As a work-from-home mom, I have to be very deliberate with how I spend my time. After selling on multiple platforms (Shopify, Wix, SquareSpace, Ecohabitude, Abe’s Market, Wanelo, and Etsy), this year I decided to simplify my life and narrow it down to the BEST ecommerce platform for mompreneurs: Etsy.
Etsy isn’t your typical ‘ecommerce’ platform, as it is actually a search engine + marketplace.
When Etsy was created in 2008, it was easy to rank with minimal keywords and effort.
Now that it has grown to over 2 million sellers, it is harder to get found (which is to be expected when a platform grows). This is also the case when building your own ecommerce website, such as Wix and SquareSpace.
Your success depends on how you market yourself. No algorithm will ever replace self-promotion.
Even after selling on seven different platforms, Etsy is still the best ecommerce platform for mompreneurs because it saves you TIME and MONEY as you build your home-based business.
The following ten reasons I recommend Etsy to all creative stay-at-home moms are just the starting point, and I’m SO excited to share this with you to save you some MAJOR research, trial, and error.
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10 Reasons Etsy is the Best Ecommerce Platform for Mompreneurs
Reason 1: Website Design Done For You
Etsy is a marketplace, so they want all of their shops to have a similar format across the board. This is the first WIN that makes Etsy the best ecommerce platform for mompreneurs, because you don’t have to spend time thinking about five million details.
With other websites, you have to choose fonts, font sizes, color palettes, layouts, themes, etc.
Etsy’s super-easy-to-follow template allows you to customize your shop within their boundaries, which gives you more time to actually make the products you’ll sell instead of learning code and CSS.
There is still plenty you can do/add to make your shop ‘you’ within their template:
- Shop Title
- Profile Picture
- Banner to showcase your brand and listings
- Featured area to highlight listings
- Create your own categories
- Shop Announcements
- Shop Updates
- Add a Video
- 5 Photos about your process
- Your Story (About You)
- Add links to your social media accounts
- Personal Bio
- Create your own shop policies (templates available)
- Payment options
These features make it possible for you to represent your brand and vision…without spending precious time eyeball-deep in web design.
Reason 2: Integrations with Top-Dog Vendors & Tools
Because Etsy is so well-known, other companies are partnering up with them to provide sellers with some serious awesome.
To name a few favorites:
You can now claim your Etsy account on Pinterest, which means that any Pins created from your shop listings will generate insights and stats. This will tell you what your audience is interested in, and can also lead to increased monthly viewers.
All for free.
(If you’re asking yourself…”what does Pinterest have to do with my Etsy shop”, do yourself a favor and set aside 45 minutes to watch this Pinterest webinar that will change your entire approach to marketing your Etsy shop).
A free tool (with upgrades available) that shows you how to pick the best keywords for your listings based on what Etsy shoppers are searching for. It’s basically an Etsy SEO powerhouse that you don’t have to pay a penny to use.
Who doesn’t want to be found more easily on a platform of over 2 million sellers?
Accounting is one of the more time-consuming parts to owning a business, and I did everything on my own spreadsheets for years before switching over to QB Self-Employed. It was awful, to be honest. No fun. Now I have Etsy and QB linked together and all of my sales are automatically imported and categorized which is saving me a ridiculous amount of time.
If you ever do in-person sales, this will be huge for you. Square sends you a card reader upon request (for free) that plugs into your phone and syncs with your Etsy inventory. It’s literally like carrying your shop with you wherever you go.
This makes it possible to sell to family, friends, at craft fairs, farmers markets, and it all shows up on your Etsy stats to give you more social proof.
This is ALSO free – yay for integrations!!
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Reason 3: Social Media Posts Done For You
Having a social media presence for your business is a must. As mentioned above, driving your own traffic is necessary to be seen online. However, coming up with social media post content can take a LOT of time (not great news for the mom + maker).
Etsy delivers a HUGE win in this area, with four types of post done for you at the click of a button. If you connect your social media accounts (choose from Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram), you can quickly post:
- New listings (uses your listing photos)
- Sales or promotions (Etsy-created images)
- Five-star reviews (uses your listing photos)
- Your recent favorites (listing photos from shops/items you’ve liked)
Etsy has a basic caption that you can copy/paste if you’re having major mom-brain and just need to post something, or you can create your own. They even have a few basic hashtags in there for you (though I do recommend doing research for optimized hashtags if you have the time).
