I've been fortunate enough to run a successful artisan-crafted business
for the last six years. Believe it or not, I've never had my own Etsy
site. Don't get me wrong, I love Etsy (and my have a slight shopping problem when I go to that site-shhh!). However one problem with selling on Etsy is that most customers tell people they bought from
Etsy, not from ABC Soaps' Etsy store. It does nothing to strengthen your brand and their shopping cart options are limited at best.
Should you close up your Etsy shop? Of course not. However it is a good idea to evaluate your situation and your business goals and decide if having your own storefront is something you would like to have.At the very least, you should have your own domain name that forwards to your Etsy shop and you should always use that URL on your business cards, receipts, etc. Then if you do transition to your own storefront, there will be no change in how your customers find you. Another reason to have your own storefront (or at least have a second selling platform where you can import and essentially backup your Etsy store
) is because things happen and sometimes shops are suspended. What would you do if your Etsy shop was suspended? Please take a moment to read this article from Handmadeolgy: Etsy Shop Suspended! What you need to know
- it has some valuable information and tips on how to create a backup plan (we should ALL have a backup plan!).You're probably wondering what you can do with your own storefront. The more accurate question is what can't you do?
You can have your own affiliate program, offer coupon codes, gift certificates, store credit, allow your customers to create wishlists, list UNLIMITED categories and products, track inventory and lots more! Lets talk about cost. How much per month you are paying Etsy in fees? A lot of sellers are spending hundreds! Monthly! Now how about the cost of running your own storefront? There are 3 things you'll need:
- You'll need a domain name if you don't already have one. At MGI you can purchase a domain for $10 per year, so we'll use that as an example.
- You'll also need to host your website. I won't lie to you, this can get expensive if you don't shop around. A lot of hosts like to add in extras that you don't really need. MGI offers basic hosting starting at $7 per month.
- You'll need a shopping cart. If you are tech-savvy or like to learn how to do things yourself, you could install your shopping cart yourself. At MGI we use the OpenCart platform which is open source (it's free to download and install yourself). OpenCart has some great tutorials and forums to help people, but there is a learning curve. The only other costs you would incur after this would be for any extra extensions you want, and even those are very affordable (and there are tons of free extensions too).
If you can't or simply don't have time to do it yourself, there are plenty of companies offering shopping cart installation services. Again, prices will vary as will services offered.
Lets assume you need a domain name, hosting and want MGI to install your shopping cart. How much will it cost?
Domain Name (Yearly): $10
Website Hosting (Monthly): $7
MGI Shopping Cart Installation (One-time): $200
If you divide it up, that's less than $20 per month for the first year, and only $17 a year after that!
If you still need additional support after your 30 days, or you just don't have time to add all of your items and set up every detail in your shop, we have very affordable plans to cover your needs and give you one less thing to worry about.
If you're ready to take that next step and start building your brand, contact us today
so we can get started building you the storefront that your business deserves!-Rachel