It’s been a few weeks since I last wrote a note — and what a few weeks it’s been! This past weekend, on Saturday, October 22, the Etsy community achieved a major milestone when total sales by sellers in the history of the site tipped past the one billion dollar mark. In a time when people are looking for more meaning and connection in all that they do, including buying and selling, we are proud of the Etsy community’s contribution. Congratulations to each of you who have found success here on Etsy in the past six years, and we’re looking forward to many, many more years of success for the community to come.
I know the pace of change has been particularly rapid in the past several weeks, and I wanted to give you some updates and context for it all. Since my last note, I spoke at Hello Etsy in Berlin about overcoming fears and finding courage. I’m hoping that those of you who take the time in your busy lives to watch the video of the talk find it encouraging and also learn a little more about me and where I come from (you’ll even see my baby photo). Eleanor Mayrhofer, who spoke about project management for indie businesses, captures the general sentiment of Hello Etsy perfectly: “Throughout the conference I had the feeling of being very lucky, supremely blessed, extremely proud of myself for taking risks, and totally inspired by how many wonderful people there are in the world, doing wonderful things.” For those of you who couldn’t make it to Berlin, we captured the wonders of Hello Etsy in thirty-three videos which you can find in the library of our Online Labs (scroll to the bottom and look for Hello Etsy). Thank you to everyone who participated in the conference. Though Etsy Admin took care of most of the the logistics, it was truly a conference made by the community.
One of the themes in my talk about courage at Hello Etsy was that in order to make great progress, whether it’s in your personal life or in running your own business, you have to take risks and embrace change. If you watch the talk, you’ll see that I’ve faced moments myself where I decided to embrace unsettling changes that ultimately led me to breakthroughs in my own life. English theologian Richard Hooker once wrote: “Change is not made without inconvenience, even from worse to better.”
In the spirit of clearer communication and forward progress, we made major improvements to how names and shops are represented on Etsy, and we let you know a week in advance to give you plenty of time to think about them. This change made it possible for shop owners to change their shop names for the first time (a long-awaited feature, we know!) and also gives them more overall control over their brands on Etsy. Natalie explains more in our blog post.
With the peak holiday shopping season quickly approaching, we are redoubling our efforts to bring more shoppers to Etsy and to help sellers manage their shops more easily. To make it easier for shoppers to discover items they love on Etsy (especially new shoppers), we have been introducing new ways to shop on Etsy, and we have seen promising early results with these explorations. Not only are they nice to look at, but we’ve seen that people who come to Etsy through these pages spend a longer amount of time than the average Etsy visitor, and they are discovering items not just featured on these pages, but all over the site. In addition to building entry points on Etsy like these to bring in new buyers, we also know that Etsy shop owners are experts at bringing new buyers to their shops. That’s why last week we launched an integration with Facebook and Twitter to make it easier than ever for sellers to establish connections with visitors to their shops, and to promote their shops through these hugely popular services. Many Etsy shop owners are already using Facebook and Twitter to promote themselves and we’re really excited to see the effects of these integrations. To learn more about how to participate, check out the blog post and watch Laura’s video. (It’s really easy!) Finally, once a seller has made a sale, we’ve made it easier to keep the buyers informed of shipping progress as they anxiously await packages with our new shipping notifications feature. If you are a seller, we hope this feature makes a hectic time just a little bit easier.
While the pace of change is beginning to slow down as we lock down the site for the peak holiday season, we’re still hard at work at Etsy. We still have a couple of simple and exciting features we’ll be rolling out in the coming weeks to help buyers everywhere explore Etsy during the biggest shopping time of the year. Stay tuned!