribers.

Etsy alternative - Aweber integration

Aweber can be easily integrated with your Etsy store as well (here’s the tutorial).  So whenever you generate a sale through Etsy, your customers (if they agree) can be added to your pool of newsletter subscribers.  Once they are added, you can now send an automated email to them, telling them to visit your standalone ecommerce store that is outside of Etsy.

This is a very effective way of introducing existing customers to your ecommerce store, to further build your brand and reduce your economic dependence on Etsy.

4) Build Your Relationship with Shoppers

So now that they’re visiting your own online store, what can you do?

Aside from impressing them with your website design, and introducing them to more products that you don’t have on Etsy (which will also save you some listing fees, by the way), it’s time to start building your relationship with them.

Let’s face it, not all shoppers are impulsive, and takes a bit of courtship / relationship building to get them to trust you, and ultimately, buy from you.

There are 2 recommended ways to do this:

  1. Create a blog and write about interesting topics around your industry (which presumably is what they’re interested in). Write about home decoration tips, fashion advice, wedding checklists, or whatever is relevant to your industry. Create value, generate interest and build trust with these visitors. When they’re ready to buy, you will be in the front of their minds.
  2. Create a newsletter series where they can sign up and receive emails from you. You can send them updates on your blog (so they know when to return to read your content), and after building that trust, you can start to promote your products to them.
Etsy alternatives - Email Capture

Even Etsy is asking for your email address – to build a better relationship & trust with you!

As they say, once someone trusts you, likes you, they’ll more likely buy from you. Treat this as an investment of your time, to turn visitors into customers.

It’s so important to build a relationship with your visitors / customers. They will most likely visit your website directly next time and hopefully, become repeat customers. Not to mention, if you build a good relationship with them, they might even share your business with their social circles!

 

How Do You Build Your Non-Etsy Online Store?

So now that you know a few methods of how to funnel Etsy shoppers to your own website, and some useful tactics on how to build your relationship and brand with these potential customers, how do you build your own Etsy alternative store?

What if you don’t know how to code, or you just don’t have time to worry about all the technical aspects of creating your ecommerce store?

There are a number of potential options for you.  All of these are drag and drop online store builders, making it very easy for you to launch your own store outside of Etsy – You don’t need any coding knowledge at all.

Furthermore, these ecommerce store builders have product import functions, so you can import products from your Etsy store directly into your new online store!

Let’s get into our 4 recommendations.

 

ALTERNATIVE #1 – WIX

Etsy Alternative - WixSee Wix.comWix is one of the best, pure drag and drop website builder in the website building market today.  They enable you to create your own customized looking website without knowing how to code at all.

The reason why we recommend Wix is because they have an App that will enable you to fully synchronize / integrate your Etsy store into your website.

The major benefit here is that if you add / remove products from your Etsy store, these updates will automatically be reflected on your website – saving you a ton of work.  

You don’t have to update Etsy, then log into your website to update the products on your website.  You can synchronize your products with a click.

Etsy alternatives - wix app

While the other website builders we discuss below also allow you to quickly import your Etsy products into their website builder, they don’t continuous synchronize with your Etsy account, so once you make updates to your Etsy store, you’ll have to go through the importing process again.

With Wix, the synchronization is continuous, making it easy and convenient for you.

Here is more discussion & tips on what ecommerce tools are offered to you by Wix.

 

ALTERNATIVE #2 – SQUARESPACE

Etsy Alternatives - Squarespace

See SquarespaceSquarespace is one of the better drag & drop website builders available in the market today.

Their design templates are very stylish, polished and are all responsive (so your online store will look great across all mobile devices).

In addition to being able to create a very beautiful storefront for you, Squarespace also allows you to have full control over product variants, upload unlimited products, manage your inventory, coupon generation, set up and control sales taxes, configure shipping options and costs, manage your customer email list, and other helpful tools for you to build a comprehensive online store.

