The Multi-platform Approach

I just posted this in the Etsy forums and thought it blog worthy here as well. Revisiting a multi-platform approach to selling is definitely worth a short discussion in light of Devin Wenig's current statements: "eBay was pivoting away from "big retail" and said he would rather have a million small businesses than three more huge retailers with commodity products." Posted on I'm actually quite surprised to have been recently featured on Ebay and also have strong sales this year especially to Valentine's Day. While we all tend to be a bit critical if not downright cynical when someone claims to support small business, I'm definitely thinking there might be a serious element of interest here to fill capture a piece of the buyer market where Amazon Handmade's shortcomings have failed to invade the handmade niche. I actually feel upbeat on Ebay this year being more of a platform for listing handmade. As far as shock titles such as "Etsy Killer," I hardly see any of these venues winning over Etsy's loyal user base or becoming anyone's primary platform for running a small business. The take home lesson from Amazon Handmade is additional sales channels are always greatly appreciated and Ebay is welcome to come play in the sandbox. Many of us are becoming very comfortable with a multi-channel approach, while Millennials are also less brand loyal and happy to shop on various platforms. Etsy seems to recognize this multi-platform trend: as Chad D. mentions "50% of sellers sell elsewhere in addition to Etsy." What this hopefully means for sellers is each platform is working in their own direction now and not simply cloning each other with the same offerings such as back in the early days of Artfire, Zibbet, and various other attempts to directly crack Etsy's market. This multi-platform trend encourages innovation, creative marketing, and ultimately presents sellers with more opportunities. My thinking for Etsy is investors will become more comfortable with the long term sustainability, the stock will eventually recover, and Amazon might require a reality check for their growth expectations in the handmade market. I'm already seeing Amazon being surprised by the difficulty of entering this market and they must now be taking stock of Ebay announcing their entrance as well. We sell on, like using, recommend to others, and own stock in Ebay, Amazon, Etsy, Shopify and Google. From our perspective these platforms are not competing in the least for my business and I will gladly use any and all sales channels available. The competition is between the platforms to win over the most buyers and the most sales.
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