Etsy Trumps Amazon Handmade, Reports 25% Growth

April Davis By April Davis | 14 May 2018

Despite concerns Amazon Handmade would have a negative impact on Etsy’s international offerings, the artisan marketplace has reported strong first quarter growth.

In a recent press release, Etsy reported a 9.4 percent year-over-year growth in active sellers and a 16.9 percent growth in active buyers, with the marketplace’s CEO, Josh Silverman saying Amazon Handmade doesn’t faze him.

Silverman joined the team at Etsy 12-months ago, and in that time he has taken an aggressive approach, ensuring the e-commerce platform that focuses on handmade and vintage goods doesn’t become another victim of Amazon.

After Silverman’s appointment as CEO, Etsy’s shares tumbled by more than 20 percent, however, after slashing close to a quarter of its staff and fine-tuning its focus on its key point of difference; artisanal, handmade and vintage goods, the company grew its year-over-year revenue by almost 24.7 percent to $120.9 million.

“We are pleased to report that GMS and revenue growth accelerated for the third consecutive quarter in Q1,” Silverman said. “We believe these results underscore the size of the results ahead for Etsy, as well as the continued momentum we are unlocking from our focused execution.”

After reporting these positive results, Silverman sat down with Jim Cramer, the host of Mad Money, to talk all things Etsy and Amazon, where he critiqued the Amazon Handmade model and discussed the ways in which he thinks Etsy’s unique retail model surpasses that of Amazon.

“If you think about the traditional strategic advantages of the mass e-tailers, it’s about price, it’s about convenience and it’s about selection,” Silverman told Cramer.

In a world where mass-market retailers and marketplaces offer discounted products to consumers by purchasing stock in bulk, Silverman believes businesses like Amazon start honing in on convenience and selection, not quality or uniqueness.

Etsy’s model is based on artisanal, handmade goods, so he believes that “if you can buy 1,000 of anything, it doesn’t belong on Etsy”.

According to Silverman, Etsy is leading the industry in terms of offering handmade products direct to consumer through a simple online channel, with a pool of roughly 1.9 million sellers that produce some 50 million handmade items for the website.

While Amazon’s total product count is in the hundreds of millions, Silverman is still adamant that “no one else comes close [to Etsy]” when it comes to handmade goods.

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