How to create an online marketplace like Etsy for art crafters

The marketplace is the newest form of ecommerce. According to research and forecasts, the concept of multi vendor market is very promising and replaces traditional online stores. There are many examples of the top marketplace like Etsy, Amazon, AliExpress and other huge platforms with a lot of sellers and buyers. Each has its own history of building, development, and success. Let's talk about Etsy and its main characteristics. And then we learn how to build and work up a website for sellers of handmade goods like Etsy and its alternatives.

Etsy: what is it, why and for whom?

Etsy.com is a peer-to-peer ecommerce website, founded in 2005. Handmade items, vintage art objects (age 20 years and older), creative stuff (fabrics, beads, tools, etc.) and other craft, rare and even unique items (photographs, clothes, jewelry, food and cosmetics for healthcare, toys and other accessories) are sold and bought on this platform. You can not sell factory goods to Etsy, handmade only.

Creative people, from amateurs to professional artists, are typical sellers on the Etsy web site. CEO Chad Dickerson described the value of Etsy as a platform that provides meaning to people, and an opportunity to validate their art, their craft. In his opinion, all commerce is about real human interaction. Does this mean that you have to deal with art and know how to create man-made things if you want to create your own website like the creative place of etsy?

Of course, not necessary to be an artist or craftsman. An existential satisfaction of selling beautiful things - it's nice, but it's not the main to build a marketplace similar to Etsy and make money. Every seller who has his own store on Etsy pays commission fees. Only registration and ownership of store are for free. Other operations have a cost:

  • $0.20 for adding each product to the store (period of validity is four months);
  • 3.5% of the price of the product after it is sold, including taxes and excluding shipping costs;
  • 3% + $ 0.25 for fast order registration, for receiving payment using a credit card:
  • The cost of promotion (search advertising) is not fixed, it is determined by sellers.

Thus, Etsy generates revenue from three main sources. These rates are included in the account, which the marketplace send to the seller.

Development of Etsy: the story in numbers

To date, Etsy has 1.7 million sellers, 28.6 million active buyers around the world, 45 million products and $ 2.84 billion in annual sales (2016, gross). This is the best marketplace of unique products.  

  • 2005: Robert Kalin, Chris Maguire, and Haim Schoppik in Brooklyn starting the website where crafters, artists, and firms could sell their products. It was taken 2,5 months to build.
  • 2005-2007: the authors tried to create new site functions to attract sellers. In July 2007 Etsy had its millionth sale, the profit grew.
  • 2008: Etsy received an additional $27 million funding from Union Square Ventures, Hubert Burda Media, and Jim Breyer.
  • 2009: users organized "etsyday", social networks promotion which brought additional attention to the site. The sales volume was $10-13 million per month.
  • 2011: Etsy introduced People Search on Facebook to help buyers and sellers connect with each other and become friends. Then Etsy made changes to protect information about user purchases.
  • 2012: Etsy raised $40 million in Series F funding, and this funding is partly going toward expanding in international markets.
  • 2015: Etsy went public with $1.8 billion valuations.
  • 2016: Etsy has bought Blackbird Technologies, a search technology using artificial intelligence.The marketplace is the newest form of ecommerce. According to research and forecasts, the concept of multi vendor market is very promising and replaces traditional online stores. There are many examples of the top marketplace like Etsy, Amazon, AliExpress and other huge platforms with a lot of sellers and buyers. Each has its own history of building, development, and success. Let's talk about Etsy and its main characteristics. And then we learn how to build and work up a website for sellers of handmade goods like Etsy and its alternatives.

Today, Etsy is available in the format of a website and an app with a common visual theme. Marketplace meets trends and quickly adapts to the needs of users. It is necessary to do this for everyone who wants to understand how to make an effective marketplace, not just a nice website like Etsy does.

Etsy competitors

If you are thinking how to start a successful marketplace for craft products, you need to know which websites are already working like Etsy (in this niche).

  • DressUp - Ukrainian site where many vendors sell rare original clothes and vintage. Everyone can become a seller by registering his store. Feature: a mix of magazine and market of independent brands.
  • Livemaster - Russian marketplace for buying and selling handmade works. Also, masters can buy materials for creativity here. Feature: calendar of exhibitions, competitions, and events.
  • Handmadeshop - Ukrainian multi vendor catalog of handmade goods. Feature: you can not only buy goods from the showcase but also make an order to any seller.

As for the world market, the Amazon launched Handmade at Amazon in 2015 - a trading platform for handicrafts. The competition is obvious: shopkeepers at Etsy.com received letters with an invitation to pay attention to the new platform from Amazon. In addition, there is the online craft marketplace DaWanda in Germany, ezebee.com in Switzerland, Bonanza in the United States, Zibbet and Made It in Australia, Hello Pretty at South Africans. Knowing these alternatives will help you to find your own concept of the marketplace: do not clone competitors, but follow their ideas and apply the most effective tools.

Let’s create online craft marketplace

In the past, many web sites, including trading platforms, were created using special WordPress plugin. But today this is not enough: you need a reliable and complex marketplace script. It’s necessary to provide main functions:

  • Accounts of sellers and buyers. Key management and account information.
  • Advanced search for products from the catalog.
  • Communication between users, notifications, share in social networks.
  • The payment system, multi-currency, commission fee.
  • Delivery of orders, delivery tracking.

You need to know how to work each function to create and develop online a promising marketplace like the world-famous Etsy or its local counterpart. The optimal solution, in this case, is to use the marketplace builder, which contains all the necessary components. Your users will be able to register, publish their products and offer their items like on Etsy. The complete basic marketplace is ready for work without the expense of time and money on your part. Marketplaces like Etsy are gaining popularity and will be in demand because craft unique items are not going out of style. The creation of a marketplace like Etsy by Rademade is a perfect solution for e-commerce business.

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