Etsy: How to build a global business on trade Handicrafts Part 1

Etsy is an eCommerce website where you can buy or sell handmade items and various vintage items. The Etsy business began with enterprises around the trading platform of people, lovers of handmade and antique items.

According to the results of the public offering of securities (IPO), the company was priced at $2 000 000 000. Obviously, keep in such circumstances, the reputation of a trading platform “for its” will not work, and the leadership Etsy is a strategically important task to find a new face of the company.

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How it all began

The founder of Etsy Rob Kalin (Rob Kalin) says:

“In early April 2005, I was sitting on an orange chair before an open window. Night, the street is pitch dark. I just returned to Brooklyn from Paris, where he lived for some time and was going to jot down a few ideas that would ultimately become Etsy. In the work, I was helped by friends: Chris, Haim, and Jared. Because of this, Etsy has gone from concept to functioning website in about two months.”

Indeed, Etsy was founded in June 2005 by Rob Kalina, Chris Maguire (Chris Maguire), Soppecom Chaim (Haim Schoppik) and Jared Tarbella (Jared Tarbell).

25-year-old Kalina, who had the time to study in five different colleges to get a bachelor’s degree and in the end, carpenter job, needed the market for computers in wooden covers that he produced:

Naturally, such a market did not exist — and Rob Kalin decided to create it. Anyway, this is one of the versions.

According to another expressed by David Lipsonen (David Lifson), initially, Etsy was a normal freelance site. However, he was subsequently redeveloped into a Playground for those who want to sell or buy handmade things. Ebay, according to keen, the handmaiden of the people, on this role is not necessary. Lifson, recalls:

“Almost immediately after the website launch on him a flood of people interested in handmade. At the same time, they are not just recorded but also talked about the resource to their friends. The number of registrations grew, like a snowball”.

Note that the successful launch of the project contributed to the development of social networks and social situation, namely the popularity.

I wonder what Rob Kalin has long refused to talk about where did the name Etsy. Recently he has satisfied the curiosity of the fans online, stating:

“I chose the word, not bearing semantic load because I wanted to build a brand from scratch. I just watched the movie “Eight and a half” Federico Fellini and recorded what I heard. Italians often say “etsi” [eh, si], which means, “Oh, yeah.” It also means “And if” in the Latin language.”

By January 2008, Etsy had 50 employees and 650 000 users (120 000 of them — the sellers) from 127 countries. By 2010, the Etsy community has grown to 5 000 000 people and annual revenue exceeds $300 million.

In 2015, the platform has already benefited more than 50 000 000 people (including 1 400 000 sellers), and the results of IPO the company was valued by the market at $2 billion.

What allowed Etsy for 9 years to go from idea to business a huge scale?

Highlight key points:

  • Use in the interests of business public sentiment;
  • Achieving exponential growth of the audience;
  • Creating the most comfortable conditions for online shopping.

But back at the time when the founders of Etsy only prepared the launch pad for the take-off of the company.

The first years

At the initial stage before Rob Kalina and his team, the question arose: how to find people who will sell their work on their website? The solution was outside of the world wide web.

Etsy representatives began to visit various exhibitions of applied and decorative arts in the United States and Canada. Against the background of economic decline, while gaining popularity movement anti patriarchy. The number of different kinds of fairs where you can buy or sell handmade items grew by leaps and bounds.

Etsy team sought to attract the most influential artists, artisans, and collectors of vintage items, believing that the authorities will go to their followers. Leading artists, artisans, and collectors, in turn, did not mind to broaden the audience.

“Recruited” sellers sent their regular customers to the Etsy website, providing an additional influx of buyers.

Organic marketing

In a study conducted by Stephen carpenter (Steven Carpenter) in 2010, notes that Etsy is almost not spending money on attracting an audience.

Etsy primarily relied on organic channels, which in 2011 gave the company from 87% to 91% of the traffic. For paid advertising accounted for 2% to 7% traffic:

Besides the fact that organic traffic does not require financial costs, it also gives higher quality leads. What attracted sellers on Etsy?

Trading platform gave people a chance to turn your hobby into a small business. Coming to Etsy, they become entrepreneurs with the ability to manage their business as they like. It’s cuter than just place an ad on eBay.

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An important advantage of Etsy was the fact that the area allowed for permanent sellers to consistently increase your income by working on your online store. The table below shows the growth of average income of the active sellers in the period from 2011 to 2014:

For buyers, the website Etsy has become a place with a huge range of high-quality and original (and sometimes truly unique) things. That’s why Etsy is such a large proportion of repeat purchases:

For buyers, the website Etsy has become a place with a huge range of high-quality and original (and sometimes truly unique) things

In 2014, 78% of purchases were made by people who have previously purchased anything on Etsy. Of course, this victory in the fight for the loyalty of customers, the company opened the way for intensive growth.

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