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.
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.
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.
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.