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Etsy Gets into the Store Hosting Business

Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson made it clear to Wall Street that he was looking to Seller Services to help monetize the site now that Etsy is a public company, and on Tuesday, announced a new offering that puts it in the store-hosting business.

Pattern by Etsy is just like a seller’s Etsy Shop, but hosted outside of the Etsy marketplace. It’s pitched to sellers as super-easy to set up. “Pattern uses all of your existing Etsy inventory, payments and order management tools, so all of the work you’ve put into your Etsy shop will be applied directly to your new standalone website.”

You must use Etsy Direct Checkout in order to use Pattern (that’s Etsy’s checkout system that accepts payments from buyers on behalf of sellers).

In addition to a monthly subscription fee of $15, Etsy charges a transaction fee of 3.5% for orders that are made on the seller’s Pattern-hosted store, as well as the Direct Checkout payment processing fee.

Etsy explains, “Every listing you add to your Etsy shop will automatically be added to your Pattern site, with no additional listing fees.” And the inventory is synced, so sellers don’t have to worry about selling out of an item when they make a sale on Etsy or through their Pattern store.

The tradeoff for an easy-to-set-up store on an easy-to-use platform is limited features. It doesn’t allow sellers to run ads (like Google AdWords) to generate revenue, nor does it have the capability for sellers to add a blog to their Pattern-hosted store to attract visitors.

“It does not currently include a blogging feature,” Etsy spokesperson Sara Cohen told EcommerceBytes, “but we’ll be listening to feedback on additional features sellers would like to see.”

Many sellers were focused on how the site could boost traffic and sales, however. Cohen pointed us to this thread on the discussion boards where Etsy was answering questions about search, and said any additional information they share about search/SEO would be posted to the thread.

She also pointed us to this FAQ section. “As you probably know, many factors affect search placement. The age of a domain and amount of traffic being driven to a domain also have an impact, and a website’s search performance may improve over time.”

Cohen noted that Pattern was completely optional for those that wish to have branding, a custom domain, and other benefits of a standalone store.

Dickerson said in February that Seller Services generates half of Etsy’s revenue. With Pattern by Etsy’s $15/month subscription fees, no doubt he’s hoping to boost that number.

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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). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.