10% Bought Something on Etsy in Past 6 Months

A new report entitled Building an Etsy Economy: The New Face of Creative Entrepreneurship, reveals that Etsy sellers are true businesswomen, and the income they earn on Etsy matters to their lives and to the broader economy. The new report, based on data from a 2014 survey of 4,000 U.S. Etsy sellers and ongoing interactions with the seller community, reveals a population of micro-​business owners who are different from other small businesses in many ways, but together offer the promise of a more people-​centered approach to life, business and the broader economy.

Althea Erickson gives some highlights from the study in her Etsy Company News Blog Post, "The Promise of Creative Entrepreneurship:"

Etsy democratizes access to entrepreneurship.

Etsy sellers are predominantly female‰ÛÓ86% are women. They are twice as likely to be young adults (under age 35) as other U.S. business owners. Many are parents with children at home and 17% have household income under $25,000 annually. Nearly half (45%) of all sellers had never sold their goods until they sold them on Etsy. By making it easy to buy and sell goods, Etsy makes entrepreneurship lower-​risk and accessible for these populations.

Etsy sellers run businesses in their own right.

76% of Etsy sellers consider their shops to be businesses, and 30% focus on their creative businesses as their sole occupation. This business mindset is also reflected in Etsy sellers‰Ûª aspirations‰ÛÓ90% wish to grow their sales in the future.

Etsy sellers are self-reliant.

Most Etsy sellers manage every part of their business themselves. The vast majority of sellers work alone from home, and most handmade sellers are self-​taught. Of the 65% who required capital to start their businesses, 83% relied on their own personal savings, and only 1% obtained a loan.

Etsy sellers personify a new paradigm for business.

Etsy sellers have ambitions to grow their businesses, yet they wish to do so in a way that furthers their personal values. Personal fulfillment and enjoyment often play a key role in the decision to start a creative business. They also want their business to have a positive impact on the world‰ÛÓ71% of sellers agree that growing their businesses sustainably and responsibly is important to them.

Income from their creative businesses matters.

For 30% of Etsy sellers, their creative business‰ÛÓboth on and off Etsy‰ÛÓis their sole occupation. For the rest, their creative business supplements other jobs, contributing an average of 15% to total household income overall. This money makes a difference‰ÛÓ44% use this income for necessary household expenses.

Implications for public policy.

Although Etsy sellers differ from traditional entrepreneurs in many ways, we believe that they are emblematic of larger shifts in the economy towards self-​employment and micro-​business. Most are businesses of one, and face very different challenges from even a five- or ten-​person enterprise. Government and regulatory agencies should enact policies that support sellers‰Ûª efforts to start and grow their creative businesses, enabling the broader maker economy to thrive.

Now that you know what kinds of sellers make Etsy so popular, you need to know more about Etsy Shoppers! According to AudienceSCAN, 10% of consumers used Etsy's website/​mobile app to research or purchase a specific product or service in the past 6 months. 43% primarily use iPhones. They are 86% more likely than average consumers to use smartphones to look up business info/​locations. In the past 6 months, 33% have used mobile devices to text someone for their opinion about a product they're considering. And Etsy​.com Shoppers are 51% more likely than average to take action after getting emailed ads or newsletters. (Probably from Etsy!)

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports inåÊAdMall.

Courtney Huckabay
Courtney is the Editor for SalesFuel Today. She analyzes secondary customer research and our primary AudienceSCAN research. Courtney is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.