Etsy: The Ultimate Shopping Experience

Basically, Etsy is a craft fair for the Internet and a place where people set up online shops to sell handmade and vintage items. Often called the eBay for arts and crafts, Esty is a great place to shop for shabby chic, crafty, vintage, handmade, geek, and counter culture things. Not everyone shares this sense of style, but that’s ok.

On problem I’ve noticed is that because Etsy has so many items listed on the site, it’s often easy to miss out on some of the things people might be interested in. But they have tried to remedy this issue by promoting items across many modes and channels, making it easy for users to find and discover products.


They have an Etsy email for just about every type of person with nine types of email newsletters to choose from. See below for an example of the latest from the “Etsy Finds” email, which features collections of items. The subject is “Freshly Minted” and they have showcased items that are mint green colored. They make it easy to share the contents from the email on Facebook and Twitter.


Etsy has really taken the cake with their feature that lets you choose a Facebook friend and then generates gift ideas based off the things in your friends profile. It’s a truly innovative way to shop, and possibly, a sneak peek into the future of shopping and browsing.

The Etsy Facebook page has a beautiful landing page/tab with interactive features that lets you view “do it yourself” videos and collections of items.

The Handful of Ways to Shop

It seems like there are a billion things listed on Etsy and millions of shops to look it. It can be overwhelming to say the least. They make it a bit easier by find different ways to search for objects.  You can search by categories, advanced search, treasury (collections created by members), alchemy (request custom items), pounce (items from recently active and undiscovered shops), shop local, editor’s picks, time machine (recently listed items), colors, geolocator, connections (connecting users with the same taste) and featured sellers. With all of these different ways to shop, it has taken the way we look at browsing to a new level. The screen shot below is from the “my connections” search.

Favorites and Activity Feed

Etsy gets you to favorite (bookmark) items and shops. Every time one of your favorite shops adds an item, it shows up in your activity feed. This makes is easy to mark an item, keep browsing and then revisit items later.

An important point is that Etsy is not trying to be eBay. It has picked out its own little niche, which has a bunch of devoted users (me being one of them). The important takeaway is that Etsy creates a great user experience and makes shopping fun.

Are there are any other sites that you have seen that have creative ways to promote and search for products?