Etsy CEO Josh Silverman revealed the company was mulling a service to help sellers advertise their Etsy shops through off-site advertising.
During a conference call with Wall Street analysts to discuss the company's fourth-quarter 2018 earnings, Silverman said Etsy was still in the "early innings" on Promoted Listings, which allow sellers to pay for greater visibility for their listings on Etsy.
"...The opportunity to help our sellers invest in their growth, not just on Etsy, but off Etsy. We know that there's a significant appetite from sellers to invest to buy traffic from other sources driving it to their Etsy shops. I'm thinking about ways to help them. That, we think, is a rich opportunity going forward."
Wall Street gets excited by what Etsy calls "Seller Services" since they boost Etsy's bottom line beyond traditional fees.
Silverman revealed that 16% of sellers have adopted Promoted Listings (on-site ads), though he noted that Etsy's largest sellers are disproportionately represented on Promoted Listings.
Analysts asked a lot of questions about Etsy's marketing activities during the call. Imagine if Etsy could get sellers to pay it to fund some of that marketing to drive new buyers to its site.
Conventional wisdom says if you're going to pay for off-marketplace advertising, it's better to drive buyers to your own site. But some sellers may consider their Etsy shops their main online selling venue.
Would you be interested in paying Etsy to advertise your Etsy shop on other channels? What off-Etsy ads would be most compelling - for example, Google Shopping ads?
And, since eBay seems to be copying Etsy these days, what would you think of paying eBay to advertise your eBay Store on channels outside of eBay?