How has Etsy evolved in the last year_ Expanded scope, new niches and a timeless business model

In 2023, Etsy, the renowned marketplace for unique and handmade goods, has continued to grow. While maintaining its charm, the platform adapted to new market demands and consumer trends.

This year was marked by an expanded scope, the emergence of new niches, and the continued success of its timeless business model.

In this article, we explore how Etsy fared in 2023, highlighting the most interesting updates, changes, and trends that have shaped the platform.

Expanded scope: Stats worth sharing

Despite the aggressive competition in the eCommerce industry, Etsy managed to maintain its stability and unique nature in 2023.

Growth in numbers

The platform increased its number of buyers by two million in 2023, reaching 96.2 million. In Q1 2023 alone, it also had 7.9 million active sellers, showing a 3.8% YoY growth.

These impressive numbers are no coincidence. One of Etsy’s priorities for the year was to attract new users, both from a seller and shopper perspective. We go into more detail about the techniques used to achieve this in the following sections.

The growth efforts paid back, with 467.8 million Etsy visitors in July 2023. Throughout the year, Etsy’s app has been downloaded more than 80 million times, with more than 95 million products available for sale.

The announced Etsy revenue for 2023 is $1.269 billion worldwide, proving that both consumers and sellers appreciate the provided value. In fact, research suggests that 92% of buyers believe the marketplace offers items that cannot be found elsewhere.

Demographics and purchase behavior

The biggest shopper segment on Etsy is the audience of 30-34-year-olds, shaping 33.50% of all platform consumers.

Interestingly, 81% of all purchases are made by repeat buyers. This is an outstanding achievement, showcasing the ability of Etsy to retain user interest and loyalty.

During 2023, shipping costs rose as the core concern for shoppers. Half of clients admit that they won’t purchase a product if the shipping costs are too high. Etsy has responded to this challenge by tackling the issue with new shipping updates, which we’ll discuss later.

Etsy’s growth efforts in 2023

As noted above, this year had a central focus on growth and scalability for Etsy. The platform reached millions of individuals globally via TV ads, podcasts, billboards, and other marketing channels.

A range of Etsy-based promotions additionally captured the attention of thousands of shoppers, bringing in tens of millions of dollars in sales to sellers’ shops.

In addition, the marketplace partnered with Martha Stewart and John Legend, who further caught the interest of print, online, and broadcast journalists, enhancing Etsy’s marketing reach.

To achieve its mission of satisfying shops and inspiring them to sell more, Etsy also organized its biggest seller gathering –  Etsy Up. The event reached more than 1.5 million views and shared valuable tips and tricks for shop owners to improve their performance.

Platform updates and changes

A number of tools and resources were also announced by Etsy this year. They predominantly focus on business growth, buyer retention, and process enhancement.

Listing process optimization

In 2023, Etsy officially improved its listing process, streamlining the addition of new listings and the correction of existing ones.

With the new changes, sellers can accent the unique aspects of their products more effectively. Some of the key improvements include better navigation through listing details, performance insights with valuable listing data, and change tracking that provides an overview of edits over time.

More shipping options

Etsy acknowledges the importance of shipping convenience for both sellers and shoppers.

To cater to this demand, the platform now partners with major carriers, offering more choices for purchasing postage on Etsy.

US-based sellers can buy USP shipping labels for domestic orders and enjoy tracking. On the other hand, UK-based sellers can take advantage of Evri shipping labels.

Deal tab featured in the Etsy app

2023 was all about convenience on Etsy.

The marketplace launched a new feature for shoppers – the new Deals tab in Etsy’s app. It aims to showcase seller’s deals in a single, easy-to-access location.

This feature further personalizes the shopping experience and recommends sales and customized offers based on products that buyers have viewed in the past or have added to Favorites.

The Deal tab is a win-win for both merchants and customers. It makes discounts visible and simplifies the shopping process simultaneously.

Etsy Registry

In May 2023, Etsy introduced its unique wedding registry – a gifting platform specifically designed for weddings. The registry later grew to feature baby and gift products too.

This feature is created for users planning important events such as weddings, baby showers, or housewarming gifts. The registry simplifies gift shopping as it creates room for setting up a curated list of products on the wishlist.

The Etsy Registry is now actively used as an event planning tool thanks to its personalization, convenience, and sharing features.

New niches and trends

Apart from the changes, updates, and growth stats from Etsy in 2023, the platform also saw a rise in four key niches during the year:

  • Western decor
  • Mermoidcore
  • Friendship bracelets
  • Digital products

Western decor

Western decor pieces were a hot topic throughout the year.

This niche represents a style that is inspired by the aesthetics of the American West. Some of the core elements that shape this theme include rustic textures, natural, earthy colors, and motifs like cowboys, horses, and desert landscapes.

According to Etsy, the searches for western wall art on the platform rose by 69% in 2023. This sudden spike signals the growing interest in adding Western-style components to home decor.


Inspired by mermaid folklore and oceanic themes, mermaidcore also stands out as one of the niches that dominated the Etsy scene in 2023.

The prevailing features representing this theme include aquatic colors (blue, green, and purple), shimmering textures, and everything mermaid-related.

Etsy reveals that there were 50% more searches on the platform for mermaid jewerly – one of the dominating categories in the niche.

Friendship bracelets

Friendship bracelets are not a new concept. They’ve been around for years and are available across different platforms and marketplaces.

The main concept behind this decorative bracelet is that it’s given from one person to another as a symbol of friendship. On Etsy, these products are handmade, colorful, and vary in style.

Etsy has announced that searches for friendship bracelets on Etsy have risen 40% since 2022. This clearly shows the renewed interest in these handcrafted items. They offer a way to celebrate bonds – a precious token at a time when many are starting to value personal connections on another level.

Digital products

Lastly, digital products like downloadable art, digital planners, and online courses, gained traction on Etsy this year.

The reasons are several. First, purchasing an online product is much easier and more convenient than physically receiving an order. There are zero shipping costs and the delivery is instant.

Second, most digital products are personalized and can be custom-made to suit the preferences of each individual. With the growing importance of customization in online shopping, it’s natural that digital goods are skyrocketing.

In a nutshell

Etsy’s journey through 2023 has been one of thoughtful evolution. The platform has successfully balanced its unique market position with adaptive strategies to meet consumer demands.

By expanding its scope, popularizing new niches, and staying true to its nature of creativity and individuality, Etsy has reinforced its status as a go-to platform for unique and handcrafted items.

The future of the platform looks bright as it continually adapts to the dynamic eCommerce landscape.

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