Squarespace makes it easy for you to import your existing Etsy products into a Squarespace website. Here are some step-by-step instructions (and a video tutorial) on how you can quickly and seamlessly do this.

Etsy Alternatives - Squarespace Import

 

ALTERNATIVE #3 – WEEBLY

Etsy Alternatives - Weebly

See Weebly.comWeebly is probably the most user friendly website builder you will find in the market today.

Their user interface is very simple, but don’t let that fool you as you can build a very functional online store using their drag and drop builder.

You can insert multiple products with multiple variations of the same product (such as color, size, etc), have a fully integrated shopping cart in which your shoppers never leave your website to ensure a fluid, consistent shopping experience, as well as simple integration with popular and secure payment processors such as Stripe, Authorize.net, and PayPal.

Weebly makes it very easy for you to import your products from Etsy into your Weebly store. You just have to export your product listing from Etsy into a CSV file (here are instructions on how to do it), and import the file into the Weebly “Import Products” function, found in the “Store” tab.

Etsy Alternatives - Weebly Import

See our detailed discussion on what ecommerce tools are offered by Weebly.

 

ALTERNATIVE #4 – SHOPIFY

best Etsy Alternatives - ShopifySee Shopify.comShopify is a fast growing, pure ecommerce online store builder.

Not only do they have attractive-looking templates, they also have an App store which you can add a lot more advanced tools to your store as your business grows.

Adding your Etsy products to Shopify is not as quick and easy as with Squarespace and Weebly, as they have dedicated import functions.

Their tools include functions to help you automate sales & marketing, bookkeeping, fulfillment, label printing, etc. You might not need these tools yet, but as your business grows, you can lean on these Apps when you need to.

In fact, one of the Etsy stores that we highlighted above, the owner built her ecommerce website using Shopify. She was actually featured in an article on Entrepreneur.com.  This just goes to show you how you can combine the power of Etsy and your own ecommerce website to grow your business.

Shopify is a much more advanced online store builder than Squarespace and Weebly, and so if you have a desire to build a very advanced, complex store, Shopify is a good candidate to consider.

With Shopify, you have to export your Etsy products in a CSV file (sort of like Excel), then import it into Shopify. It’s not rocket science either, and here are some instructions from Shopify on how to do this.

See our indepth discussion of how Shopify can help you build a successful ecommerce store.

 

CONCLUSION – ETSY ALTERNATIVES

There’s nothing wrong with operating your business entirely on Etsy, as Etsy is a good platform that makes it easy for you to set up shop while exposing your Etsy store to a lot of potential customers.

But we do see a lot of users finding alternatives to Etsy, and start to build their own online stores away from Etsy – and for good reasons.

By creating your own online store, you have much more control over the design and layout of your store, which helps you build a stronger brand. With Etsy, your creative input to your Etsy store is quite limited – you’ll most likely end up looking the same as your competitors.

There are also a few strategies on how you can funnel your Etsy traffic to your own online store, and how you can engage them in a more meaningful way to build your brand. We mentioned a few of these strategies above.

By building a deeper relationship, they are more likely to buy from you, and also tell their social circles about you. On Etsy, it’s really challenging for you to stand out from your competitors (you look like just another merchant selling “stuff”).

There are really quick ways to create your own online store outside of Etsy – even if you don’t know how to code.

Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly make it really easy for you to import your Etsy products directly into their platform. All of them are drag and drop website builders, so you don’t need to know how to code in order to set up your stores.  Specifically, Wix integrates / synchronizes your Etsy products with your website, so it is by far the most interesting option here.

Shopify is an advanced choice to build your online store. Although they don’t have a direct Etsy product import function, it’s not too challenging to get your Etsy products over into Shopify. They are a very powerful, focused online store builder.

At the end of the day, we’re not suggesting that you abandon your Etsy store, as there are very strong merits to keeping your store on Etsy. But branching out to build your own non-Etsy store, and grow it alongside with your Etsy store can have a very strong complementary effect to your business.

