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Etsy CEO Prioritizes Buyer Return Frequency

Etsy CEO Josh SIlverman
Etsy CEO Prioritizes Buyer Return Frequency

Etsy held its annual shareholder meeting this morning, and it held no surprises. Etsy CEO Josh Silverman gave a brief presentation, and there were no questions from shareholders. (Unlike eBay, Etsy included the Q&A session in its webcast, while Amazon does not webcast its annual shareholder meeting at all.)

During the presentation, Silverman said Etsy was the antidote to commoditized commerce – “the home for special.” He also noted last month marked his 2-year anniversary as CEO.

The majority of buyers come to Etsy only once a year, he said – for a calendar holiday (such as Valentine’s Day), or for a special occasion (such as an anniversary). “We know there are many more purchase occasions that would be relevant to our buyers in a given year, and we are focused on making these “search for special and unique” more aligned with the Etsy marketplace.

“To do this, we don’t need to invent new purchase occasions, we just need to string together their existing purchase occasions, and get our buyers to come back to Etsy more often.”

Etsy Annual Meeting Buyer Frequency

The above image was included in the slide presentation.

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The CEO said Etsy was in the early stages of its opportunity and had a long runway for sustainable growth.

“We had a great start to the year as we delivered solid financial performance in the first quarter of 2019,” he said, noting accelerating GMS growth and with revenue up 40%.

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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.

6 thoughts on “Etsy CEO Prioritizes Buyer Return Frequency”

  1. Yeah, there are a lot of special items on Etsy, but they get pushed down by all the mass-produced Chinese junk that has nothing to do with what Etsy claims to offer — handmade, vintage and supplies. They really need to stop using tags for Etsy search because they get abused big time. That’s exactly why Google quit giving them any importance a long time ago. They need to focus on matching terms in titles and descriptions, which will certainly encourage sellers to provide more informative descriptions.

    As for what he’s proposing, don’t they do that every year, anyway? I mean, what marketplace doesn’t have special sales for the various holidays? It’s no wonder his audience had no questions, but I know I would be asking what he plans to do differently from what they typically do. I’m sure it will have something to do with screwing the sellers in some way or another — as is the new norm there.

  2. Soon there will be no genuine artisans on Etsy. Only the fake vintage and handmade from the orient. Either they (genuine vintage and handmade sellers) got their accounts closed for some minor infraction or became tired of the corrupt system whereby there is one rule for the Chinese resellers and another for the small crafter/vinty seller.

  3. The free shipping promotion seems to have penalized anyone who didn’t participate. I hope the occasion promotion doesn’t penalize anyone who doesn’t put hearts on their listings for Valentines Day, or photograph their listings on pumpkins at Halloween.

    Etsy should consider buying the domain CraftyAlibaba.com while it’s still available. Alternatively, It could be used like the parody site Regretsy.com listing all of the dropship items on Etsy.

  4. I believe it was the last Labor Day sale Etsy had that I learned something that really ticked me off…

    In the shop’s admin, they have a place for you to join the current sale. So, you join, but you can’t find your items anywhere in Etsy search. I actually did a test search in my most popular category (vintage music CDs) and there was ONE seller being displayed (not me). I have several dozen CDs listed there, but they were nowhere to be found.

    I then learned from the forums that you had to add whatever keywords Etsy was using to your tags (something like “labor day”) in order to be found in the sale’s search. What?!? The only thing they told me was that I had to join in the shop’s admin.

    Nowhere did they say anything about having to add a tag to every listing. Why should we? I clicked the ‘join’ button as instructed, but was not included. Clicking the ONE thing Etsy told us to is all it should take.

    What I found interesting was that those who were ‘in-the-know’ are among the trolls that have had so many decent sellers permanently kicked out of the forums; thereby demoting their shop’s ‘citizen’ status. Everyone else was wondering what was up, but all of these known trolls were the only ones who knew anything about it. Now, tell me the forum mods aren’t bought.

  5. P.S. — I meant to say that I have refused to join a sale since. I use all of my tags and it would require deleting a necessary tag just to add an unnecessary, temporary tag that I would have to go back and replace with the previous tag (if I remembered what it was). It shouldn’t take all of that, especially when they have a place in admin for you to join the sale.

    As for the Labor Day sale I mentioned, I would hunt down that thread and provide the link, but their new forums are a mess. I doubt I would find it. Heck, what ‘category’ would they have moved it to? I would have to check several categories and it’s simply not worth my time. LOL

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