Etsy is an online marketplace for selling handmade and vintage items to consumers. If you want to start a website like Etsy, then you should learn everything you can about e-commerce selling.
Over 1 million sellers sell almost $2 billion dollars worth of goods on Etsy every year. In this article, you will learn how to create a website like Etsy and turn it into a successful e-commerce business.
1. Get a Domain & Hosting
You will need to acquire a short yet brandable domain name for your new website. Brainstorm a bunch of domains then create a list of 5 potential domain names. If you need domain ideas, use Namestation to generate some domain ideas.
I recommend following these general domain guidelines:
- Short (6 characters or less)
- Easy to Remember
- Easy to Spell
- Avoids any trademarks
- .COM extension (or a country level domain if you want to target a certain country)
Once you have found a good domain, head over to Hostgator and see if it’s available. You’ll get a free domain name and unlimited hosting space for just $3.96 per month.
E-Commerce websites typical have shorter domain names like Amazon.com, eBay.com and Etsy.com. Length is super important because you must make it easy to buyers to remember your website. Don’t settle for a subpar domain name because your domain is your brand.
Consider buying a domain from somebody else if you need to.
2. Choose a Website Script
In order to build a website like Etsy, you need a good e-commerce solution. There are two main CMS options: WordPress and custom PHP scripts. Both of these options provide you enough to make a website like Etsy.
WordPress Etsy Themes
Custom PHP Scripts
Get a custom logo
Every e-commerce website needs a custom logo to establish their brand. If you are on a limited budget, get a cheap logo from Fiverr for $5. If you have a bigger budget, I recommend 99designs.
3. Attract Buyers & Sellers
Your job is to connect buyers with potential sellers. In the beginning, nobody will use your website. List some items for sale yourself to make your website more activity. Recruit friends & family to use your website too. All you need is a few sales to encourage people to leave feedback and tell their friends. Word of mouth is the most powerful marketing strategy for e-commerce websites.
Once you attract enough sellers, then buyers will come looking for things to purchase. Create a clear navigation structure to help visitors find what they need. Put a big search bar on the homepage that you cannot miss.
4. Drive Traffic
SEO, social media & PCC advertising should drive the bulk of your traffic.I will write a future article on e-commerce SEO in a few days. Right now, I’m going to share some amazing articles that explain how to drive traffic to your e-commerce website
E-Commerce SEO Tips
Social Media for E-Commerce Websites
PPC Marketing for E-Commerce Websites
5. Make Money
Etsy’s business model generates revenue including a fee of 3.5% of sale value, which an Etsy seller pays for each completed transaction, and a listing fee of 20 Cents per item. ‘Seller Services’, Etsy’s fastest growing revenue stream, includes fees for services such as Promoted Listings, payment processing and purchases of shipping labels through the platform. ‘Other’ revenue includes fees received from third-party payment processors.
Your biggest revenue source is the 3.5% sale value fee. Focus on maximizing seller listings and optimizing your website for sales. Listing fees will add to your bottom line and help you cover employee and other expenses. The easier you make it for sellers to market their store, the more money you will make.
Provide your sellers with lots of tools & resources to help them boost sales. Don’t view your sellers as “seller fees” but rather as business partners. Etsy has over 1 million sellers but I guarantee only 20% of the sellers drive 80% of the sales (check out the Pareto Principle).
Identify your “Power Sellers” and work exclusively with them to boost their sales. You only need a handful of great sellers to build a highly profitable website like Etsy.