Etsy is trying to take advantage of the fact that many of its sellers straddle the online and offline world, displaying their wares at shows and fairs. In fact, 35% of its US-based sellers sell at craft fairs. Presuming that many Etsy shoppers also enjoy attending such events, Etsy launched a new pilot program on Tuesday.
Etsy Local push notifications alert shoppers via mobile device when Etsy seller they like is selling at a local event.
It’s a new way for Etsy sellers and buyers to connect locally and in-person, Etsy explained. “It connects sellers participating in fairs and markets to shoppers in their area; shoppers can meet and buy from sellers in-person, supporting both the Etsy community and their own local economies.”
It’s an uncommon practice in the ecommerce world where many companies are fearful of bringing buyers and sellers together lest they lose out on commission fees through off-marketplace transactions.
Here’s how Etsy Local alerts work:
Etsy sellers can add the events and markets they will be participating in through Etsy.com/Local. Approximately 1 day in advance of the market, shoppers who are within 5 miles (based on their shipping zip code), and have favorited their shop, favorited an item, or purchased from that Etsy seller, will receive a notification. During the pilot phase, notifications will be sent to a select group of shoppers through the newest version of the Etsy app on Android and iOS.
Etsy said it was working to help sellers grow in all aspects of their businesses; in October, Etsy launched the Sell on Etsy card reader as a way to help sellers accept payments in-person.
“As this is a limited pilot, we will be watching closely, gathering member feedback, and making improvements as it rolls out more broadly,” a spokesperson told EcommerceBytes.