Rise In Popularity of Marketplace Like Etsy During A Global Pandemic - COVID-19

Coronavirus pandemic has impacted the health of people in many countries, but it has also severely impacted the business world. Some of the challenges that have grasped the business around the globe are: collapse in customer demand, regulatory modification, supply chain interruption, economic recession, increased uncertainty, and unemployment.

The Government of every country is working to improve the health and lifestyle of the people around, but a similar approach is needed to recover businesses. Not post the pandemic, but businesses need to gear up now.

Now let us see how businesses can work on recovery or even positioning themselves now to get fruitful results in the future. Right now, people are staying home and maintaining social distancing. Business leaders are in extreme pressure right now. They want to keep safe and stay home, but they also want to make progress for their business. Unfortunately, they are not able to make progress due to production shut down, and the sellers are refusing to take any new order.

Handmade craft businesses are those businesses who produce products from hand (as the name suggests) and are usually home based businesses. These businesses are facing huge losses as they are not able to sell their product in the local market. Some handmade craft businesses have braced the effects of pandemic on the business by going online and partnering with eCommerce multivendor marketplace websites.

To leverage profits from your business, entrepreneurs have to connect with vendors who primarily create handmade products. Setting up an online marketplace to replace the artisan market is a viable idea during the crisis. Seeking opportunities during the crisis is the direction that every entrepreneur should follow.

Etsy, a community for independent creators, has found profits for the business even during the crisis. They have a community of home-based curators who create the products at home. According to Etsy, every 2 seconds, there was a search for a face mask in March 2020. With countries making face masks mandatory, online marketplaces like Etsy have asked all sellers to create home masks.

Lead by example, Etsy like marketplaces have grown their sales and provided employment opportunities. Now is the time to think out of the box and start a business in the online world. As the supply chain is affected, most online businesses are also adversely affected by a coronavirus. Here’s a complete guide on how to build an online marketplace like etsy.

Preliminary Research About The Niche Of Your Marketplace

If you have made up your mind on the industry, you are planning to launch your eCommerce marketplace, and then the next step would be to decide if you want to launch an eCommerce marketplace for a specific niche or open to all niches. Now that you have decided that you are going to launch a handmade craft marketplace. Either you can launch a marketplace with a variety of niche like Etsy, or you can choose one niche and approach sellers to sell handmade craft items. Some of the niches a handmade craft marketplace can cater to are:

  • Jewelry & Accessories
  • Clothing & Shoes
  • Home & living
  • Wedding & Party
  • Toy & Entertainment
  • Art & collectibles
  • Craft Supplies and Tools
  • Vintage

Connecting with artisans for selling their products on the marketplace. You need to understand what products will be accessible in the geographical area that you are selecting. Understanding the personality and behavioral aspect of the target audience is also an essential aspect of choosing the niche of your handmade craft marketplace.

To understand your value-market fit, you need to answer the following questions for better clarity:

  • Is there an unmet need for handmade craft in your target market?
  • What are the problems that your business will solve?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • How is the problem being solved, and what value will it add?
  • Is there a competitor that your target audience currently engages with?

Vendor and Buyer Expectations From The Marketplace Like an Etsy

Starting an Etsy-like marketplace is not a common type of online business; a handmade craft marketplace needs to devise its policies and business model according to the expectation of the vendor and buyer. Understanding the expectation is important because if you fulfill those with the help of policies and features, it will lead to a better user experience on the website. Furthermore, you should practice more about Etsy SEO to stand out from the crowd and bring significant sales revenues to your business.

Detailed understanding of more comprehensive audience expectations will help you narrow and segment your audience later, and to adjust your value proposition.


  • Separate page for the vendors to showcase all their products
  • Ease of uploading their products on the platform
  • Managing their inventory as they are present on multiple channels
  • Efficient functionalities to sell the items online
  • Check stats on how many people visited and number of sales
  • Multiple payment options allowing customers to pay via their preffered choice
  • A marketplace that charges a low commision fee on each sale
  • Free or minimal charges for membership


  • A strict check on the quality of the product delivered
  • Voice their opinion of the product on the website by review and rating feature
  • The flawless buying experience with one-click search, secure payment, and easy checkout.
  • A broad range of products at a single place
  • Secure online purchase
  • Timely and free delivery of products
  • Discount and coupons to save expenditure

How Does an Online Marketplace Like Etsy Work?

