Why is Etsy Clone the Fastest Approach to Build Your Marketplace?

Yesha Bhatt

By : Yesha Bhatt

Why is Etsy Clone the Fastest Approach to Build Your Marketplace?1

If you ask me to choose between a handbag by Michael Kors and a handmade vintage shoulder bag by a local artisan, I would surely go with the vintage one.

Rustic vintage style bag with detailed embroidery- oh, that unusual charm!

Have you wondered why vintage products are so popular? Maybe because they are unique, they have an air of authenticity, and purchasing them shows support for local artists.

And that’s why businesses like Etsy have a special place in the online marketplace with increasing demand. Etsy is a one-stop store to purchase hand-made accessories, unique furniture, vintage clothing, and more.

So, ‘because Etsy comes under the creative industry, is the business model different?’

‘Can I build Etsy clone?’

‘How will I do business online?’

This post will answer all your questions.

Continue reading!

Etsy Business Model

Etsy provides an online platform for buying and selling products. So, its business model is the same as any other eCommerce platform. What’s different is; Etsy has a vertical approach in the business model. A vertical approach is all about creating products intended for a specific industry demographic or market. So, if you are looking for a vintage earring, you might explore Etsy and not Amazon who on the other hand has a horizontal model that attempts to appeal to as many different groups of people as possible by selling everything under the sun.

A Two-sided Marketplace

Etsy is a two-sided marketplace that connects buyers and sellers from across different countries. Artists and small-scale manufacturers can sell their handmade products and buyers interested in unique products purchase what they like on the online platform.

Remember Etsy’s mission to keep commerce human? That’s the main area of focus of their entire business model. At the heart of Etsy is the interaction between the buyers and sellers- the power of human connection. Etsy believes that you can not automate creativity. With this in mind, they work to provide the best experience to customers. This is a platform business model. This model generates value by enabling interactions between people, groups, and users.

A quick summary to make the point clear:

  • Etsy has 2 key players: seller and buyer who by interacting with each other, at the end of the day receive what they are looking for.
  • The platform on the other hand, by enabling interactions between these two parties generates value/fee from the transaction between them.

Etsy Value Proposition

Every company has a unique selling point- something that sets them apart from the rest. It defines your business’s position in the market and works as an indicator to find out what value you offer and what is a problem that you are trying to solve. Let’s find out what special elements Etsy offers –

  1. One-of-a-kind products: Etsy offers unique handmade, customized, and vintage products. Vintage shoe brush, doll hair, even animal skull! You will find everything there.
  2. Global Reach: It includes products from every corner of the world. Whether it’s a bead necklace from Kenya or a wabi-sabi vase from Japan. Etsy helps continue international growth by making shipping easy in other countries, exploring opportunities in Germany, India, France, and more.
  3. Mobile Experience: Mobile is becoming an important part of eCommerce and online businesses have made mobile a core focus to enhance the customer experience. Etsy’s key area of focus is enabling purchases on mobile devices. The total number of downloads for both iOS and Android is 56 million.

Etsy Clone Operating Model

Here’s how the entire process works:

  • A seller needs to create an Etsy account, add a username, profile picture, bio, and fill in other necessary details.
  • Once the seller creates a profile, he needs to navigate to the ‘sell on Etsy’ option and open a shop.
  • Once the store is ready, sellers create a listing by adding pictures, descriptions, prices, and shipping charges.
  • Buyers after browsing through the products and comparing them will make a purchase, carry out the payment, and leave the reviews.

How Etsy Earns?

The latest financial results of Etsy for its second quarter which took place on June 30, 2020, reveal a 125% increase in GMS in the quarter. So, how does this two-sided online marketplace witness growing results? From where does the money come from? Here is all you need to know about the revenue model of Etsy.

  1. Listing Charges: If you want to list products on Etsy, you will need to pay $0.20. What difference does .20 make?! Well, just have a look at how many listings are there. All listings except pattern-only listings expire after four months.
  2. Sales Commission: sellers pay a commission/ transaction fee of 3.5% of the total amount for every sale.
  3. Advertisements: Etsy allows sellers to advertise their products and shop on their platform for a certain fee. The methods of advertising include paid advertisement, engine ads such as Google Shopping, Bing, and Facebook.
  4. Subscriptions: Etsy provides sellers with free tools to help manage their store. This is Etsy Standard. Second is the plus subscription where sellers have to pay $10 a month to avail additional tools and features. This includes advanced customization options, access to discounts, business cards, restock requests from shoppers, and more.

The brand also makes money from its seller services including direct checkout, payment processing, and discounted shipping labels.

Etsy Success’ Secret Sauce

There are numerous online platforms like Amazon and eBay, but what sets Etsy apart is the plethora of exclusive vintage products ranging from shoes to jewelry that it offers. The prime reasons of the success of Etsy include:

1. A Niche Market

A mantra that most businesses live by is to focus on targeted people who are willing to pay for your target solution. This is a niche market. There is much less competition in niche markets and therefore it becomes easy to stay on top. Etsy offers selected solutions to targeted people. For instance, there are many looking for earrings which is a generic product. Therefore, they are likely to search for a place that offers a wide range of options. But there are few who might be looking for a handmade bead earring. And businesses like Etsy are the go-to place for such needs.

2. Word of Mouth Advertising

According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising. Here lies the power of word of mouth advertising. Etsy gained popularity majorly from this form of advertisement. According to the platform, 67% of its total users are women and the reason for the growth is recommendations by women to their friends.