Link to your shop or listings, choose which of your social media platforms you’d like to post to (just one or all at the same time), and done!
While these ‘done-for-you’ posts are GREAT when you don’t have time, it is important to have some more engaging content on your social media accounts.
Between Etsy’s pre-made posts and this social media content calendar, you’ll have enough content to fill your feeds. The content calendar in the image below has prompts, holidays, and questions to share with your audience so that you don’t have to figure it. Another win for the busy mompreneur! I HIGHLY suggest clicking through to see if this would work for your business (psst…the content calendar is actually for 2019 AND 2020!).
Reason 4: Repeat Customers Identified
If a customer returns to your shop to make another purchase (doesn’t have to be the same item, just any purchase), an orange star will be placed to the right of their name in your ‘Orders and Shipping’ section.
Never before has a little star helped to generate repeat customers so well.
THIS IS EVERYTHING.
By clicking on the star, you can look back to see that customer’s previous purchase, order date, where it was delivered, everything. Their entire history.
USE THIS INFORMATION TO YOUR BENEFIT! With all that history, you can REALLY personalize your customer’s experience in your handwritten thank you note:
- “I see you’re really loving this scent – glad you found a staple!”
- “Oh customer, it’s been a year, I’m so happy you came back to see me!”
- “Yee-haw customer, so glad you’re trying something new this time…let me know how you like it!”
It is important to note that this feature is NOT available on other selling platforms. When I sold on Squarespace, I had to keep a separate log of all my customers so I could make a personalized experience for them. No mompreneur has time for that. (Note: I quit selling on Squarespace in February of 2019…it is possible that they have made changes by now).
Creating this incredibly personal experience for your customer WILL SET YOU APART. Flagging of repeat customers is one of the TOP reasons Etsy is the best ecommerce platform for mompreneurs.
Reason 5: Messaging Portal for Your Customers
In case you’re new to selling online, it is incredibly important to note that there are strict rules about emailing customers. To conduct business ‘legally’, you need to be using an email service provider or a platform-provided messaging portal like this one.
While you can’t reach out to customers without being messaged first (against Etsy’s TOS), this portal is a SUPER easy way for current and future customers to get hold of you. This feature is also available on the Etsy App, so you can respond to your customers while you’re away from your computer.
When you are ready to take your business to the next level and start automated email campaigns and promotional email blasts, I highly recommend MailerLite. They are free for the first 1,000 subscribers you get, and they have templates available so you can just drag and drop your listing photos for a super professional look.
I have tried three email service providers, and MailerLite is the only one that has the features I was looking for as an ecommerce seller without charging an arm and a leg as my company grows. Their customer service team is also awesome and FAST, which has saved my booty several times with my crazy-busy-mom-schedule.
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Reason 6: Customer Reviews and Follow-Up
I don’t know about you, but I tend to look at the number of stars and customer reviews even before looking at a product description when shopping online. Social proof is a SUPER important part of the ecommerce experience for both buyers and sellers.
Etsy automatically sets your shop up for reviews and you don’t have to do a THING. If your customer doesn’t leave a review automatically after the package is flagged as ‘delivered’, Etsy sends them an email so they can quickly rate your product and leave a comment (and a picture if they’re feeling extra engaged).
THIS IS AWESOME!!!!
Your Etsy reviews are automatically loaded into the Social Media tab so you can share the best ones on your accounts (see reason 3 above for more details).
I paid BIG money to add a review plug-in to another ecommerce platform I used, and there was a TON of techy stuff involved in getting it to work. SO much money, SO much time…I seriously can’t even think about it.
Reason 7: Free Advertising
If you have ever purchased anything from Etsy, you know that they LOVE to send out email blasts based on your purchases. They have approximately five gazillion different email lists, and they send out broadcasts daily. The individual listings and makers that are highlighted in these emails are NOT paying for that exposure – it’s free!
Unless they do a full-blown interview of you and your shop, the listings that Etsy promotes in these emails are a complete surprise – the makers are not informed in advance (one reason of many why it’s important to have the right amount of inventory listed in your shop ‘just in case’).
I have been featured on three separate occasions, and each time this brought in more sales than Black Friday week…just from one little email highlight.
Everyone has an equal shot at experiencing the same if you have white, bright photos (like the photos in the example email screenshot below).
