Do you have a successful Etsy shop? If so, are you wondering if you should also have your own website and sell your products through your site, in addition to having an Etsy shop? After all, setting up a separate site takes time and money, especially if you have to hire someone else to design it for you. And, more importantly, Etsy can take your shop down any time for any reason (unfortunately, this has happened to too many entrepreneurs and designers that I've worked with).
In this week's “Ask Andreea” video, I tackle this question from Jess, a jewelry designer on Etsy. She wants to know if she should also have her own website in addition to her Etsy shop.
Watch the video below to get my take on it. After you watch the video, I'd love to know your take on it. Do you agree? Disagree?
As you can see from the video, I strongly believe that you NEED to start your own online store in addition to your Etsy shop. It's always a good idea to have a “home base” – this is where you'll be sending most of your traffic to, especially if your store gets mentioned on influential blogs or in print magazines. Shopify and Big Commerce are a great way to get started – they allow you to set up your online store in minutes and you can even integrate it with your existing Etsy store.
Do you have an Etsy shop and your own website? If so, leave a comment below and let me know how having your own site has impacted your Etsy shop.
Love the video….I agree totally and also, if you are building your brand recognition your own website is vital. If someone buys something on Etsy they’ll tell everyone “I got it on Etsy” but if they buy it from your website, they’ll say I bought it on (designer’s name).com. They’ll remember YOU not Etsy!
Thanks Andreea…..as usual, your advice is so helpful!
What a great point, Nancy! Thank you for sharing that 🙂
Great video! Although I’ve just created my website a short while ago, I’m amazed at the traffic it’s generating in addition to a Facebook Page for my jewelry business. I love being in control of my own product and controlling all the aspects of my business.
That’s great to hear, Molly!
Thanks so much Andreea. I’ve been wondering about this for a long time and creating my own website is one of my goals for 2013. I can’t afford to hire someone so do you have a self-building website company you recommend – there are so many out there, it becomes very confusing to make a good choice!
Thanks again and have a great day.
Maria, check out this article on what shopping cart to choose: https://www.launchgrowjoy.com//shopping-cart-software/#
Regarding the question of good (DIY) website building services: I highly recommend Jimdo.com. It’s very easy to build a professional site using their DIY fully-customizable templates and tools. Their sites include built-in ecommerce functionality, SEO tools and all of the social media bells and whistles you need to optimize the reach of your site. Jimdo is fabulous and the basic service is free.
Thanks Andreea for your video reply to a very important question.As a consultant I get asked the same question.Now when people ask, I can refer them to your page.
Great information.Thank you!
Oh yikes! Thank you for this kick in the butt. I’ve wondered and not wanted to know at the same time! 🙂 Andrea, I love love love your tips and emails. Now, what easy website building sites might you recommend?
Thanks so much for all you do!
Thanks so much, Angela! Check out this article I did on what shopping cart to choose: https://www.launchgrowjoy.com//shopping-cart-software/#
On the flip side, if you have a website, should you have an etsy shop?
Good question, Debbie! You can only sell on Etsy if you make your own products, so unless you are screenprinting your own tees, you can’t sell there (I know because they shut down my t-shirt shop because I didn’t silkscreen my own tees). But if you do silkscreen your own tees and you want to set up a shop on Etsy, keep in mind that it’s not enough to just post your tees. You have to interact, to update frequently and to actively promote your shop to get any traffic to it. The saying “If you build it they will come” doesn’t really apply on Etsy anymore since there are so many shops. It’s more accurate to say “If you promote it, they will come.” So if you have the time to focus on another channel and really dedicate your efforts to it, it can be a great avenue!
Excellent video Andreea! I love the formatting and presentation you developed.
Also great information! Most professional crafters/artisans don’t realize how important a business website is to the growth in sales and image. You covered it all!
A great reminder to not put all of your eggs in one basket…great advice!!
I like reason #3. Etsy has been known to close shops for no reason.
Been there!!!! Moved to Artfire which is great.
But I’ve been at this long enough to know that NO site will be everything you want forever. Sites change. They get new owners, new managers, and no matter how great, they can change overnight. Moving to one of the many other sites out there, means your business cards are out of date. Anyone who had your contact info through etsy or who ever, will also be out of date.
Your own site though, just update that. Your customers can still find you.
Great point, Jenny! Thanks for watching 🙂
I couldn’t view the video, but I have my own website for several reasons.
1. I want my wholesale accounts to see their prices and label options which are different than retail.
2. Etsy has an established high volume of traffic but too many shops within the site, so the potential for many customers is thre but yo REALLY have to work for it.
3. Etsy does not have many of the advanced features I need in an estore/shopping cart.
Great video and perfect timing. I wasn’t sure whether to do one or the other.
