Etsy is considering offering buyers a return guarantee, Etsy CFO Rachel Glaser indicated during an investor presentation at the Stifel 2019 Cross Sector Insight Conference on Tuesday.
Glaser said Etsy reinvested in its customer care so it could offer 24/7 email, chat, and phone support for buyers and sellers beginning in the fourth quarter after it had raised transaction fees. Etsy can help remediate returns for buyers having difficulties, she said. "If we want to, we can actually just take care of it. The message that we want is, "we've got your back.""
"We don't promote that right now," she continued, "but the Etsy guarantee is something that we would consider moving towards so that people know that there is a way to get the item returned if they wanted to."
Interestingly she was not asked who would fund such a guarantee - Etsy itself, sellers, or a mix.
Glaser said Etsy is much more demand focused (buyers) than the previous management. Etsy doesn't necessarily try to do what sellers are asking for, but doing what's best for the seller, which is more GMS (Gross Merchandise Sales).
"When a seller churns off the site, we rarely lose the GMS because there's so much supply that if we lose that particular seller, there's many other sellers selling that same product to satisfy the demand for it. With that said, we're less focused on the seller churn dynamic."
She referenced the 80/20 rule, saying a minority of sellers have the majority of GMS. "We're concerned with a healthy marketplace and helping all of them grow."
Asked about the threat posed by Amazon, which has a Handmade marketplace, Glaser said Etsy has what she called a competitive moat. "I think Amazon has a good amount of supply on their hands, handcrafted items, but nowhere near the 60 million items that we've created."
Glaser said Etsy has 12,000 seller teams where they help and support each other. "There's something about that community" that is also a differentiator for Etsy, she said.