The (Unclear) Future of Etsy: 2016 Summary

Posted by on Dec 28, 2016 in Copywriting | 0 comments

The (Unclear) Future of Etsy:  2016 Summary

Etsy sellers have always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with the selling platform and 2016 brought that relationship to interesting highs and lows.  We saw the rise of Pattern, the threat (or promise depending on your perspective) of pricing filters, and the integration of geography for buyer results.  We’ve weathered it all together.  That is why I am particularly excited to breakdown the message from the Etsy CEO that was released the day after Christmas summarizing his thoughts on Etsy.  He talks about the year in passing and he also hints at the future of Etsy.  As usual, I find all these announcements to be rather unclear which is why I’d like to help you break it down with a short summary of my interpretations.

The most important part of this article is that I want you to react based only on the facts.  We can theorize all we want, but at the end of the day, we can only work with what we know.  If we want to be effective, that is. Most of these announcements will be unclear. Etsy still remains a business and in order to stay relevant and viable they are not going to share every single detail with their consumers and patrons.

Do we share everything with our consumers? Nope. It’s OK that they are being cryptic. It does not mean that it will be all doom and gloom. It might be sunshine and rainbows. More likely, it will contain a wonderful combination of gloomy rainbows.

Let’s start with those facts then!

On December 20th, 2016 Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson published an update onto their corporate blog.   You can read the full announcement by clicking the link below:

Celebrating 2016 and Looking to the Year Ahead

This update was then further distributed via a press release on E-commerce Bytes on December 26th, 2016. You can view their press release directly here:

Etsy CEO Recaps 2016, Vows to Improve Search in 2017

Mr. Dickerson opens his blog on a very positive note. He seems to take the position that Etsy has been very successful this past year and feels this has been felt across both buyers and sellers. He breaks these advances down into the four following categories:

1. Reaching new audiences.

2. More seller tools.

3. Improved search (and shopping).

4. Education and activism for sellers.

I must admit I am a fan of their global marketing campaign, Difference Makes Us and I think that has been a great way to reach new audiences. I am less of a fan of their Pattern extension but can understand the reasoning behind it. They’ve also incorporated Google Ads to drive advertising, incorporated Blackbird Technologies, and expanded Direct Checkout to 36 new countries this year. Mr. Dickerson also touches on the Etsy Up conference and the push to “create an economic safety net for all employees”.

He closes his post with the following statement:

These milestones, while only a small sampling of our work, represent our unique approach to business; as Etsy continues to grow, we’re more focused than ever on achieving our mission to re-imagine commerce in ways that shape a positive future for all of us. Heading into 2017, our team is excited to take on new challenges as we work hard to build markets, technologies, and services that empower creative entrepreneurs, create a best-in-class shopping experience for buyers around the world, and drive sales for our seller community. I look forward to sharing more details of our plans in the coming months.

Now this leaves us with a lot of questions.

What about pricing filters?

Are there going to be any changes to the algorithm in 2017?

What type of changes should we expect as sellers?

As buyers?

We don’t know yet. So while I fully acknowledge the future of Etsy is unclear, I too am optimistic like Mr. Dickerson. Let’s face 2017 with the knowledge that we don’t know everything, but we do know enough right now.

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