Twostringjane’s website made with Pattern by Etsy

Making handmade goods might be the easy part when you consider all the work that goes into selling those products online. Now Etsy is giving its sellers a new tool for building a standalone website that easily populates with data from Etsy’s own online marketplace, making launching and maintaining an e-commerce site a whole lot easier.

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Pattern by Etsy is being billed to its 1.6 million sellers as a way to make a nice-looking website “that’s less Etsy and more you.” So it’s completely customizable, with plenty of templates, but there’s no Etsy branding here whatsoever. For $15/month, which includes hosting, sellers can make a clean, well-designed interface that automatically integrates all the information from their online stores.

Purlbknit’s Etsy store (left) and website made with Pattern (right)

Some Etsy sellers I know just use their Etsy shop as their website, so this looks like it might be a quick way for those sellers to add some polish to their online presence. But this tool will be the most useful for those who maintain a shop and a website already. This not only allows sellers to visually unite their brand across platforms, but also to manage both shop and website in a single backend location. For people who are constantly adding and editing new inventory, that’s a godsend.

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Pattern also puts Etsy in competition with companies like Squarespace or Cargo, which have site-building tools with similar aesthetics that have been embraced by artists and designers. But using those web tools still means adding an e-commerce widget, or directing people over to Etsy (or PayPal or Square) for purchases. This type of user interface is refreshing, and design-wise, it’s heads and shoulders above something like Amazon’s Handmade marketplace, which launched last year.

As a person who wants to buy products, shopping on a site like this makes the entire process easier and more enjoyable, which will likely encourage me to buy more. From Etsy’s perspective, it’s very smart.

[Pattern by Etsy via CNET]