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E-Commerce: Etsy 4 May 2010

Posted by nsiegel922 in Design, e-commerce, Examples, Websites.
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About:

Etsy.com is an E-Commerce site that connects artists and craft makers with potential buyers. Etsy’s goal is to provide artisans with the platform they need to promote and sell their goods, and likewise, provide consumers with the venue to buy homemade, unique items that can’t be found in the stores.  Etsy makes money by generating revenue through listing fees and sales commissions

Similarities and Differences:

Etsy differs from traditional online retailers in that each item is unique and sold from individual artists.  It is different from Nordstrom, Bluefly and but similar to Groupon in that their business model relies on the end-user getting involved (Groupon only go through if they meet the minimum requirement of sales).  Without their sellers and artists, Etsy would have nothing to provide their customers.  Etsy offers more of a community experience.  Users get involved, post events and build relationships with one another.  Though similar to Nordstrom.com, Etsy has too much white space that isn’t being utilized appropriately.

Strengths:

Etsy has a well organized home page which makes it easy to search for products by category.   The homepage showcases listed items which is visually appealing to consumers looking to shop.  Etsy promotes user involvement – there is a community tab that lists events and updates which adds a personable feature to the site.  

Weaknesses/Recommendations:

Etsy has a robust blog, however, it does not appear to be tagged well.

For being a site that caters to artists, the site isn’t so aesthetically appealing.  Even though it is an eclectic site with thousands of contributors, each with a different style, I would still expect brighter colors, a more artistic design and a cleaner, more consistent layout.   Fonts need to be bolder and brighter to stand out to the consumer.

Additionally, for having such a loyal following, the site does not leverage social media very well.  Any option to share with a friend is either extremely hidden or not shown at all.  Lastly, when clicking on an item in Etsy, a new window opens, which can be rather cumbersome if clicking on several products.   Perhaps opening a new tab or even going to a new page in the same browser would be more efficient.

Summary:

Etsy.com is very niche and its users are very active on the site.  For the purpose of maintaining current customers, the site does suffice, however, as far as bringing in new customers and creating a compelling landing page for search queries, the company has a bit of work to do.  

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