Do you know if Etsy allows you to mention your website?
Great video Andreea! Would like to add one downside to running two online shops, if you create one-of-a-kind items it can be tedious to maintain inventory. For example, my previous biz I created jewelry and each piece was unique. I also had an etsy shop and website, and listed my items at both. When an item sold, I would always have to remember to remove the listing from the other shop before another customer bought it. I guess this could be remedied by only selling at your etsy shop and using your website to capture emails, blog and your ‘about me’ story. Something to think about!
Thank you Andreea for the great video, your answers make perfect sense!
I have both a website and an Etsy shop and I find that I have sales on my website from people who search the internet and may have never heard of Etsy and I have sales on Etsy that are from devoted Etsy shoppers so I think it is beneficial to have both even though most of my work is one of a kind. Martie, I believe Etsy’s policy is that you are not supposed to mention your website but I have seen many people do it anyway, check out the seller’s handbook on Etsy.
Great video! I gained a lot of good insights by watching it. Now to go and read the article about which cart to choose.
Your points are all right on the money. I have my own site and an Etsy shop both of which I love. I have found that there can be great exposure on Etsy and they have a dedicated group of shoppers that may never have found my work if I was not on Etsy.
I find that it does not take too much more work to have both and will continue to do so. I whole heartily agree with your view that your own site can say more about you and a blog is quite important.
Thank you so much.
to answer MartieB question, Etsy does not allow sellers to mention their own website in their Etsy store (not anymore). I received an email from Etsy admin couple days ago asking me to take down all mentions and/or links to any personal website or other stores websites in my Etsy shop; otherwise my Etsy shop will be closed. …and thank you Andreea for such wonderful article!
This was a GREAT post! As a new jewellery artist, many folks are asking me if I will open an Etsy shop and I have no desire to… I understand that I could get some sales from there, but I would rather invest in me and MY brand (LOVE what Nancy Troske says in her comment – I have so many friends who have bought great things on Etsy, but can’t remember the artisan’s name…). The other disadvantage I feel that Etsy has is that I will pay Etsy fees AND Paypal fees (or the equivalent), whereas with e-commerce on my own website, I only pay the Paypal fees…
I feel it is kind of like opening up a chain retailer – work hard for them and let them get major profits, or work hard for ME and let me be rewarded for all of my hard work. My goal is to get my own e-commerce set up on my personal website in the first quarter of this year…
Thank you so much for this! I look forward to perusing through more of your posts!
Excellent video and comments! I’ve been on the fence about starting a website and a blog but after all this info, website is the way to go. Now the task of selecting analyzing how and who to use, etc.
We use Volusion for all of our shopping cart needs. With their ease of use platform format, we simply have more time to promote and market our company. They also provide (gratefully) 24/7 support from real people. And I must say that 24/7 support is a plus all by itself, outside of their other great features offered. We did in fact switch from Go Daddy because of the limited features that they provide for their eCommerce websites. But Volusion is a winner and we highly recommend them to anyone that wants to take his/her Company further!
I have an Etsy shop and my own website. Having an Etsy shop can be hard work, because there are so many sellers on there selling jewellery, so you do not get seen, unless you are list a new item every day or renewing items. I agree with Annie Scherz, you have to pay their fees and Paypal fees, whereas with your own website, you just pay the Paypal fees.
I’m thinking of letting my Etsy site go and just concentrate on my own website site. Plus I don’t like the idea of them shutting you down overnight, I’ve read about Etsy shops being shut down and Etsy ignoring the owners pleas about why it happened.
Thank you Andreea, I don’t feel so lost know, all your tips and videos have been amazing and useful.x
I was just asking myself this question…should I have a website in addition to etsy. I think you answered that well enough that I SHOULD. THanks.
Love the site. Will be joining.
I have my own website. I don’t sell a thing on it but I do understand the importance. Thanks for this video.
Hello there. interesting question. I think that due to the fact that in today’s world Getting a website is so easy and cheap (if not free), you don’t really need to choose..
So I say- Why not?
ok…based on your great advice and a friend’s inspiration, I bit the bullet and purchased a domain this morning. It’s directing back to my etsy shop right now but I will be building my own website on this domain in the coming weeks!
That’s so great to hear, Deborah!!!! Congratulations 🙂
Hi! Yes (if you can) you need your own website. I started selling on Etsy in 2009, everything was great, until more and more sellers starting opening up shops, this said, my exposure to sellers was minimal now. In the type of sales I do (Bridal), there is just to many sellers in the same category on Etsy. This just overwhelms the potential client.
I made my first site thru WordPress, I now hired someone taht is upgrading it for me.
Great article Andrea!
