Forgetsy Me Not: Etsy is the Rising Titan in Handmade Ecommerce

Caroline Malouse Etsy Shop

Image from: Vermilionarie’s Etsy Shop / Etsy.com

I’m a cooler person because of Etsy.com. It’s true—just ask anyone who mildly likes me. They’ll tell you I’ve got some major coolness points wrapped up in accessories, all of which I’ve procured from the crafty artisans hosting their shops on Etsy.com. So, since Etsy seems to be the providence of my stylish reputation, I decided to use Compete PRO to get a breakdown of Etsy’s niche in the virtual world of ecommerce.

We’ve written about Etsy’s success in ecommerce before, but I want to know more about the quirks of their approach in specific. What are people on Etsy looking for? Notably, the large draw of Etsy is the person-to-person aspect of their products and shops. Other sites like this include Ebay, but their differing Unique Visitors set them at totally different scales (Ebay.com’s May average being 74,770,498, and Etsy.com’s being 7,749,737). However, Etsy excels reputably in one place Ebay does not: handmade crafting. And here’s the proof:

Daily Keyword Destinations for Handmade

The above shows the top destinations for the keyword ‘Handmade,’ and Etsy is reigning champion. They have the highest referral volume at 12.87% despite only paying for 3.58%, while Ebay only musters up 3.77% of the volume and pays 17.42%. This insinuates something specific: people who know they want handmade crafts also know exactly where to look, and that’s Etsy.com. Perhaps this is further complemented by taking a look at Etsy’s search referrals: of the top ten shown below, eight are variations of the Etsy name, imparting a brand-like quality to this digital bazaar.

Daily Search Referrals to Etsy.com

Furthering Etsy’s brand-like feel is the aura it has established in the way it allows its shoppers to publicize their taste using social networking sites. With the advent of Pinterest, Etsy has a new platform that seems specifically designed to complement the often artistic emphasis in the product depictions. Often times the photos of the products themselves are genuinely gorgeous and attractive, making Etsy’s addition of the Facebook ‘like’ button, a Twitter ’tweet’ button and a Pinterest ‘Pin it’ button a smart move: it’s the same psychology behind accessorizing, but it’s for your social media! To verify this, I checked the incoming traffic to Etsy from these social media websites.

Incoming Traffic for Etsy.com May 2012

As you can see, Facebook and Pinterest reign at the second and fourth highest spots, respectively, siphoning in almost 13% combined of Esty’s total incoming traffic. That’s a lot of influx from social networking, and that’s a lot of exposure for the crafters on Esty.com. What do you think about Etsy reigning supreme in the world of handmade ecommerce? Can online marketers apply some lessons from Etsy’s success to their own ecommerce sites? Let us know in the comment box below!

About Ryan LaSala:
Ryan La Sala joins Compete as the Digital Marketing Co-op for Compete.com, sovereign of all things social media. Ryan is a current attendant of Northeastern University, dual-majoring in Cultural Anthropology and International Affairs (with minors in Biology and Psychology), with career interests in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Consumer Anthropology. Aside from acquiring aspirations with big words, Ryan’s other interests include reading cheesy fiction, writing in any capacity, singing and cooking. Find Ryan on twitter @Ryality or connect with him on LinkedIn.