Etsy vs. Website: Small Business Edition

There's a good chance that you clicked on this blog post because you either already have an Etsy shop and you’ve been thinking about making the switch over to a website or perhaps you are just starting out and trying to decide between Etsy and your own website. Either way, this blog will hopefully give you some insight on what they both entail.

Apple keyboard and mouse on a white table top, placed next to a to-go cup of coffee and a green plant. Shared by Our Mindful Marketing.

Now I would love to say, "go ahead and hire us for your website needs and let’s get this project started!" However, even as a web designer, there’s a lot about Etsy that can be beneficial to you as a small business owner, especially if you are first starting out (hence the need for an entire blog post).

Etsy considerations:


We have talked to several Etsy shop owners, and the common denominator seems to be that the fees on Etsy are ridiculously high. Because Etsy does allow you to essentially set-up and establish your own shop on their platform for free, (and because nothing in life is really free) they end up taking a high percentage of your sales to make up for it.

For a frame of reference, here's a list of Etsy fees (as of January 2021):

*note these numbers can change in time, please view Etsy's website for the latest and most up to date statistics*

  • Transaction fee: 5% of the product price.

  • Shipping transaction fee: 5% of shipping costs.

  • Payment processing fee: 3% + $0.25 of total (including shipping)

  • Listing fee: $0.20 (listings expire after four months)

  • Total Fees: 8% (of the total cost of product and shipping) +$0.45.

  • Subscription fee: $120/annually.

Etsy SEO:

SEO on Etsy is similar to how SEO works on a search engine like Google; therefore, your keywords should be relevant to what your ideal customer is typing into the search bar. This means that having a fun and creative title for an original handmade piece, isn’t always the best idea as having a title that does accurately describe or at least contain keywords, to increase chances of being found in search results. It’s important to note that Etsy tailors its search results for each individual user to match their past behaviors. This means that SEO on Etsy is just as vital as it is on a website if you want to genuinely improve your chances of being found organically.

Difficult to establish brand recognition:

When you have a shop on Etsy, it’s easy to get lumped into the phrase of being “an Etsy shop owner” rather than your own individual brand or business that you’ve worked so hard to establish. But because Etsy is a major platform that provides trust and easy access for consumers, many consumers don’t go on Etsy in search of one particular brand or business. Instead, they search through countless different shops, and the chances of that person remembering the name of where they purchased the product, are not high. Most times when asked, “where did you get that _____?” the reply is typically, “oh, I got it on Etsy!” Rather than stating the actual brand or business name, which consequently doesn’t help improve or establish your brand recognition.