Studying some ecommerce success stories and examples can also give you some inspiration on how to imitate other online store’s success.

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Jeremy Wong

About Jeremy Wong

Maybe just like you, at first we didn't have a darn clue about how to build a website, nevermind write half a line of code if our life depended on it! We wanted to build a website to start a side business, and felt overwhelmed, confused & scared about how to actually do it, which builder to use, and making wrong decisions. After years of trials & errors using different website builders, we're here to share our experiences with you.

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Jeremy Wong

About Jeremy Wong

Maybe just like you, at first we didn't have a darn clue about how to build a website, nevermind write half a line of code if our life depended on it! We wanted to build a website to start a side business, and felt overwhelmed, confused & scared about how to actually do it, which builder to use, and making wrong decisions. After years of trials & errors using different website builders, we're here to share our experiences with you.

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70 Responses to Best Etsy Alternatives | 3 Easy-To-Use Tools To Diversify Beyond Etsy

  1. #

    Awesome article!
    I agree completely, the future of ecommerce is not an online store, nor is it a single channel. It’s all about selling in multiple places. I had no idea that Wix could easily integrate with Etsy!

    • Tom Watts
      #

      Hi Phil,

      Great to hear such positive feedback – thanks!

      You’re absolutely right, cross-platform selling is becoming ever more important in our connected world, so any advantage you can gain – such as a simple Etsy integration – is definitely worth trying out.

      – Tom

  2. #

    I just bought a wix site so i could import my etsy shop into it (if only the app worked….) but now I see that the checkout goes thru Etsy. I don’t want my payments going thru Etsy. Is there any ecommerce site that enables me to sync shops without the payments being synced? I really don’t want to add and delete items manually from two sites….

    • Tom Watts
      #

      Hi Miriam,

      As far as I know, Etsy integrations tend to work the same across most platforms – your Etsy store remains separate, but your products are displayed on your other website too, increasing the number of people your products are being exposed to.

      I don’t actually think it’s possible to achieve what you are hoping too, because if you promoted your Etsy products on your other website and expected people to pay there too, then this would prevent Etsy from claiming the commission it is owed on the sale you have made by promoting your product on the platform.

      As you pointed out, you’d need to upload your products to your alternate website if you want to sell them directly through it. It might be worth having a read of our guide to the best Etsy alternatives too.

      Hope that makes sense,
      – Tom

  3. #

    Hi, thanks for your amazing info. Just wondered if you could help me. I’m thinking of setting up a wix ecommerse website. Could you tell me the limit on how many products you can sell with this package please. I only have 30 at the moment but will be increasing to 100 or possibly more.

    Will this package do this foe me.

    Kind regards.

    Jude x

    • Tom Watts
      #

      Hello Jude,

      Wix eCommerce is a great tool to use if you are new to ecommerce or aren’t planning to sell too many items.

      However, if you’re heading towards the 100 items benchmark then I would suggest you consider Shopify or BigCommerce too as these specialized ecommerce platforms make it much easier to upload, stock and manage a much greater number of items.

      Wix eCommerce is very streamlined and is better suited to a maximum of 40-50 items at best.

      That’s just my opinion though! It is definitely worth trying the free trial to see how you get on first.

      Hope that helps,
      Tom

  4. #

    Hi Jeremy,
    Thank you so much for this helpful article! I currently have an Etsy shop for my handmade jewelry, but it’s not great for branding (as you mentioned) and I also need to add a section for my custom jewelry design services which I can’t do there. I’m leaning toward Wix for my site because it automatically updates when something sells on Etsy, but I’m wondering if this means that it is still really just an Etsy shop in another skin almost like an Etsy Pattern site). If, for some reason, my Etsy shop shuts down would I loose my shop listings on Wix as well because they are integrated or is it its own individual shop that just pulls the listings from Etsy? Let me know what you think on this. Thanks so much for all the help!!!

