Etsy is a fantastic marketplace for selling handmade and mass-produced art, craft, clothing and more. The platform provides great exposure and traffic to Etsy sellers’ shops. Some Etsy sellers have made a successful business out of doing what they love, like this teen, who paid her way through college making handmade jewelry! What many Etsy sellers don’t realize is that they could be expanding their success by not only selling through Etsy, but also selling their craft and artistry through their own online shop.
Importance of Building a Brand
First thing’s first, Etsy sellers need to create their own brand. While Etsy’s platform provides free exposure, an Etsy seller cannot craft his or her own brand because Etsy’s brand is embedded in the shop. Sellers also can’t make their shop truly unique because Etsy shop design tools are limited. At the end of the day, sellers are still promoting Etsy’s platform, not their own brand.
Sellers benefit from traffic that Etsy drives to their shop, through its buyer community. However, sellers can lose that traffic if a potential customer clicks on another shop link and navigates away from their shop. This can be especially frustrating for sellers that are proactively getting their own traffic, only to lose customers to other shops in Etsy’s marketplace.
How a Website Can Drive Seller Success
Setting up an ecommerce website gives Etsy sellers the authority and flexibility to develop their brand to align with their style and promote their very own shop. This not only creates a clear vision for a seller’s brand, but also encourages people to keep shopping in one place.
With Etsy, people will have temptations to click away from a shop to look at other shops in the marketplace. There are more ways on Etsy to lose a potential customer than on a standalone ecommerce website, like Etsy’s category links, related items links and the search bar.
Top Website Builders for Etsy Sellers
Here are a list of website builders catered specifically towards Etsy sellers, artists and crafters. They were selected based on their affordable plan options, flexibility with product listings and other ecommerce capabilities, and easy website set-up with no coding required (Thank you beautiful templates). We’ve highlighted the plan for each website builder that is comparable in price to the others on the list and offers plenty of commerce tools and features.
Big Cartel is an ecommerce website builder dedicated to artists and crafters. This option is great for people just starting out. Big Cartel offers a free plan where you can sell products with a .bigcartel.com domain. The paid plans are affordable and this website builder has 10 templates to get an online store set up in a jiffy. The downside is that sellers can only list up to 300 items with the most expensive plan. So if they want to list more products, they will need to go with another website builder. Find out more here.
Let’s break down the plans:
- Gold ($0/mo) Up to 5 products 1 image per product, SEO optimization & order management No transaction fees No integration or importing
- Platinum ($9.99/mo) Up to 25 products 5 images per product, SEO optimization & order management, inventory tracking, sell digital products, sell in-person with Facebook
No transaction fees No integration or importing
- Diamond ($19.99/mo) Up to 100 products 5 images per product No transaction fees No integration or importing
- Titanium ($29.99/mo) Up to 300 products 5 images per product No transaction fees No integration or importing
Shopify is a website builder dedicated to ecommerce. It has robust capabilities for setting up shop and sellers get all the bells and whistles to manage ecommerce, get stats on the shop’s visibility and success, and track inventory. This option is great for Etsy sellers who are ready to turn a hobby into a serious business. Shopify has some of the more expensive plans compared to the other website builders on this list, but the tools offered help support the business-focused seller. Sellers can choose from hundreds of free and paid themes for their website and import their Etsy products with a CSV file. Shopify doesn’t offer a free plan like Big Cartel or Zibbet. It gives potential customers a free trial for 14 days. Find out more here.
