Yesterday Etsy rolled out a new platform for Etsy sellers called “Pattern by Etsy”. This new site is supposed to help sellers who want their own standalone website build one with little no or technical expertise. While this sounds good in theory, Etsy is totally missing the point of what Etsy sellers need and why they want a standalone website to begin with.
What is Pattern by Etsy
Pattern by Etsy is a platform that pulls in an Etsy shop’s existing items and gives you a easy to use interface to build an online shop.
- There are 5 premade, mobile optimized themes you can choose from
- You can customize the colors and font on your theme and modify the shopping cart and listing pages for buyers
- Everything you do on Etsy will be reflected in your Pattern by Etsy shop. This includes listing new items, changing inventory quantities when something sells and automatically updating variations on your Pattern site when it is changed in your Etsy shop.
- Orders can be fulfilled right in the Pattern shop, just like you do it through your Etsy shop.
The cost of Pattern by Etsy is $15 a month plus a transaction fee of 3.5% in addition to payment processing fees. It is open to sellers who have Direct Checkout enabled.
Why Pattern by Etsy is a Bad Idea
Etsy really missed the mark on this one and it’s disappointing to see. They say that they developed this site to help Etsy sellers with their marketing, but the way the site works now it really does not do that at all. Here are some of the reasons why this site just doesn’t work for Etsy sellers:
- If Etsy shuts down or closes your shop, your Pattern by Etsy shop goes away with it. One of the biggest reasons sellers need to have a website for their merchandise outside of Etsy is to protect themselves if something happens on Etsy itself. If Amazon Handmade starts taking over this space and Etsy shuts down, or if your Etsy shop is taken down by Etsy and cannot be reinstated, then you’ve lost both of your selling platforms. An independent website protects sellers from this and provides them with a an alternative way to keep selling if something goes wrong on Etsy. Also, since your customer data is stored on Pattern, Etsy owns that information. It will be lost if something happens to your shop.
- Not enough customization. While you have some options for changing the way your new Pattern by Etsy shop looks, it does not offer enough customization to sellers. Etsy says that they created this platform to help Etsy sellers’ market their shops, but they still don’t offer an option to have buyers subscribe to a seller’s email newsletter. As many of you know, I recommend this as the #1 way to market your Etsy shop. This is the method that takes the least amount of time and gives you the best return on your investment. Etsy completely missed that opportunity with Pattern. (If you are interested in learning about our workaround to get an email newsletter opt in page for your regular Etsy shop visit http://www.HandmadeNewsletter.com).
- The site doesn’t allow for SEO optimization like a regular website would. There is no place to change your title tags (very important for SEO!) or include meta description tags. Any good standalone shop would allow you to edit these fields to help you get found in search engines. Your Pattern by Etsy shop will not get found by search engines easily, your regular Etsy shop has more customization opportunities for SEO.
Also, I do not understand the reason why Etsy sellers need to pay a transaction fee for every sale on top of a credit card processing fee and a $15 a month subscription fee. I can understand the transaction fee on Etsy because we’re not paying for the shops themselves and Etsy needs to make money (and they also help drive traffic to listings which brings the seller sales), but the transaction fee on Pattern by Etsy on top of the subscription fee makes no sense. Because there is not a lot of room to SEO the Pattern shop and there is no internal search engine to help your items get found like there is on Etsy, all traffic will be from marketing the Etsy seller does on their own.
Is There Anything Good About Pattern by Etsy?
It looks nicer. If you’ve been to the Etsy forums lately you may have seen people worrying about the new shop layout rolled out on April 5th. While the new layout definitely has it’s pros and cons, some sellers say they would like more customization opportunities and that they don’t like how everything is visible on the front page, taking away from shopping the products themselves. If you don’t like the look of your regular Etsy shop and want to set something up quickly to have a clean presentation to pitch your items to the press, to show potential wholesale buyers or for marketing purposes then this could be a good option for you. You can think of it as a line sheet for wholesalers without the wholesale prices and terms on it.
What Are Our Other Options?
I understand the need for Etsy sellers to have a standalone website that works for them and is easy to setup and maintain. I wanted to get this article out ASAP so Etsy sellers have some additional information before choosing whether or not to subscribe to Pattern. Right now I don’t have a cut and dry alternative. I’ll be trying out Shopify this month and will let you know if that is a good option for Etsy sellers. Another option is to go to Etsy and search for a website designer who can help you build a custom shop on a platform like WordPress. If anyone has worked with one in the past that they have liked please let me know and I’ll see if I can set up a deal for anyone looking for a custom site.
Comment below and let me know what you think about Pattern by Etsy. Do you like it? Do you hate it? If you think Pattern by Etsy IS a good idea, let me know your thoughts in the comments so we can hash out all the pros and cons so Etsy sellers can make an informed decision themselves.