Well, I di have a etsy shop. I don’t have a web site. I have a blog though. Any way, I’ll look into websites mentioned here. Thank you, Andreea. Dita
Thanks for the link love!
Just what I needed to hear! Great advice Andreea! Thanks.
Can I offer a sale on my own site and NOT offer the same on Etsy as an incentive for my Etsy customers to buy on my own website since I market to the same email list?
You hit the nail right on the head! I’ve seen a lot of sellers not only on Etsy, but many other sites who don’t have their own website. Although it may take some time and energy, it is well worth the investment.
Great article and video, I found this awhile ago when helping my sister research about setting up a web store. Her needs were really simple, she just wanted an online store to post some products and to be able to accept credit cards. Most of the existing stuff was too expensive or complicated for what she needed. So I built a really simple web app for her to do that. I’m looking for some people to help provide some feedback on the web store software I built.
My company, BeesWax, lets Etsy sellers design and create a really powerful website that integrates seamlessly with your Etsy shop. It lets you pull the content (text and pictures) that you already uploaded, and gives you powerful SEO and social media tools to promote your brand. We’re launching on June 21, 2015, and if you sign up before then, we’ll send you an invitation for 50% off your entire first year’s hosting (regularly 12.99/mo), so you can start to grow your brand right away.
You hit the nail on the head: 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. But obviously that website shouldn’t be outrageously expensive or time consuming if you’re just starting out–you really need to test your ROI and build your brand equity. I have a software company designed to help with this problem. BeesWax websites lets you create a completely individualized website based on your Etsy shop is just a few minutes, which you can scale up, grow, and customize, to match your brand’s growth.
This is a great post with great information. I have both an Etsy store and I just set up a e-commerce store on my blog on WordPress using Woo Commerce. I’ve been doing this business (I design and sew purses, totes, pouches, and knit and crocheted items) since around 2005 pretty part time along with having a corporate job. I sell a product that a lot of other people sell, but of course, I think my stuff is unique :-). I’ve always had most of my business come to me via my Etsy shop and I’ve had many different Web through the years that didn’t offer me any business AT ALL. I decided to try the Web site deal once again. It’s only been live for a day or so.
I have been trying out Facebook ads lately that seem to have given me more traffic – first time in forEVER. However, no more sales. I maybe get 1 or 2 sales a month. I’m on a very limited budget, so I do what I can, when I can.
Right now, my Web domain is redirecting to my Etsy Store. It’s been this way for several years now. Is this hurting me in some way? Should I redirect my Web domain to my actual WordPress Web/Blog site?
So here I sit. Wishing in one hand, sh#ting in the other, waiting to see which one fills up first (ha, ha).
Annie St. Germain
Great post with some great incite. I’ve often wondered this very same thing – Etsy shop only? Web site in addition to..? Do I *really* need both?
I have had an Etsy store since 2009. I’ve been ‘doing my business’ since about 2005. I’ve had actual Web sites off and on and never had more than one or two sales come in from that direction. Most of the business I’ve had has come from my Etsy store. I want this to change. I just set up a e-commerce site at WordPress using Woo Commerce (great, easy to use, and looks fantastic). I do all the geek stuff myself and am pretty much an autodidact.
Right now, I have my domain redirected to my Etsy Store. It’s been this way for years. Should I change this? Should I have my domain go straight to my WordPress site?
I’ve recently tried Facebook ads and have gotten a bit of traffic to both my Etsy store and my Web site/Blog, but no sales per se. I’m on a very limited budget these days (laid off my corporate job) and I do what I can, where I can, when I can. I’ve never really done much advertising in the past, just kind of let things come to me whenever. Well, it’s time to get serious. I’d love to be doing this full time and actually be able to make a living.
Kinda woeful in Albuquerque, NM
Annie St. Germain
I TOTALLY agree with you. Having your own website to run alongside – or as an augmentation of – your Etsy shop is essential. I have both, and although I absolutely love Etsy, wouldn’t have it any other way. I look upon it like this…My website is “Where” I am, and my Etsy shop is a fringe retail outlet. This is not to say that I get more sales through either, it’s just that as a security measure, I feel a lot safer knowing that I have my own site to fall back on. However, something not to be overlooked is that with your own site, you can experiment, try different displays and themes, promote different aspects of your service. I keep them totally separate, others might like to use the site to further elaborate on the Etsy shop. A note of caution though…be careful of duplicate content. Make sure everything on both “Sites” is distinctly different, or you might (might) run into problems with the search engines (Hasn’t happened to me yet though;-)) Great post…keep ’em coming! 😉
Thank you so much, Jess! Very clear and informative! I have my own website, but don't really use it to directly market my art and stationery. I'm going to try Ads too, like Google ads, instead of Etsy ads for a few months and see what happens. Thanks again for the motivation!