When I talked about putting the Polka & Bloom shop on Etsy into vacation mode, Jo brought up something in the comments which I have been thinking about for a little while too.
“At least if you have your own site with your own brand name it should be a lot more memorable and easy to find. After all even if my friends did manage to get on Etsy to find the bracelet they were all cooing over, the site is so vast now, I bet they didn’t find it, it made me feel quite bad that I couldn’t remember the actual sellers name.” [Italics are mine]
We don’t always pay attention to who we are actually buying something from on Etsy (and other sites too). Which is a shame. Right?
Imagine you buy a new blouse in a brick&mortar shop and your friends ask you where you bought it. What would your reply be?
“I bought it at the mall/ shopping centre” or “I bought it at Blouse Boutique”.
One is specific, the other is generic. In one case you’re paying attention, in the other the blouse could have come from anywhere.
For Etsy it is great that you bought your new earrings “on Etsy” because that reinforces their brand/visibility. But it’s less great for the maker of those earrings. Their brand becomes diluted, perhaps disappears almost entirely.
There is a reason why the Etsy logo is so big on all the individual shop and product pages; and that reason is to make you associate your purchase with Etsy and not the actual maker. For people who are less familiar with Etsy they might even think that they are doing business with Etsy. Which isn’t the case.
Etsy’s customers are the individual shop owners, they’re the ones paying the bills, not the people buying cowls and owl softies. Etsy doesn’t sell anything to the shoppers.
Etsy is just another selling platform and it really ought to be irrelevant where a shop is. So maybe, when talking about an online shop, we could refer to it by its name and not by its location.
Because if we refer to the shop by its location, then it’s not really any different than buying something from the mall. Artists, crafters etc put their heart and soul into what they make, we should honour that by remembering them. They are individuals. We need to remember that.