If waiting to be featured sounds like too much of a lottery game to you, Etsy does also offer paid ad spots. When you search for an item on Etsy, the first row of items you see underneath the search is reserved for these paying shops.
The coolest thing about these paid ads is that they show up on Etsy AND Google. Twice the bang for your buck (literally…you can start for as little as one dollar a day).
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I see you getting all inspired over there, you creative mama. It’s time to do something for YOU.
If you haven’t started your Etsy shop yet, snag your first FORTY listings for FREE by clicking the link below! Holla!
(only applies to individuals that haven’t opened a shop yet)
Reason 8: Shipping Costs Updated Automatically
Every year, postage prices go up for every single carrier (USPS, UPS, FedEx). If you have ever spent the time trying to use another ecommerce platform, you know that to sell physical items, you have to provide a weight and package dimension so that shipping fees can be entered.
Depending on the platform you use, you may have to recalculate those prices for every item you sell, every single year. IT. IS. NO. FUN.
With Etsy, if you choose ‘Calculated Shipping’, you just have to enter your package size, which delivery carrier you want used, and then the shipping prices are automatically synced every single year with the increases.
I’m telling you. This is another reason that Etsy is the BEST ecommerce platform for mompreneurs – this is a MAJOR time saver!
Reason 9: Keeping Up With the Joneses
After Etsy went public in 2015, they brought in some big dogs to help them keep up with their competition. Some of the changes include fees for shipping, different ways of being charged as a shop owner, being shown higher in search if your shop has free shipping, wholesale opportunities being given (and then removed), etc.
These changes have not gone over well with some shop owners. Change is hard. BUT, I think it’s FANTASTIC.
If you want amazing integrations from incredibly well-known companies, Etsy has to keep up.
If you want to grow your craft into a real, bonafide business, rolling with Etsy’s growth spurts will help you up your own game and professionalism across the board.
Etsy is in it to win it. If you want a piece of that pie, embrace the changes as they come – because they will come. And they do ON EVERY SINGLE PLATFORM (not just Etsy).
Reason 10: Warm Leads
People visit Etsy to buy. And they know what they want to buy. And they know they’re buying something handmade from an actual person and not a company. That is MORE than half the work of an online business – getting the right people to your site.
If you type ‘natural lip balm’ into a Google search (which is where a Wix, SquareSpace, or other personal website would show up), you will see:
- 71,000,000 results that include…
- Blog posts about the top natural lip balms
- Homemade lip balm recipes
- Advertisements from industry leaders, such as Burt’s Bees, 100% Pure, EOS, and Nivea
*The chance of your $4 handmade organic lip balm getting found with competition like that is really, really, really unlikely.
If you type ‘natural lip balm’ into the search bar on Etsy, you will see:
- 16,000 results that include…
- 250 pages of handmade natural lip balm
- Radio buttons on the left side of the screen so you can narrow down the choices by special offers, shipping details, color, location, price point, and more
*You still have to work to get seen, no doubt. But you have already cut through the noise of blog posts, DIY instructions, and corporate advertisements.
The visit stats below is a direct screenshot from my own natural skin care Etsy shop, and as you can see, over 67% of my traffic comes from other Etsy pages.
That means people are staying on Etsy until they find what they are looking for. They’re on a MISSION to buy.
Branching Outside of Etsy
It is important to note that I am an advocate for Etsy as the best ecommerce platform for mompreneurs…that means moms that are starting their businesses while raising their tribe at home. At this stage in life, time and money are incredibly valuable resources.
I HIGHLY recommend spending that time building your Etsy shop, learning how to write converting listings, creating a dedicated audience to your products with a blog, increasing followers on your social media accounts, and networking with other makers.
If you play your cards right and have a growth goal in mind, by the time your kids have started school you will be able to sell on other platforms that require more time to create (but have fewer fees and more artistic license). Since you will have built an audience already, you won’t be ‘starting from scratch’ and can simply direct traffic wherever you’d like it to go.
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These ten reasons that Etsy is the best ecommerce platform for mompreneurs is just scratching the surface. They are doing an excellent job making continual updates, and I look forward to sharing more with you as the platform develops even further.
Be sure to follow me on your favorite social media platform(s) to stay up-to-date on the latest features and to get some daily mompreneur business tips and inspiration!
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