Shop Etsy

International Update

Oct 15, 2012

by Kruti Patel Goyal handmade and vintage goods

These days people often ask me, “When is Etsy launching in my home country?” and my answer is always, “We are already there!” In fact, we have members in almost 200 countries around the world. Today, one-third of transactions on Etsy involve buyers or sellers living outside the US — that means millions of items have been transported across the globe through Etsy.

The potential Etsy has to change global commerce and the lives of individual entrepreneurs is what drew me to work at Etsy in the first place. This past May, when Chad announced that Etsy raised additional funding, he stressed that driving international growth was one of our top priorities. Since taking on the role of VP, International, I’ve traveled to the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Australia to meet with sellers and hear first-hand how we can improve Etsy. Hearing your stories is always energizing and reminds me of the impact our work has in your lives every day. I’ve learned that the biggest benefits to selling on Etsy are pretty consistent everywhere I’ve visited but the challenges vary significantly from region to region. We’re keeping track of all of your feedback and have been working with teams across the company on improvements. As we all prepare for the busy holiday season, I wanted to give you an update on our recent efforts to grow and improve Etsy around the world.

Growing our team. Since May, we have almost doubled the number of Admin dedicated to building Etsy internationally. We’ve hired folks from Brooklyn to Belgium across functions from engineering to marketing, bringing our entire global team to nearly 50 people.  Among this group are some familiar faces like our CTO Kellan Elliott-McCrea and Group Product Manager Andrew Peterson, as well as two amazing new country managers in Germany and the UK, Caroline Drucker and Nicole Vanderbilt.

Etsy in more languages. The community has been asking us to translate Etsy into more languages and we hear you. We recently posted a call to the community looking for volunteer translators and are excited to announce that Etsy is now in Dutch and will be available in two additional languages by the end of the year!

Shining a spotlight on international shops and items. We hear that one of the most valuable things we can do for you is bring more new buyers to your shops, so the marketing team has been highlighting the global selection of products on Etsy everywhere you look. Approximately 50% of items on the homepage and email newsletters, and one-third of Featured Shops represent sellers outside the US.

Product improvements for international sellers. The product and engineering teams are constantly working to improve Etsy for all of our buyers and sellers. While not all features launch globally from the outset due to constraints like technical challenges or legal requirements, the goal is always to roll-out successful features to everyone as soon as we can and our product plans reflect that. We have heard the concerns many of you have expressed about recent US product releases and we’re working on accelerating the next phase of those products as quickly as possible. Here are some improvements we have rolled out recently for our international members that I wanted to highlight.

  • Search Ads improvements: Previously only sellers who had their primary language set to English were able to use Search Ads. All listings in English, irrespective of the seller’s country, can now be promoted using Search Ads.
  • Upgraded geolocation information: Our location data has long been a source of frustration for both buyers and sellers who couldn’t list their location of choice. We’ve recently upgraded the database of location information to one that’s more accurate and flexible. It also now includes translations of place names so English speakers can search for items from Munich and German speakers can use München.
  • Multi-language listing updates: We’ve been investing in improving the translation of your shop and listings. You can now translate more parts of your shop including additional information on your shop’s About page. We’ve also made the translation tools easier and faster to use.

You’ll see even more improvements and new products for our international members over the next year. One of the upcoming launches we are most excited about is the international rollout of direct checkout in the first half of 2013, which will include the ability to make deposits and payments in additional currencies and adding additional payment methods on top of credit cards like real-time bank transfers, eWallets, and local debit cards.

Personalized shop advice. We recently launched this pilot program for our international sellers. As part of this pilot, Etsy Admin are reaching out directly to individual sellers to provide personalized feedback and suggestions from ways to improve your photographs to your tags and titles. We’re building new tools and a team to enable us to reach out to more sellers more quickly.

Marketing Etsy around the world. Our local teams from London to Sydney have been focused on raising awareness of Etsy and our international sellers both on and off the site. In October, we’ll be hosting Hello Etsy: Small Business in a Big World as part of  the world-renowned Dutch Design Week in the Netherlands to continue to share the story and mission of Etsy with the world. We also reach out to hundreds of publications, journalists and stylists each quarter to highlight the amazing items that can be found globally on Etsy to the press. Over the last few months, Etsy has been featured in magazines like Glamour (France), Elle (Netherlands), Brigitte (Germany), LivingEtc (UK) and Frankie in Australia. And this holiday season we will be increasing our international marketing budget by more than 10 times over previous years.

While we have a lot more exciting work planned for the rest of this year and into next, your feedback is essential to continuing this progress so please share your suggestions in this forum thread. I’ll be back on the road soon and look forward to meeting many more of you, so look out for me in a city near you!