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Five Things You Might Not Know about Etsy

Etsy is on a mission to grow its business. The marketplace’s CEO Chad Dickerson gave a presentation to Wall Street analysts last week to fill them in; based on his talk, here are 5 things you may not know about Etsy.

1) Etsy tested same-day delivery. 
You might not think of handmade or vintage goods when you think about same-day delivery (isn’t it for toothpaste, snacks, or electronics accessories like an iPhone charger, you may ask). But during the holidays, Etsy piloted a same-day delivery offering called Etsy ASAP.

Dickerson told analysts, “One of the things we’ve noticed when we look at our sales data over the holidays in prior years is that as the holidays get closer, our (buyers) were naturally choosing sellers who were near them.”

Dickerson called Etsy ASAP “very much a test” and said there were some things they learned, “but at this point, it’s really just a pilot, and we don’t have any immediate plans to expand it.”

2) Etsy converted 150 desktop engineers to work on mobile.
Etsy is putting mobile first. A couple of years ago, Etsy took 150 engineers who were building desktop apps and trained them to build Android and iOS apps. Dickerson said Etsy “essentially converted our desktop engineering team to a mobile team.”

And in the past year, Etsy has focused on the quality of its mobile app and said the ratings for its iOS app is the best they’ve ever been, currently sporting a 5-star rating.

3) Etsy used video advertising on YouTube and Facebook for the first time.
Etsy ran a paid video advertising campaign on YouTube and Facebook for the first time in any significant way during the holiday shopping season. It attracted millions of visitors to the site.

Google Product Listing Ads is its most important channel. To provide a sense of Etsy’s budget, Dickerson said that in the third quarter, Etsy spent only $10 million on digital marketing. He said marketing was still nascent for Etsy, but noted it’s getting better at it.

4) Domestic GMS growth in the UK outpaces that of all other countries. 
“We’ve seen a lot of great growth in the markets where we’re focused – UK, Canada, Germany, Australia,” Dickerson told analysts, “particularly in the UK where domestic activity and domestic GMS growth in that country is outpacing the GMS growth really in all the other countries.”

5) Search favors local listings.
Etsy favors local listings in search results in key international markets. Buyers often prefer local merchandise, Dickerson explained – UK buyers prefer merchandise from UK sellers.

Etsy focuses on five key markets outside of the US: the UK, Canada, Australia, France, and Germany. The company is focused on “building local marketplaces globally.”

A big benefit to Etsy: its approach help insulate it in the long term from currency fluctuations.

Bonus Factoid:
Half of Etsy’s revenue comes from Seller Services, something that didn’t even exist 4 years ago. See Tuesday’s EcommerceBytes Newsflash for more on that.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.