Products sold and bought through Etsy range from art, clothing, jewelry and other decorative objects to arts and crafts supplies. After the launch of Etsy, the company registered almost immediate success, reaching up to a million in sales within a couple of years. The annual merchandise sales volume has been on a steady increase, rising from 170 thousand U.S. dollars in 2005 to 3.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2017. The company generated revenue of around 441 million U.S. dollars in 2017. Most of the company’s revenue is generated from its marketplace segment. Here, sellers are expected to pay a fee equal to 3.5 percent the value of each product sold as well as a listing fee of 0.20 U.S. dollars per item.
The number of active sellers Etsy stood at 1.9 million in 2017 and as the second quarter of 2018, the site had 175 million active buyers who had bought goods through the platform. Etsy has been able to build a loyal customer base as is reflected in its distribution of active buyers, where over 60 percent of its annual gross merchandise sales between 2011 and 2017 were repeat purchases. Etsy has also been able to implement and manage a strong mobile strategy. Since 2014, more than half of all web visits to Etsy were through mobile platforms and 51 percent of the company’s gross merchandise sales volume was generated from the use of mobile devices.
As of December 2017, Etsy was among the top ten most popular retail websites in the United States. In addition to being an online shop, Etsy also functions as a social network site, similar to Facebook, in which users can create personal profiles, connect with one another, and with features to add friends, write reviews and send messages. The website also bears some similarity to Pinterest, due to its strong visual design and users’ ability to curate collections. Other platforms which promote similar kinds of products as Etsy include ezebee.com (Switzerland), iCraft (Canada) or Zibbet.com and Madeit.com (Australia).