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Mai,

      Thanks for your comment. You raise a fair point, for sure. The way the Wix Etsy App works is that you integrate your Etsy store into your Wix website. So whatever happens to your Etsy store drives the details that show up in your Wix store.

      One thing to consider is that your entire Wix store doesn’t have to be all Etsy items. The whole idea is to connect your Etsy store to an “external” store and have this external store list more products or provide even more value to your shoppers.

      You can create guides in a form of blog posts to share more with your shoppers. You can list products that are not available in your Etsy store. You can show more of your personality / brand via your website. You can even create newsletter where your shoppers can subscribe to where they can get more educational materials, discussions, even promotions – you can consider using Wix Shoutout for this.

      So while using an external store such as Wix doesn’t solve all the challenges you face with Etsy, it does open up more options! And having more options are always good when you are operating a business!

      Jeremy

  5. #

    Hey Jeremy. This is a great article. I appreciate your work on this.

    I went through an Etsy review back in the summer and have a fear looming of losing my shop and all my hard work even though I passed the review. I was told at any time they could shut me down without a review.

    I have worked very hard to establish my shop so I would like to find the best web builder to transfer using the CSV files. Do you know which of the web builders allows me to transfer all the listing data without being integrated and depending on my Etsy shop to still be there? Thanks!

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hey Sara,

      All of the website builders suggested above allow you to import your Etsy products into their platforms. The only exception if Wix where it actually integrates Etsy into its platform, so your products are synchronized. The benefit of this is that if you make changes to your Etsy store, I believe the changes will be automatically synchronized with your website built by Wix.

      But if you don’t want to such synchronization, then Squarespace, Shopify and Weebly seems to be able to provide that. You just have to export your Etsy store items into a CSV file and import it into these website builders.

      Jeremy

  6. #

    Great article, thanks.
    Cheers!

  7. #

    Thanks for compiling this info. I know you can copy products from an Etsy shop to a Shopify site using a CSV file. Do you know how I can copy Etsy product reviews from my Etsy shop to my Shoify site? thanks –

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hey Cammy,

      I’m not entirely sure, actually. Broadly speaking, I’m not sure if you can export review comments from one platform to another. I guess I just haven’t seen that done before but I’m sure there are ways around it if you have control over the platform’s database. In this case, I wouldn’t think you’ll have access to Etsy’s database. But I could be wrong so it’s worthwhile to do more research.

      Jeremy

  8. #

    Thanks for sharing this. There are a lot of good reasons to branch out and start one’s own site. It’s hard to get the exposure that one can get on Etsy, Amazon or one of the “big” platforms, but it’s a channel everyone should have.

  9. #

    I have built a word press/woocommerce website to hopefull replace my Etsy shop. However I LOVE Etsy order/shipping system. YOu “see” what was ordered rather than just the title.and I can click and ship right from my etsy order page. Do you know of a system I can incorportate to my WordPress/woocommerce site that would do that???

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Mandy,

      Generally, ecommerce system will only display what was ordered (the name and identification (such as SKU) of the product in the back-end control panel. We never paid attention to whether the notification / order summary included the image or not in the back-end.

      So to answer your question, I’m not entirely sure which specific WordPress / WooCommerce plugin can enable this feature.

      Jeremy

  10. #

    Hey Jeremy
    Super helpful article -thank you for sharing your wisdom with us.
    I’ve used Wix to build simple websites for my different business hats, but I’m wondering how I could create a website like etsy, but with a nonprofit focus, etc. I’m a Luddite when it comes to code.

    Any tips?

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Karen,

      Thanks for your feedback. Glad you’re enjoying our discussions here!

      As for your question, I don’t think any of the drag and drop website builders discussed here can help you create a website like Etsy.

      It sounds like what you’re trying to do is build a marketplace. I haven’t used any marketplace builders before, but if you Google for one you’ll probably find a few options. I believe those options are probably (hopefully) pretty user-friendly with the same ideas as drag and drop website builders – enabling people to build websites without having to code!

