As an artist, you create many goals for yourself. Your primary goal is to get your store up and running, but as business owner, you know there’s much more involved. You’ll need to dedicate a chunk of your time to increasing your back stock, testing new items, and improving your goods. An Etsy store provides you with an excellent platform for you to achieve your goals as an artist. And there are many benefits to starting an Etsy store; it’s a trusted platform, provides active customers, is easy to set up, has a low start-up cost, and supports product testing.
While Etsy is a great starting platform, the fact is, you should eventually graduate to having your own personal website for your Etsy store. This can be achieved through a separate site that features all the products you have on your Etsy store, creating two opportunities for consumers to purchase through you, or via an Etsy-Wordpress integration. Once you’ve created a secure WordPress site, the rest is as easy as 1-2-3. With a WordPress-Etsy integration, your descriptions, Etsy boxes, and photos will be directly processed through your website. This allows you to establish yourself as an expert without fully relying on your Etsy store.
Selling directly from your own website is ideal. Here are five benefits to having your own website to complement your Etsy store:
Having your own website creates ample opportunities for SEO. When it comes to SEO control, think of it like driving. With Etsy, you have some level of control, much like a passenger who can influence the driver to go a certain direction. With your own online ecommerce shop, you’re the driver. You do your own keyword research, decide which phrases are most likely to convert, and create a fresh, well-built site for Google engines to crawl. Set your titles, keywords, and descriptions how you please, and use SEO plugins to enhance your SEO tactics across each product page.
With your own website, you have full control over the layout, flow, and design. Etsy is its own brand, and therefore each of its sellers are pinned into that branding. Your entire store is in Etsy’s hand: if they decide to do a total rebranding, your store is re-branded as well. As an entrepreneur, you likely pride yourself on your ability to cultivate a brand story of your own, and your online store should reflect.
To relieve you of forced branding, use WordPress to push your own style. Choose a theme that matches your store and build out appropriately from there. Play with language, colors, and typography. As an Etsy store owner, you’re creative by nature, and your online shop should reflect that creativity. This ultimately makes your site much more memorable, and helps display the individuality and craftsmanship of your products.
This will also help you earn you more referrals. Most shoppers won’t remember the name of the individual seller or shop (especially when they all look the same), but with your own branding, you can create a more memorable shopping experience that’s easier to share socially.
You need complete control of your business if you want to experience complete growth. When you’ve ventured outside the Etsy platform, you have control over profits and visibility. With the website, you also have control over what information is displayed to your shoppers. For example, perhaps you don’t want your visitors to see which items are selling, and which aren’t. You should be able to decide what’s shown, and how it’s shown to viewers. Additionally, if anything happens to Etsy, or if Etsy decides to change its rules, you could be left out in the cold.
Lastly, you’ll deal with less fees. Etsy imposes several fees on its members, including a listing fee, a transaction fee, and a payment processing fee. With a solo ecommerce shop, you can publish as many listings as you want without paying for them.
Eliminates Customer Distractions
On Etsy, when a customer looks at your page, they’ll also see dozens of related products from other sellers that could lure them away. With your own website, there are no distractions. The only related products are yours, decreasing the chances of your customers making a purchase elsewhere after they’ve landed on your site. After all, your goal is to keep customers in your store, not make it easier for them to walk out.
This decreases the chance of option paralysis; imagine being in a mall where ten kiosks are all selling similar products. This is essentially what happens with Etsy’s “Related Products” pages. Notice that on platforms like Etsy and Amazon, there are tons of similar products surrounding the page. This can easily lead to a customer going down a rabbit hole of products that aren’t yours, and ultimately landing on a page that belongs to another company.
Easier List Building
There is huge potential in building an email list, and this is significantly more easy outside of Etsy. Neil Patel, a renowned name in the marketing world, said that “Out of all the channels I tested as a marketer, email continually outperforms most of them.” Email has solid conversion rates, and has truly stood the test of time in terms of marketing.
With your own email marketing list, you can build newsletter and opportunities that benefit you, and not just the Etsy marketplace as a whole. A thorough email list has huge monetization potential. You can use your email list to advertise discounts, send personalized email campaigns, and cross-sell and upsell. And studies have shown that for every $1 you spend on email marketing, your return on investment is roughly $38.
In a nutshell, email allows you to engage with your audience in a way that traditional outlets can’t. Long gone are the days of direct mail, and social media is a hit or miss way of capitalizing on the people who have demonstrated interest in your brand. After all, your email list is built on customer action: these subscribers have opted to sign up for your list and/or have purchased from you in the past. Therefore, this a verified audience backed by active proof.