3. Extended API’s

API, or application program interface, is a vital tool for the growth of any business. From the technical point of view, API allows one computer program to use the capabilities of the other program thus facilitating the communication between two systems. Etsy has its own API which lets developers tap into the Etsy community and build their own Etsy-powered applications for the web, desktop, and mobile devices.

4. Offline Help and Support to artists

Businesses that support local artists and cultural organizations can add value to their brand image. People appreciate brands who show support to small businesses. Etsy has always played an active role in providing a platform for local artists and craftsmen. It gives local business owners business advice and also provides small loans to artists.

That’s all you need to know about etsy.com. Come, let’s explore a step-by-step plan to create an Etsy clone.

How to Build Etsy Clone

First thing first. Before you begin to build Etsy Clone you need to be clear about what is your unique selling point. What is one unique thing that you will offer in your Etsy clone? Maybe you can tell your users that you will deliver the product within a certain time span. Domino’s pizza, for instance, does this. Its USP is “You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less, or it’s free.” This will set your business apart from others.

Before creating a USP, you need to ask yourself these questions:

  • What is my target audience?
  • What problem does my service solve?
  • What are the benefits I offer that my competitors do not?

The next step is to decide your business model. Going by the vertical business model of Etsy Clone, you can serve as an online platform where buyers and sellers come together and the cash that results from this interaction is your win.

Every eCommerce enterprise needs proper product catalog management. While making a purchase decision, customers take into consideration all the details available in a catalog. Missing important information can cost you an order. So, spend some time to build a quality catalog that enhances customer experience. These basic things will help you for better catalog management:

  • A clear idea about the audience you wish to target.
  • Content Management Systems like WordPress to organize your product content.
  • Equip yourself with design tools to enhance the features of your catalog.

Further, you have to figure out shipping methods. The right shipping rate and the option are crucial in providing the best customer service. If your charges are too high, the possibility of cart abandonment increases. To reduce cart abandonment and increase revenue, make sure you charge the right price– Low shipping rate for customers yet such that it covers your expenses.

Here are 3 important considerations in eCommerce shipping:

  • Size and weight of the product
  • What is the shipping destination? Is it domestic or international?
  • What are the shipping options you provide? – same-day delivery, free shipping, in-store pick-up, etc.

Salient Features

The main function of your Etsy clone is to provide value to users. It should be intuitive, practical, and useful. For this, consider including these features:

  1. Social Login

    Social login has become popular because it simplifies registration for users. Using login information from a social networking site like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, the user can sign into your website or mobile application by creating a new account.

  2. Smart Search

    Smart search will give a complete list of products that exactly match the buyers’ keyword. Using advanced search filters will let your customers search for their preferred choices.

  3. Shopping Cart

    Buyers after selecting the products can add them to the cart before checkout.

  4. Buyer-Seller Chat

    By adding chat support, you can address customer queries and grievances, and broadcast promotional messages. This will help improve customer satisfaction.

  5. Payment Gateway

    A secured payment gateway is a must-have feature. Ensure that your online store has a powerful payment feature that minimizes threats and offers a smooth transaction.

Process We Follow to Build Etsy Clone App

There are six stages we follow to build an app like Etsy. When you come to us with your unique ideas on what you want in your app, we begin by –

  1. Analyze Requirements – In this stage, we formulate a strategy of what to do next. After identifying your needs, our team creates an overall flow of the Etsy clone. After the initial research and analysis, we present you a complete package of our recommendations on features and technical solutions.
  2. Wireframing – Here, we create a wireframe – a detailed sketch of your product. We do this by creating a wireframe for each screen of your app. Wireframing is not just sketching the flow, It helps arrange all the components of design in the right manner. This will help overcome the technical challenges in the backend.
  3. Designing – Our UX designer architects the interaction between the design elements while the UI designer takes care of the look of your app with stunning graphics, and a perfect color combination.
  4. Development – In simple terms, your app is built in this stage. At Biztech, we follow the agile methodology where we divide the app development process into multiple sub-module; the outcome of which is a more streamlined app with quick delivery.
  5. Testing – The main aim of testing your app is to ensure that it is bug-free, and we can even check the performance.
  6. Deployment – ta-da! Your app is ready for the users.

By hiring our team, you will get all-round support with every phase of the app development process.

eCommerce Trends You Should Know

It is a good thing to hop on to trends at the beginning itself. Following trends will make your Etsy clone remarkable –

Augmented Reality

In the eCommerce realm, AR is an important trend. The Harvard Business Review predicts that augmented reality spending will reach $60 billion in 2020. AR is improving the online experience of customers and more businesses are adapting to this trend. With the help of AR applications, you can allow the customers to try the products before they proceed to add to the cart. You can use this technology to portray how a ring or a necklace will look on the user.


Conversational box is not a new concept. Most businesses have chatbots to help simulate interactions with customers. According to a Facebook survey, more than 50% of customers say they’re more likely to shop with a business that they can connect with via chat. Including chatbots is a good strategy to increase engagement and derive sales.

Voice search

Voice search devices like Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, etc. have transformed eCommerce. Using voice search features will improve customer experience by enabling users to get their desired products easily.

Phew! That was a long journey. But before we say adieu, there’s a bonus tip we would like to share.

You might be well aware of SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis. It is a widely used strategic planning tool to increase the chances of success. We suggest that before you dive into building a clone, evaluate and analyze your business idea, and check what your competitors are doing. This will help you create products that are unique and valuable.

Over to You

We hope this guide will help you build Etsy clone application. Do not forget to identify your audience, create a detailed plan, and include advanced features to enhance the efficiency of your online store.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact our team!

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