      Jeremy

  11. #

    Hey Jeremy. Shameless plug, but I made this Chrome extension (http://export-wix-products.com) to help people export the products from WiX to a CSV. Just wanted to spread the word here since there are lots of conversations about importing/exporting products in the thread. Cheers, Chad.

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Interesting. Thanks for sharing!

      Jeremy

  12. #

    Is there anyway to import your shopify products to a etsy store?

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Not that I know of. Have you tried searching on Etsy’s discussions to see if there is a way?

      Jeremy

  13. #

    Great article! Thank you….I needed this info and you provided it 🙂

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Thank you for reading, Wendy! Glad we can be helpful here.

      Jeremy

  14. #

    Which site would be better for someone who is staying from scratch? I was considering Etsy but their recent changes don’t work for me, and when I was looking at store envy and found your article. (which was very helpful) Do you have any advice?

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Mina,

      I’d suggest you take a look at our comparison chart for ecommerce builders. Also take our quiz to see which one might be better suited for you.

      Jeremy

  15. #

    Great article,

    I am actually going with a reverse method here. I just launched a new website for handmade, crafted jewelry and knew going in driving traffic to my site would be challenging.

    Would you recommend opening an Etsy store too along with my online store to help customers find my product?

    My short term goal is to be able to apply to sell through Etsy Wholesale but believe you have to be selling on Etsy to even venture down that path.

    I opened my shop using Shopify and I loved working with the theme and incorporating my products. I found it fairly easy.

    wondering if it would benefit me to have both platforms to get my name and product in potential customer’s view?

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Amy,

      I think over time, it’s a great idea to diversify your sales channels. There is a massive amount of potential customers looking for products to purchase on Etsy, so you can’t go wrong “tapping” into that traffic.

      Having said that, you might want to consider focusing your time and efforts “mastering” one source of traffic first. So if you want to get traffic through search engines (SEO), focus on that before committing to Etsy.

      Splitting your attention and focus on various sources of traffic (Etsy, Search Engines, Facebook, Pinterest, etc) might be quite overwhelming. Just something to keep in mind!

      Jeremy

      PS: Glad to hear that you’re having fun using Shopify to build your online store!

  16. #

    Really helpful article. Thanks for this. I was a etsy seller but one day I find my shops suspended without even notifying me. I mailed them repeatedly and finally an automated reply said my shop no longer met their criteria. Wow, they were quite ok since last one and half years. That is it, no further communication, no refunds of my listing fees, anything. I now sell with itshandicraft.com and I am very happy. My store is going good and I am planning my second shop with them. Listings of first two months are free. No harm in trying.

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Angela,

      Thanks for sharing your experiences with all of us. Did Etsy elaborate further on what specifically didn’t meet their criteria?

      That’s a good reason to build a separate online store to diversify your sales channel, so you can continue building your business even if a marketplace like Etsy terminates your account.

      Hope everything works out for you!

      Jeremy

  17. #

    Hi Jeremy,
    I have been making my product for about 10 years and have been pretty successful locally at craft shows. It is a lot of hard work and I wanted to transition at least partly to a website. Several years ago, I created a nice looking website using CityMax.com but I stopped updating it until recently. I attempted a GoDaddy store and a Shopify store, but was not able to do as much with the design as I could with CityMax. Now that my store is open and I am happy with it, I am stumped about what to do to get exposure. I really don’t want to get into the websites now with links to all different content or regular blogs because my product is what I want to focus on. Can you give me any help for a web store exposure?

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hey Susan,

      Great job in getting your website up and running!

      To be honest, I don’t think there is an easy way to gain exposure for your website, while not investing as much time and energy into it.

      While I completely understand the desire to focus on products, but it needs to be balanced with building / promoting your brand.

      There are many different strategies to get people to visit your website, and they don’t necessarily have to involve heavy amounts of blogging or guest posting to get others to link to your site.

