The Etsy market is growing constantly and will continue to expand in 2022. The number of sellers and buyers is increasing, and the platform’s turnover is also steadily rising. However, does this mean that the small shops on the platform are also experiencing growth? Or is Etsy’s popularity attributable to the big sellers alone? Are the latter given better chances to grow? Does the platform in fact favor the big shops over the small ones? These are all questions that Etsy sellers ask themselves all the time. Fortunately, the answers can be found in the data that we from Koalanda collect every day.
We gather information about the daily sales of every shop on Etsy. Using these data, we decided to examine how successful shops were in the past several months, dividing them in categories by size.
In our recently published analysis of Etsy sales, we identified certain trends pertaining to the Etsy market as a whole, as well as to particular groups of sellers within it. Let’s have a look at the number of sales made by Etsy shops from October 2021 to February 2022.
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Trends common for all Etsy sellers
It is true that only 20% of the sales made in the examined period are attributed to sellers with up to 1,000 total sales. The rest of the sales are almost evenly distributed between sellers with 1,001 – 10,000 total sales and sellers with more than 10,000 sales.
Here are some of the trends common for all Etsy sellers in the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022:
- there was a gradual increase in sales from the beginning of November
- there was a significant spike in sales on 26 November (Black Friday)
- the lowest number of sales was registered on Christmas Eve and Christmas (24 and 25 December)
- only several days after the big Christmas drop, the number of sales returned to, and even surpassed, the number of sales from the beginning of October 2021
But what are the differences between the small, the medium and the big sellers on Etsy? The Koalanda team had a close look at the data in order to address the most important questions in this respect. And here are the answers.
Did the big or the small sellers score a higher growth in sales around Black Friday?
During the five strongest days of the Black Friday campaign, the smaller sellers experienced a higher increase from the average sales in October 2021 compared to the big ones.
The smallest shops (with up to 100 total sales) registered 2.4 times more sales than in October 2021, and the shops with 101 – 1,000 total sales — nearly 2.3 times. The shops with 1,001 – 10,000 sales scored a 2.1 times increase in sales, compared to just under 2 times for the next size group (10,001 – 100,000 total sales). The biggest shops (with over 100,000 total sales) recorded just over 2 times more sales than in October 2021.
It is undeniable that the big sellers have more resources for marketing outside the platform; however, this did not help them secure a larger share of the bonus sales around Black Friday and Christmas.
Did the big or the small sellers make more sales during the Christmas shopping period?
The Etsy shops with fewer sales were much more successful in the first days of December (the Christmas shopping following Black Friday). In fact, for the smallest shops (up to 100 total sales), this period was even more profitable than Black Friday. The shops with 101 – 1,000 sales experienced similar sale boosts during Christmas and Black Friday. Basically, the bigger the shop, the smaller that second surge in sales in the beginning of December. Thus, with respect to the biggest sellers, we can hardly talk about a surge at all.
Did the big or the small sellers make less sales on Christmas Day?
The Etsy sales hit the bottom on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, which makes perfect sense. However, the impact was not the same on small and big shops on the platform. The smaller the shop, the smaller the sales drop. While the big sellers registered a significant decrease in sales on these two days, the smallest sellers hardly felt any difference.
Did the big or the small sellers get more sales after the holidays?
One of the popular myths about Etsy is that January is a very weak month for the platform. In our analysis of Etsy sales, we debunked this myth completely. The data unquestionably showed that the January 2022 sales were not significantly below the December 2021 figures.
In January 2022, the big shops sold nearly as many items as in October 2021 (the difference between the two months is under 5%). On the other hand, the shops with 101 – 1,000 total sales made 9% more sales in January compared to October. What’s more, the smallest shops (up to 100 total sales) made, on average, 40% more sales in January 2022. Naturally, after the big shopping spree in November and December, it is difficult to climb back to the sales numbers of October. However, this does not seem to be a problem for the fast-growing small shops.
Despite the belief that Etsy’s growth is to a large extent attributable to the big sellers, it is in fact the smaller shops that expand their business the most. The big shops are not necessarily more profitable, regardless of their experience and greater access to resources. In light of these findings, the question of whether Etsy is favoring the big sellers becomes redundant.