Like any other marketplace, a handmade craft marketplace like Etsy also works on a similar business model. A marketplace is where sellers list their products on the website, and buyers buy the product. The marketplace owner may or may not sell self-produced products. In a marketplace like Etsy, artisans list themselves on the platform, and buyers buy the products. Here is a step by step working of a marketplace like Etsy:

For Artisans

  • Become a seller of the website & authenticate your profile
  • Selects particular from the catalog that has been uploaded by the admin
  • If products that the seller wish to upload is not in the catalog, the seller can request the admin to add it in the catalog
  • The seller add the variants available and description to the product page
  • The seller also manages the content of the shop page
  • Seller receives the order and prepare it to get it delivered to the customer
  • After the admin deducts the commission, the amount is sent to the seller's wallet
  • The seller can keep a tab on the sales & revenue generated

For Buyers

  • Registeron the website via email, google or socia media
  • Select the category of products or search for the products that you wish to buy
  • There may or may not be options to personalize the color and other specification of the product
  • Among a list of products, select the product that is the best fit
  • Add personalization and then add it to the card
  • Check the details of the selected item, add payment details, &address to be delivered
  • The product order is placed

Business Model Canvas of Etsy

The following image is the business model canvas that Etsy follows to keep the business up and to run. Take note of these parameters and mold it according to your business idea.


Essential Features of The Marketplace Like Etsy

Admin Features

Catalog management: For better product and performance management of the website, the catalog is managed by the admin. The admin can accept or reject requests to add products in the catalog from the seller.

Multilingual and Multi-Currency: If the entrepreneur wishes to take the website to the global market, these features will help. The website must be multilingual and multicurrency to be able to connect with the target audience throughout the globe.

Multiple Payment Gateway: Providing the customer the choice to choose a payment gateway according to their decision is essential for increasing the conversion rate of the website.

Review Management: Manage reviews that have been added to the website. Upload the report that you want to show on the website.

PPC advertising: This allows the seller to advertise on different sections of the website. The admin of the website earns money according to each click.

Seller Features

Inventory management: The seller gets notification whenever a product is sold to a customer or shipped to the customer. This way, the seller can manage the inventory and keep new products in stock.

Top Product and Sale Reports: The Seller must get reports of the sales, visitors, and product. The seller can analyze the efforts and strategize better for the future.

Promotional Banners: The seller should be able to promote themselves on the website. The promotion can be on different areas of the websites, and the CPC can be decided accordingly. The banner image of the website can also be used for advertisement.

Tax Management: Add taxes to the product in a specific category quickly and in a streamlined way.

Separate vendor store fronts: The marketplace should give leverage to the seller to have a shop page. The customers who are loyal to a particular would visit the shop page and the products of that seller can be listed for quick checkout.

Buyer Features

Digital wallet: A secure way to manage transactions on the website without giving bank details.

Reward and discount: Customers prefer websites that provide reward points and discounts. This way, the admin can engage the customers on the website.

Smart recommendation: to increase the AOV and to engage the customers on the website. Smart recommendation features allow the website to recommend products according to the search history or currently checking product.

Streamlined Checkout: The checkout is an essential page of an eCommerce website. The checkout page should be streamlined to utilize the minimum efforts of the customers.

Mobile Apps: in the age of digital transformation, people prefer to order products from mobile apps than through the website. UI and UX should be streamlined for mobile customers.


Most entrepreneurs struggle to find the perfect time to launch an Etsy like marketplace. But Launching a handmade craft marketplace right now when a pandemic has hit the world is the best time. While production houses, factories are closed, people are relying on handmade artisans for the different products that they need. Marketplaces like Etsy have been picking up pace during the pandemic as they can supply to the demand of the consumers.

A marketplace platform like Yo!Kart which specializes in catering to different niches. The team can help you launch your marketplace like Etsy within a few days; any other development way will take a longer time and more money. Yo!Kart is an eCommerce multivendor marketplace platform   with features and functionality that suits the needs of different kinds of businesses. The features of the marketplace have been developed after thorough research of the market and trends.This platform has all the features that a handmade craft marketplace needs to increase traffic and conversion. Yo!Kart also offers additional customization which gives the leverage to the client to add functionality accordingly. Choose Yo!Kart to launch your Etsy-like marketplace.

Etsy business model canvas
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