      I’ve seen some wildly successful businesses driving a lot of website visitors and building authority to their brands by using social networks, especially Pinterest. It does take energy but treat it like an investment into your business.

      At the very least, with Pinterest (for example) you don’t have to write blog posts or guest post on other people’s blogs to link back to your website. You probably already have images of your products that you can share on Pinterest.

      I’m sure there are advanced Pinterest strategies, so if others have ideas to share, please do comment!

      Hope this helps!

      Jeremy

  18. #

    Hi Jeremy,

    Great article! I was wondering if you ever review the smaller scale hosts like indiemade, merchantmoms, pappashop, and or ShoppePro? Would love to see some reviews on these. 🙂

    Thanks

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hey Amber,

      Thanks for your comment! We’re not super familiar with those marketplaces, as obviously Etsy is the largest one around at the moment anyway. But the same idea would apply for those marketplaces. As a business owner, you should always consider other ways of reaching a broader audience, and become less reliant on one source of traffic / customers. So building your own, separate website to promote your business is always a good practice!

      Jeremy

  19. #

    Thanks for this wonderful article. Great information as I’m just setting up my creative business and wondering how to best sell my products. I have an existing WordPress blog and I was hoping I could sell my products on this existing website. Can I import wix or shopify into my existing blog? Thanks!

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Melissa,

      Do you mean selling products on your existing WordPress blog? If so, yes you can.

      Shopify has a “Buy Button” features that can allow you to add an ecommerce component to your blog, allowing you to take advantage of some of Shopify’s focused ecommerce tools.

      Jeremy

  20. #

    Excellent article with easy to understand information. I just started a shopify website (already established on etsy) and wanted to read more about shopify and other e-commerce solutions to see if I’m on the right track. This helps confirm that I am. Thank you!

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Thanks for sharing, April. Sounds like you’re moving in the right direction in terms of growing your business!

      Jeremy

  21. #

    After reading this article, I built my own website, SilhouettesbyElle.com via ‪Shopify‬ platform in Feb. With my own online store (separate from ‪‎Etsy‬), I wanted control my logo, design, flow, layout and ultimately, my own ‪‎branding‬. I just received my first custom order in March. Thank you so much! Elle

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Elle,

      Congrats and thanks for sharing!

      Jeremy

  22. #

    Great information. We want a site that will fully integrate with our Etsy shop as well as let us sell other items through affiliate programs with Commission Junction. Does that make a difference? Any suggestions as to our best option?

    Thank you!

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Teresa,

      You can always get the affiliate links from Commission Junction and insert them into your website. So it doesn’t really which website builder you end up using, as they all allow you to insert hyperlinks.

      Make sure you test out a few different website builders to see which you prefer to work with. They all have different user interface and tools, so you might prefer one over the other. The only way to find out is to invest some time to test them out!

      Jeremy

  23. #

    Thank you for this very in depth article Jeremy! My Vintage Etsy shop posiesforluluvintage is going well, but too slow for my liking! I think I will try Shopify, and try to figure out the CSV file thingy!
    Great advise!

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Raina,

      Expanding and building your own online store can help grow your business (if it is marketed / promoted well). So it’s definitely worth a try!

      Sounds like you’re on the right track. Let me know how things go!

      Jeremy

  24. #

    Hi Jeremy, I sell made to order matching outfits at etsy with a very few sales as of now. I want to have my own website but I really don’t know which one to choose. I started this small at home business just this year. I don’t know which one is worth paying for. I hope you can help me decide which one is better for a starter like me. Thanks so much

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Angela,

      If you want to start with something simple, I’d suggest you take a look at Wix, Squarespace or Weebly.

      Shopify is a much larger, more sophisticated platform that gives you a lot of tools but is a bit more pricey to start off with.

      You can sign up to the three platforms I suggested for free and start testing them out. Invest a few hours on each one of them and see which one you feel most comfortable with.

      You can also check out our discussions on their ecommerce tools here – Wix / Squarespace / Weebly.

