Etsy launched a website building platform on Tuesday to allow its sellers to create a more customized experience. The new seller service is called Pattern by Etsy, and it includes web hosting, customization tools, and automatic integration with the seller’s Etsy store, for $15 a month.
The semi-white-labeled service runs on the retailer’s domain, and currently offers five templates which Etsy’s business users can customize and populate with product data from their existing Etsy site. Etsy currently sells goods from about 1.6 million active retailers, and the company’s own research indicated that one-third of its sellers are interested in launching a separate site, but challenges associated with the process are a barrier to many.
Etsy has been a public company since April 2015, and shares have been in steep decline. According to a report by Quartz, shares are down 77 percent to $8.32 from their high of $35.74. Part of the challenge has been slowing growth, challenges with overseas expansion, and competition with Handmade at Amazon, which was introduced in October exclusively for retailers selling handmade goods on Amazon.
Pattern could help bring in recurring revenue in its seller service segment, which has been a bright spot for Etsy, growing 54 percent year-over-year and making up half of its total revenue. Seller service is the “money it gets from charging its 1.6 million vendors to promote their listings, process payments and generate shipping labels,” Quartz said.
With Pattern, Etsy sellers still need to sort out their own domain, but then can point and click to set up templates as their own ecommerce store. The Pattern-built store will import and integrate shop listings and content, analytics, and inventory and orders from Etsy, and use the same checkout and shipping tools.
“We believe Pattern will deliver a special shopping experience as well—a high-quality, modern and professional-looking ecommerce site with branding unique to that shop,” said Etsy SVP of Product in a blog post. “Pattern sites feature responsive webpages so they look great at any size, on any device. And, with co-branded Etsy checkout, buyers will be reassured that their purchase is secure and trustworthy.”
Pattern is Etsy’s fourth seller service, its first to extend beyond its core marketplace and its first with a monthly subscription model. Etsy is offering a free 30-day trial of Pattern to help it build a user base.
In addition to website builders like Wix and Squarespace, which have been aggressively marketing their services, Pattern is in competition with Handmade at Amazon, which was introduced in October exclusively for retailers selling handmade goods on Amazon. Wix introduced Etsy integration for its customers back in 2014.