Let’s break down the plans:
- Lite ($9/mo) *10% off when paid annually Unlimited Ecommerce on Facebook using Shopify’s Buy Button or POS but no online store. Unlimited file storage, order creation, discount codes, 2% transaction fee using approved payment gateways (or no transaction fee using Shopify’s payment gateway) Can import products with a CSV file *See Shopify manual for more information
- Basic ($29/mo) *10% off when paid annually Unlimited Online store with website, blog, SSL certificate, fraud analysis if using Shopify’s payment gateway 2% transaction fee using approved payment gateways (or no transaction fee using Shopify’s payment gateway) Can import products with a CSV file
- Pro ($79/mo) *10% off when paid annually Unlimited 5 images per product, ecommerce perks that Basic plan offers and fraud analysis for all payment gateways (not just Shopify’s), gift cards, reports and abandoned cart recovery 1% transaction fee using approved payment gateways (or no transaction fee using Shopify’s payment gateway) Can import products with a CSV file
- Unlimited ($179/mo)*10% off when paid annually Unlimited Includes feature of Pro plan with advanced reporting and real-time carrier shipping 0.5% transaction fee (or no transaction fee using Shopify’s payment gateway) Can import products with a CSV file
Squarespace is known for helping artists and solopreneurs set up their portfolio or website. Yes, they have beautiful templates for a landing page or blog, but they also do commerce. Squarespace’s ecommerce features may not be as robust as Shopify’s, nor can a seller post nearly as many products on Squarespace for the price compared to Shopify, Big Cartel or Zibbet, but it’s a solid option for people that want to get a beautiful ecommerce website going for a little bump in price. Customers also get a free custom domain with an annual purchase of a plan. Find out more here.
Let’s break down the plans:
- Personal ($12/mo) *$8/mo when paid annually 1 20 pages, galleries and blogs with unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage and 2 Contributors. Can sell 1 product and accept donations. 3% transaction fee
Can import products from Etsy or integrate Etsy shop into website
*See Squarespace’s importing details
*See Squarespace’s instructions for using Etsy with Squarespace
- Business ($26/mo)
*$18/mo when paid annually Up to 25 products Unlimited pages and galleries, professional email from Google and $100 Google Adwords credit. 2% transaction fee Can import products from Etsy or integrate Etsy shop into website
- Basic Commerce ($35/mo) *$26/mo when paid annually Unlimited Includes Business features plus commerce metrics, inventory tracking and discounts No transaction fees Can import products from Etsy or integrate Etsy shop into website
- Advanced Commerce ($80/mo) *60/mo when paid annually Unlimited Includes Basic Commerce features plus abandoned checkout autorecovery No transaction fees Can import products from Etsy or integrate Etsy shop into website
Virb is an easy and affordable website builder for artists that want to get a website up and running quickly. It has used Etsy’s API to offer websites that fully integrate with a seller’s Etsy shop. Here are the step-by-step instructions for integrating a store on Etsy with Virb. The downside is that sellers still have to do commerce through Etsy and still maintain the Etsy brand of their commerce shop, so it isn’t really a great option for people that are ready to build their own brand outside of Etsy. Sellers also have the option of integrating their Big Cartel store to Virb. Virb doesn’t offer a free version, but Etsy sellers can try it out free for 10 days. Find out more here.
There is one plan option with Virb, let’s break it down:
($10/mo) *50% off when first 6 months paid Commerce through Etsy store listings Unlimited photos and pages, site analytics and SEO tools, built-in blog Etsy transaction fee is 3.5%
Can integrate Etsy store onto shop
Wix is a website builder with easy drag and drop customization tools and solid commerce features. It has hundreds of template themes to choose from and offers sellers a free domain for a year with purchase of an annual plan. Find out more about their features here and pricing here.
Let’s break down the plans:
- Basic Store ($24.90/mo) *$16.70/mo when paid annually Info N/A (Gage by storage capacity ) 10GB bandwidth, 20GB storage, commerce tools like order tracking and inventory management, SSL certificate and $75 Google Adwords credit No transaction fees
Can integrate Etsy shop into website
*See Wix’s instructions for integrating Etsy store with website
- Unlimited Store ($38.90/mo)
*$24.92/mo when paid annually Info N/A Includes Basic Store features and unlimited bandwidth and 35GB storage and email marketing tools No transaction fees Can integrate Etsy shop into website
- VIP Store ($53.90/mo) *$34.92/mo when paid annually Info N/A Includes Unlimited Store features and 50GB storage, SEO and store professional review. No transaction fees Can integrate Etsy shop into website
Zibbet’s website builder is catered towards crafters, artists and makers. It offers easy set up with sleek themes catered toward handmade creators. Zibbet’s ecommerce tools include order management, advanced stats, SEO tools and promotional tools like coupon codes to help sellers engage with their customers. Zibbet is perfect for the handmade seller that wants an affordable, comprehensive and easy option to make some side income or start a full fledged craft business. Zibbet also provides each seller with an online store in its online marketplace. Sellers benefit by getting extra exposure to their products, without having to worry about re-listing products or making sure the copy is the same across the website and store, they’re always in sync. Plus, any edits being made can be previewed in real-time. Zibbet is one of the only ecommerce builders that offers a free plan (List up to 10 products with Zibbet, 5 products with Big Cartel). Customers also get a free custom domain with an annual purchase of a plan. Find out more here.
