Etsy, the colossal online crafts marketplace, yesterday (4.5.2016) unveiled “Pattern by Etsy,” a new paid service ($15 per month after a one-month trial) that allows Etsy sellers to create an ecommerce-enabled website in addition to the seller’s Etsy marketplace account page. Sellers using the service will be able to automatically sync content and commerce from their marketplace account (to be renamed “Shop Home”) to their website.


According to Mike Grishaver, Etsy’s senior vice president of product, having the ability to manage a “Shop Home” presence on the Etsy marketplace, as well as on a seller’s own website, “gives our sellers more control to highlight their brands both on and off the Etsy marketplace and provide them with the tools they need to tell the unique stories of their creative businesses.”

A simple explanation for what this means

Before now: Etsy sellers had an account that included a user page that served as a storefront hosted on a massive website marketplace called Etsy.com.

Now: Etsy sellers now have the option to add an ecommerce-enabled website using a domain name other than Etsy.com, say, “CraftStoreUsedAsExample.com.” (Please be more creative, however.)

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Why does Etsy want sellers to set up a website service outside its marketplace?

First reason: Because the sellers want them to.
Second reason: Because, with a couple of clicks on any number of website-hosting companies, the seller can already create one.

But unlike the other options, a Pattern by Etsy website will provide sellers the ability to have a website that is made especially for Etsy sellers. Most important, the website will automagically have content from the seller’s “Home Shop.” And it will already have an ecommerce feature built in.

But here’s another reason we’d like to suggest. As Etsy has said many times, they are not in the business of managing a marketplace; they are a “Craft Entrepreneurship Ecosystem.” Etsy’s stated mission is to help its sellers sell, not help its sellers sell only within the Etsy silo.


Also on SmallBusiness.com: These previous posts on SmallBusiness.com can help you  understand the Etsy ethos and the ways it helps sellers expand into various markets, both online and off:


What other small business marketplaces could follow this model?

Since more than half of small businesses don’t have a website, this approach would seem to be a no-brainer for any platform hosting huge numbers of merchants, like, say, Ebay. Or how about having a related “domain” website that’s tied to one’s Kickstarter account?

Or what about every major player in the on-demand economy? As long as the ecommerce engine followed the on-demand economy provider, why not let the information power a website for an Uber driver?

Stay tuned.