      Good luck!

      Jeremy

  25. #

    Thank You for the article Jeremy…it was very informative. My question is this: Once I have download all of my Etsy items to my Shopify website…and they now mirror each other…how do I eliminate the possibility of “double-selling”? Is there as an App that allows me to create an item listing on Shopify and push it to Etsy. And, does that App remove the item from one platform when it sells on the other?

    Thanks a bunch,

    Steve

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Steve,

      Thanks for your feedback.

      There isn’t a native feature in Shopify that helps you integrate the products across Shopify and Etsy, but they do have an app in their App Store that helps you do that. It’s called Sellbrite (search for it in the search bar). They’re not a free service though, but you can test them out for 14 days for free.

      Hope this points you in the right direction!

      Jeremy

  26. #

    Just one thing to note. In this article, (which I enjoyed and appreciate) you say that when on Etsy, sellers can mention their online store in the announcement section.

    I am in the process of researching the possibility of an etsy store and one thing Etsy prohibits is what they call “Fee Avoidance”.

    Etsy lists “Posting an announcement in your shop that encourages shoppers to purchase the same items listed in your Etsy shop from another online selling venue” as an example of fee avoidance.

    There is also mention of contacting other members in conversations and directing them to buy an item listed on Etsy outside of the Etsy marketplace, (as being a type of fee avoidance). I am guessing it’s okay if it’s not an item listed on Etsy but worth knowing about.

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi NL,

      Thanks for your comment and definitely very helpful for our readers to know.

      We’re definitely not encouraging people to violate any Etsy rules, but there are certainly ways to get creative and work around them.

      For instance, as you mentioned, selling different, complementary or variations of products on your own online store outside of Etsy, should be fine.

      But for those reading this, definitely familiarize yourself with Etsy’s terms of use. But also think creatively to see how you can grow your business without depending 100% on Etsy!

      Jeremy

  27. #

    ezebee.com is another alternative which is completely free of cost and commissions, I think its really easy to use and I would definitely recommend it. It is not only an online marketplace but also a community where you can have your social media, blog, post events, connect with other creatives and sell online!

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Thanks for sharing Alice! Another good channel to sell more products.

      At the end of the day, I guess we really advocate / recommend that a business owner has his/her own website, where you can brand your business – which is a good strategic move to help prolong the longevity of your business.

      Imagined if a marketplace closed down, or heavily altered its policies. It’s always good to have your own website property to fall back on.

      Thanks for sharing this resource!

      Jeremy

  28. #

    I wanted to recheck that it’s ok to post your website address/blog address on your Etsy shop? I’ve heard Etsy can shut down your shop for any reason and wanted to find out if this may be a possible reason.

    Thanks for your help!

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Kaye,

      I wouldn’t be surprised if they modified their terms of service from time to time. So the best way to confirm this is to read their terms of services, and have a look around other Etsy stores to see what they are doing.

      Sometimes, even if you can’t directly post your ecommerce shop website address in your Etsy profile, there are other ways to get around that as I’m sure there are some really smart Etsy store owners who are constantly coming up with creative methods.

      Jeremy

  29. #

    Thanks for posting this article! I did not know that with Wix you could integrate the Etsy store into it. That’s really neat, I have to look into it!

    I currently have signed up for Weebly but am running into limitations. I sell party invitations and need a way for a customer to tell me how they want it customized. I can’t do that with Weebly. They have two options for offering products: digital and physical.

    If I choose digital then the customer gets an automatic download. If I choose physical there isn’t a good way for a customer to give me info on their customization. There is a “notes to seller” like Etsy has and a customer can provide information there. But it’s only offered for each shopping cart, not for each product. So I’m hoping Wix will be a better option for me!

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Cindy,

      You should also check out Squarespace. Their commerce features allow you to sell a “service”, so no products are delivered.

      So your customers can purchase a “service” from you, then you can in touch with them to find out the customizations they want done.

