Back in 2016, we opened The Shinn Life storefront on Etsy.com. Since then, we’ve been exceptionally grateful for all of the benefits that Etsy brought us (a more intuitive framework, easy to learn interface, a built in marketplace, to name a few). But as we climbed our way from our 1st sale to our 2,000th, we also started getting squished against the metaphorical “box” Etsy packaged us in.
Etsy is a wonderful tool for small business owners who are just starting out and I would highly recommend them as a platform to anyone who is just getting started. The built in marketplace, the integrated shipping system, and the miles of articles, Youtube videos and Facebook groups with information on setting up an Etsy shop alone is incredible.
But as our shop grew bigger, we also started reevaluating not only our costs but our workflow. Some of the reasons we’re making a transition:
- Etsy listings must be renewed every 4 months, or each time you sell an item. Each time a listing is renewed (whether you sold it or not) you pay the listing fee again.
- On top of listing fees are transaction fees, subscription fees and payment processing fees. Want your listings to show up higher in the search ranking? You can also pay a fee to promote your listings.
- Coupon codes are limited. I can easily do a store-wide sale or percentages off your order based on the order total, but there isn’t an option for something like a BOGO (buy one get one) sale or a “free gift with purchase” opt-in.
- Gift cards are only available for Etsy as a whole, not shop specific. As one of the most requested items around Christmas or Birthdays, I wanted our customers to be able to purchase a #shinnsparkle gift card for those hard-to-buy-for family or friends.
- Our customers are like family, and we wanted a rewards program for them. Taking the big leap from Etsy to WooCommerce gave us the capability to do the rewards points and referral programs we’d been dreaming of.
- Our monthly Mystery Boxes regularly sell out, but I was limited to only having my own products inside each box if I was to list them through Etsy. Listing them on WooCommerce, I am able to collaborate with other shop owners for future Mystery Boxes.
Many people have asked if the Big Leap meant we’d be shutting down our Etsy shop – and to that, I always fervently respond with “Not at all!”. Etsy is one of the reasons we’ve grown to the company we are today, and we will continue to have a storefront on their website. However, we have big plans for our future and by building a stand alone website like this one – our only limitations are our imaginations.