How to Get Off Etsy and Start Your Own Online Store: A Guide for Makers

For makers, Etsy is the perfect marketplace to get started. It’s internationally popular, full of other makers, and gives you a good number of features that you can get started with for free. When your store starts to kick off, Etsy’s fees don’t even seem like all that much, but at the end of the day, it’s costing you a lot of money to have an extensive collection of items on your store, and costs again every time someone buys something. This could easily be money that goes back into your products or into your pocket. 

Benefits of Selling Yourself 

When you sell your wares in your own store, you have greater control over the quality of the store, can showcase your products in a unique format, and pay less in fees. Will you still need to pay someone? Probably. However, rather than a per-item fee that’s charged once a month when you have your store on someone else’s website, you can be in control and pay a lower rate for a domain name and host server. Another payment to consider is a fee to the payment processing company. 

If you are nervous about websites and creating and running your own, you may want to contact a professional IT company or web development firm that can get you started. They could either manage the website for you or just set everything up and let you take over. However, there are many guides to creating your website online, so you might find it easier than you expected. 

With complete control over your website and online store, you will be able to build up your brand and your products exactly how you want to without as many restraints. Overall more money will remain in your pocket, and you’ll have greater control over your store and goods. 

How to Get Off Etsy and Start Your Own Online Store 

There’s a lot to think about when it comes to starting your own e-commerce store – from setting up the website itself to your Google Ads management strategy and even search engine optimization (SEO). Since you are now in complete charge of your website, you have greater control over your approach. You can hire an agency to help you get a higher return on your Google Ads campaign, for example. You can also use professional SEO services to help boost your site’s rankings and make it more visible and accessible to users. 

These might seem trivial matters – but you are now in charge of marketing yourself as a website owner, and the best way to do that these days is through online ads and SEO. This takes time to build up, so it is a good idea to do some research and grow your website with SEO in mind – this will make it easier for you down the line.

Build a Great Website 

To successfully sell online, you need a great website. This website should look amazing, be a dream to use, be fully optimized, and have products front and centre. Your products should look great and be described enticingly, and it should only take a few clicks to check out. For best results, hire professionals to bring your website up to speed. The same applies to any digital marketing campaign you host – especially around your launch. Have as many people as you can test out your website before it goes live – what might be obvious to you may not be intuitive to someone else. 

Consider the logistics side of your shop as well. The basic premise of selling is to make it as easy as possible for people to give you money. Therefore, provide as many payment options as you can – this might cost slightly more in fees, but it will definitely be worth it due to potentially increased sales.

You should also ensure that any delivery costs are highlighted early in the buying process. Surprise high delivery costs are a significant cause of cart abandonment and should be avoided. Instead, try to offer flat rates where you can and have these visible on the cart page, and if a product is heavy and needs special shipping, then outline this clearly on the product page.  

When creating your website, keep in mind that you’ll need items to sell, so set some aside that won’t be purchased on Etsy in the meantime. It’s a particularly good idea to create a special new line to truly celebrate the occasion of your website’s launch. 

Start Marketing Your Intentions 

You want your active audience to know about the move well in advance. While you may find it beneficial to operate both an Etsy store and your own e-commerce store for a while, you may eventually need to close down your marketplace operations to focus entirely on your own site. You can do this by putting up notices on your Etsy store and including ads for your new site within your emails to customers and in your parcels. 

You can start by just advertising that this is happening, but the sooner you can put in a cut-off date for your Etsy store, the better. You might also want to entice people to your new online store by offering products you have stopped offering on Etsy or have not sold before. By marketing your intentions well in advance, you can also build up a mailing list – particularly if you offer a launch discount to people who sign up. 

Host a Big Launch Event

You want a big response when you launch your new website, so you need to plan an event and create a full-scale marketing campaign. As mentioned above, those who signed up for your newsletter could get a special deal; they may also get early access to a new limited-time-only design or product. Whatever special event you plan, use social media, digital, and PPC marketing to bring in new customers. 

As well as a special sale, you’ll want as many people as possible to sign up for your mailing list for the best results. Remember, too, that retaining a customer is much easier and cheaper than generating a new one – so consider offering returning customers money off or a little freebie as a thank you. You want to make sure that people come back after the first initial push, so work on long-term marketing and offers to keep your customers happy and loyal to your brand. 

Everyone loves having their opinion sought, so you could also take the opportunity to ask for feedback from your customers – whether in the form of reviews or a survey. You know they like your product, so see if they have any ideas on what is working or not on your new online store. You might get some good tips that you can implement and make your site even better. 

Naturally, getting customers to fill out surveys or leave a review can be challenging – people are busy, after all. That’s why offering an incentive is a great way to get customers to fulfill this task. Offer them a discount code for their next order or perhaps a free gift or entry into a giveaway competition in return for their feedback.