This is a question that has been in the back of my mind for a long while now. I mentioned it on the Epheriell Facebook page today, and there’s a good discussion kicking off there, but I wanted to expand upon that discussion here, too.
The question is this: do you feel ‘safer’ buying from a handmade brand on Etsy/Madeit etc. rather than on their own website – especially the first time you purchase from them?
As a maker and businesswoman, my eventual aim is to reduce sales on external venues (such as Etsy) and increase sales on my own website (in this case, Epheriell.com). This is obviously because it reduces the fees and expenses I have to pay.
However, I worry that – despite my strong online presence, and the information I give on my own website – some brand-new buyers might be hesitant to purchase from my website the first time they buy from me. As an online seller, the answer to this question is vital – it will influence my marketing and advertising efforts.
For example – am I better off advertising my Etsy shop rather than my own site to bring in new buyers? I already encourage return customers and those who connect with me online to purchase from my own website through my product packaging and blog links, because I feel they’d be happy to purchase directly from me as we’ve already established a relationship and a level of trust.
People are becoming more web-savvy, for sure, but there are still lots of folk who worry about shopping online, and I want to assuage those fears in my business.
I wonder if someone buying from me for the first time – especially if they find me via something like a Google search, rather than having connected with me first via this blog or social media – would be more likely to purchase from my Etsy shop, simply because there is more of a ‘safety net’ by purchasing that way.
For example, if you are unhappy with an Etsy purchase, you can appeal to Etsy admin, and open a case dispute. There is a third party mediating between the buyer and seller. Of course, if you purchase via Paypal, you do have a safety net also – you can dispute non-delivery and ask for a refund, for example.
On the other hand, if you purchase directly from someone’s website, you don’t have this safety net.
Does this cross your mind when you go to buy from a brand for the first time?
If you have a good experience, do you continue to buy from them via a venue, or would you be happy to buy from their own website?
What’s your approach to this issue? I’d love your perspective as both a buyer AND a seller.
Image from Secret Safe Books.