Best Etsy alternatives for growing your handmade business 

7 MINS
Eunice Asuncion

Etsy is a popular place that connects people who create handmade goods or collect vintage items with those who are looking for special, one-of-a-kind pieces. But with 7.5 million active sellers, you might find it harder to make your shop stand out. Plus, the fees for selling on Etsy can make it tough for you. That’s why many sellers are looking for other platforms to sell their items. Some find niche markets for specialized goods or values. Others start their own online store for more control.   

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some alternatives to Etsy, focusing on different eCommerce platforms where you can showcase your work. We’ll discuss the benefits of considering other marketplaces and the advantages of having your own eCommerce website.  

Note: Did you know Web.com can integrate with Etsy to list and sell products?

5 common challenges Etsy sellers face  

  • High competition. Etsy is a highly saturated market with millions of active sellers. The sheer volume of shops and products can make it difficult for sellers to stand out, even in niche categories.  
  • Fees. Etsy charges listing fees, transaction fees, and payment processing fees. For small-scale sellers, these fees can significantly cut into profit margins. Etsy also encourages sellers to spend on advertising to gain visibility, which further increases costs.  
  • Limited customization. While Etsy allows some level of shop customization, sellers have limited control over their shop’s layout and branding. This can make it challenging to create a unique and memorable brand identity within the platform.  
  • Customer acquisition and retention. Building a loyal customer base solely through Etsy can be challenging. The platform’s market dynamics often prioritize product searches over loyalty to specific shops. This makes it harder to secure repeat business and build a loyal customer base.  
  • Algorithm changes. Etsy’s search algorithm changes can dramatically affect shop visibility and sales. Sellers must continuously optimize their listings and stay abreast of best practices to maintain visibility. 

Given these challenges, some online sellers are debating whether it’s even worth it to sell on Etsy.

The best Etsy alternatives 

Online Store Builder by Web.com  

Unlike Etsy, where sellers compete in a large marketplace, Web.com provides the opportunity to establish your own standalone online store. This means you’re not one among many; instead, you have the chance to create a unique online store tailored specifically to your brand and products.  

One of the key benefits of Online Store Builder is its customization options. With easy-to-use tools and templates, you can create a visually appealing and professional-looking online store without needing any coding knowledge. It also comes with domain registration and marketing tools to help you showcase your products effectively and attract customers.  

Online Store Builder is ideal for you if you:  

  • are looking to establish a unique online presence with a store that truly reflects your brand and vision.  
  • want the freedom to design and customize your website without needing to learn how to code.  
  • need a comprehensive solution that includes not just building your store but also securing a domain name and marketing your business online.  
  • prefer to have all the tools for managing, marketing, and growing your online presence in one place.
Creating an online store

Handmade at Amazon  

Handmade at Amazon is a specialized online marketplace within Amazon designed for artisans like you to sell handmade products. The platform is integrated directly into the larger Amazon marketplace, which gives you access to a much wider customer base.   

Unlike Etsy, which is open to vintage items and craft supplies, Handmade at Amazon focuses strictly on genuinely handcrafted goods. You’ll need to apply and be approved, ensuring that your products meet a certain standard of quality and uniqueness before you could sell online. This sets it apart from other marketplaces where mass-produced items may be more common.  

On Handmade at Amazon, you don’t have to pay to list your items. Instead, you pay a referral fee when your item sells, which can be more flexible, especially if you sell a lot of different things.  

Handmade at Amazon is ideal for you if you:  

  • seek a specialized marketplace that focuses on handcrafted goods, distinguishing your products from mass-produced items.  
  • value the credibility and exposure that comes with selling on a platform as recognized as Amazon.  
  • want to benefit from Amazon’s extensive customer base and advanced logistics, including shipping and customer service.  
  • are willing to use a more standard way to brand and customize your shop, as compared to platforms like Etsy.

eBay  

eBay is one of the oldest and most well-known online marketplaces. It caters to a wide variety of items, from new and used goods to vintage and handmade items.  

One of eBay’s standout capabilities is its auction feature. This means buyers can bid on your items, which can be beneficial if you’re selling rare or in-demand items.   

While eBay offers a larger potential customer base and a broader product range, it doesn’t focus as much on handmade or vintage things like Etsy does. However, eBay can be a suitable alternative for you if you’re looking to reach a wider audience or sell a diverse range of products.  

eBay is ideal for you if you:  

  • are looking to sell not just handmade or vintage items, but also new and used goods across various categories.  
  • prefer a platform that supports auctions, which might help you get a better price for something special or in high demand.  
  • want a marketplace that offers a wide range of shipping and payment options to accommodate international transactions.  

How to create your own online store

While selling on established marketplaces offers convenience and immediate access to a large audience, having your own online store comes with a lot of benefits. It gives you full control over your brand, from the look and feel of your site to the customer experience. Plus, it allows you to build direct relationships with your customers, gather valuable data, and potentially enjoy higher profit margins without marketplace fees.   

Here’s a quick guide to get you started, from the initial planning stages to launching and marketing your store.  

Identify your niche and products or services  

Creating your own online store begins with careful planning. Start by identifying your niche market and target audience to understand who you’ll be selling to and guide your product selection and marketing efforts. Once you’ve defined your niche, decide on the range of products or services you want to offer, taking into account your expertise, passion, and market demand.  

Choose the right eCommerce platform  

Choosing the right eCommerce platform is crucial for the success of your online store. Consider factors such as cost, features, scalability, and ease of use when researching platforms such as Web.com. Each platform has its own set of advantages, so take the time to find the best fit for your business needs.  

Set up your online store  

With the platform chosen, it’s time to set up your online store. Register a memorable, brand-relevant domain name that reflects your business identity, and design your store with a theme that aligns with your brand and optimizes user experience. Add products with compelling descriptions, high-quality photos, and clear categorization to make browsing easy for customers.  

Set up payment and shipping  

Integrate secure payment gateways to ensure smooth transactions for your customers. Set up shipping options and policies, including rates and delivery times, to provide clarity and convenience for your buyers.  

Launch and market your store  

Finally, before launching your store, run a pre-launch checklist to ensure all functionalities are working smoothly. Once everything is in order, implement basic marketing strategies such as SEO, social media marketing, and email campaigns to drive traffic to your store and generate sales. With careful planning and execution, you can create a successful online store that effectively reaches your target audience and showcases your products or services in the best way possible.  

By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to launching a successful online store. Remember, the key to success is not just in starting but in continuously optimizing and marketing your store to stand out in the online marketplace.  

Find your ideal online platform  

Whether you’re already running an Etsy store and looking to expand your business or just starting out online, exploring alternatives to Etsy can offer new opportunities for growth. eBay and Handmade at Amazon are established marketplaces with large customer bases, which makes them ideal for reaching a wide audience and potentially increasing sales. However, if you’re seeking more control over your brand and want to carve out a unique space online, building your own store with platforms like Web.com may be a better fit.  

Each option mentioned above brings something different to the table. Finding the right fit for your creative business might require some digging and playing around with what works best. But remember, the journey to finding your perfect online place is part of the fun. 

  • Eunice Asuncion

    Eunice is a Content Marketing Specialist at Web.com. With over three years of writing experience, she uses the power of valuable content to not only inform but also inspire growth and success for individuals and business owners in the digital landscape.

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