Etsy is launching a new craft supplies marketplace
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Etsy announced plans to roll out a craft supplies marketplace, called Etsy Studio, in April.
The DIY e-commerce site is already onboarding sellers to the marketplace and plans to launch with at least 8 million products, including things like paintbrushes and mosaic tiles.
For context, that’s much larger than the typical craft store, which offers around 33,000 products. Much of the business is anticipated to be B2B, as the existing craft sellers on Etsy will probably be the first customers using this marketplace to purchase supplies to make their own craft goods. The move will help the company capitalize on an existing customer base and drastically expand its presence in the $44 billion craft supply market, where it competes with the likes of Michael’s and Hobby Lobby.
Etsy already offers craft supplies, but Etsy Studio will renew focus on this segment by offering additional features for both buyers and sellers. Here are a few:
- Extended search filters will allow buyers to easily narrow down their search to type of craft, with additional filters within each category. This feature could be very popular among niche crafters, such as book artists or bone carvers, who are usually designated a small section in stores and have very little offerings to choose from.
- New video tutorials will seamlessly connect viewers to the supplies they will need to create a specific craft item.
- The Shop Manager interface will provide additional support to users.The platform will include tools like inventory management, order tracking, and shop analytics to assist its customers in growing their shops. The success of vendors is beneficial to Etsy as it collects fees on product listings and a percentage of each sale. The Shop Manager will also connect sellers to other services Etsy provides such as Pattern, which assists with website set up, and Wholesale, which connects them to boutiques that can carry their merchandise.
The marketplace will better position Etsy as it faces competition from Amazon. At a time when Amazon is gunning for Etsy’s core craft goods business through its Handmade marketplace, Etsy is seeking to grow its footprint in the affiliated craft supplies segment with Studio. Etsy continues to post growth — even with the entrance of Handmade, Etsy posted double-digit gains across most key metrics in Q3 2016, indicating its ability to maintain control over the DIY e-commerce market. But it’s clearly working to solidify its dominance while adding new business lines through initiatives like Studio.
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