If you want to surprise your loved-ones with an individual, artisan Christmas gift this year, you can either visit your local Christmas market or you can go online and browse through millions of handcrafted items on platforms such as Etsy. The latter operates what is probably the world’s largest marketplace for self-made jewelry, art and other goods, having sold merchandise worth $2.84 billion last year.
For Etsy, as for most other retailers selling goods online or off, the holiday season is the most important time of the year. As our chart illustrates, the company’s fourth quarter revenue was 30 to 50 percent higher than the average revenue for the remaining three quarters in each of the past four years.
This year a little-known e-commerce company from Seattle is auditioning for the role of Etsy’s personal Grinch however. Having introduced its own marketplace for artisan products, Handmade at Amazon, two years ago, the world’s largest online retailer threw the (holiday) gauntlet down at Etsy by adding Amazon Handmade products to its Prime Now program until Christmas Eve. Last-minute gift shoppers will thus be able to have handmade items shipped within hours in 11 markets across the United States.