Let’s break down the plans.
- Free ($0/mo) 10 Free .zibbet.com domain, access to one theme with customization No transaction fees
Can import products from Etsy
*See Zibbet’s importing details
- Starter ($5/mo) *$4/mo when paid annually Up to 50 products 1 year free domain with annual plan, Use 4 images per product, basic stats and all 4 template themes No transaction fees Can import products from Etsy
- Pro ($10/mo) *$8/mo when paid annually Unlimited Includes Starter features plus upload 8 images per product and get advanced insights on stats, create coupons and discounts No transaction fees Can import products from Etsy
- Unlimited ($20/mo) *16/mo when paid annually Unlimited Includes Pro features plus premium themes, full customization and option to remove Zibbet branding No transaction fees Can import products from Etsy
Considering Etsy’s website builder: Pattern
Etsy launched its own website builder in April 2016, and for $15 a month, sellers get a website that integrates with their Etsy store products and get some website customization tools. Pattern hasn’t been around for as long as the other website builders on this list but it certainly is convenient for Etsy sellers to adopt. A word of caution, what may be efficient to set up may not be lucrative for Etsy sellers.
There are drawbacks to Etsy’s standalone websites as they aren’t 100% standalone. Websites are co-branded with Etsy, which constricts sellers from creating and promoting their own brand. Etsy branding is on the website and through the checkout process. Shoppers also must sign up with Etsy in order to buy from a seller’s website.
The Etsy transaction fee is 3.5%, a fee that is higher than the other website builders listed whose fees range from 0% to 3%. Some Etsy sellers on Etsy’s forum have voiced that Pattern websites look like a “skin” of their Etsy store. Beyond the theme customization tools, Etsy websites are a lot like Etsy stores, which might be easy for sellers to use, but unattractive for sellers that want to branch out and create their own brand.
Key takeaways for choosing a website builder
Sellers will want to determine how much customization they want with their ecommerce website. Those that want an easy solutions to get their own brand live should try Big Cartel or Zibbet. If sellers want the option to choose from many themes try Squarespace, Wix or Shopify. If sellers want complex ecommerce tools for a large business operation, they should try Shopify.
The most affordable plan options are offered by Big Cartel and Zibbet, but Zibbet offers more ecommerce tools and unlimited product listings for sellers. Shopify and Wix are a couple of the more expensive website builders, but also offer robust ecommerce tools when customers pay for a more expensive plan. If having the option to sell an unlimited number of products is a top priority, then selling with Zibbet will be the most affordable ($10/mo with no transaction fees), then Shopify ($29/mo with 2% transaction fee with payment gateways or no transaction fee with Shopify’s payment gateway ), then Squarespace ($35/mo with no transaction fees).
Let’s dive into transaction fees. Besides payment gateway card transaction fees, website builders on this list have varying degree of transaction fees, from zero to 3.5%. Big Cartel and Zibbet charge zero transaction fees for free and paid plans, and Wix charges no transaction fees (unless sellers integrate their Etsy store, then Etsy store transaction fee is 3.5%). Shopify charges a 3% transaction fee down to 0.5% transaction fee depending on the plan, and charges no transaction fees if sellers use Shopify’s own payment gateway. Squarespace charges 3% down to no transaction fees depending on the plan. Sellers should keep in mind that Etsy store integration into websites is convenient, but they also will incur Etsy’s 3.5% transaction fee (and a $0.20 listing fee per item).
Lastly, Etsy sellers can have an easy transition from their Etsy store to an ecommerce website with some Etsy-friendly tools. Shopify, Squarespace and Zibbet have a product importer, so sellers can easily transfer their product listings from their Etsy store to their website. For sellers that want a website and don’t mind doing ecommerce through Etsy, they can try Squarespace, Virb or Wix that all allow for Etsy store integration.
Nisa Chavez Taylor is PR Lead at Zibbet, a website builder and marketplace for artists, crafters and makers. She loves learning and sharing insights about starting up, self development and success.