      Here is a short guide on this from Squarespace.

      Hope this is helpful!

      Jeremy

  30. #

    I think you’re wrong to say that Etsy fees are one of the main concerns, they are very low compared to almost everyone else, plenty of other things about Etsy which should concern you more.

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Thanks fro your comment Kev.

      While I agree that Etsy’s fees are not astronomically high (like 20% or something like that), but depending on what sort of products you sell, their price points, and your profit margins (cost of production, delivery, etc), their fees may have an impact on your bottom line.

      If you have a lower priced product (such as $20 per item), and lower margins (higher cost of production), then Etsy fees really start to eat into your margins.

      So I do agree with you that it’s not a “make or break” sort of situation, but diversifying to your own online store can improve your profit margins a bit, and more importantly, serves as an important part of your overalls strategic direction of a growing company!

      Jeremy

  31. #

    Great article!

    I absolutely agree that you can’t put all your eggs in one basket with Etsy. If you look at the top sellers on Etsy, the vast majority of them also have their own websites, and that’s not a coincidence: it’s really impossible to overstate the value of a real, working website on your own personal domain if you want to make your living on Etsy.

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Thanks for your input Annika!

      It’s really important to diversify your sales channels while building a well rounded business. You just never know when Etsy is going to change their terms & conditions, or update their search function so impacting how people locate your Etsy page.

      So building a brand, and expanding your online presence through building a separate ecommerce online store is an important part of a business plan.

      Jeremy

  32. #

    Thank so so much for this article. I have a small business selling recycled rugs.
    I just recently hired a graphic designer to do my web as i also sell to retailers. I’m very happy with the results. however i decided to link my etsy store to my website instead of having my own shop cart . Now I’m planning to have a shop cart on my web so that i can bring traffic and business to my own website.
    i was thinking to do this using shopify and link it in my web , instead of linking etsy store.
    but I’ m not sure is this possible or I’m complicating things.
    the only reason that i am thinking to link shopify to my web, its because its very easy to modified the products etc.
    thank you
    giannina

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Giannina,

      I think that’s achievable. Shopify is a very good ecommerce website builder – probably one of the best ecommerce solutions available in the market today.

      I think it’s always a good strategy to start your own online store away from Etsy, so you can build up an asset that you have full control over, which can also help you establish your brand.

      Jeremy

  33. #

    Has anyone used Big Cartel? How is it in comparison to the other alternatives listed? seems comparable in price and options?

  34. #

    Jeremy,

    Great post! Thank you.

    One alternative you didn’t mention is creating a Facebook store. There are some great ones out there (like ShopTab, ‘www.shoptab.net) that are inexpensive and let you sell to your Facebook fans directly. I believe ShopTab even integrates with other platforms like Squarespace and Weebly. : )

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Zach,

      Thanks for sharing! Here is a discussion article that we wrote about how to create a Facebook Store.

      There are so many ways to create online stores to sell products online nowadays, and Facebook is definitely one of those venues where you can really target the right segment of potential customers.

      Jeremy

  35. #

    I tried indigoly.com and it is great. It is special for african handmade products and everything is for free for now. Really great! They are very kind on that site as well.

    • #

      Another alternative if your products dont contain animal products would be EthicalStores.com – totally free and is a non-profit organisation.

      • Jeremy Wong
        #

        Very interesting site! Thanks for sharing Sam.

        Jeremy

        • #

          Hello Jeremy,

          Great article, I actually ran into it in search of an Etsy like alternative. I have a personal domain and website with paypal integrated, I was wondering if you had an article on other Etsy like shops. I found etsy a bit overwhelming and had a few problems with costumer/seller service and have decided to close shop there.

          Thanks a bunch.

          • Jeremy Wong
            #

            Hey Suly,

            We don’t have any specific examples on hand. Sorry about that!

            But if you’re interested in starting an ecommerce website, definitely check out our list of recommended ecommerce software above.

            Jeremy