How To Build a Multi-Vendor Marketplace Like Etsy


E-Commerce is one of the most auspicious and profitable areas of modern business. Selling goods online may be a great alternative or supplement to the traditional store. However, with tons of opportunities, some complications appear. And the very first obstacle is a powerful website.

If you are not a software development specialist, it may look quite scary for you to overcome this difficulty. Some of the retailers abandon the entire idea of online sales because of the necessity to look for an IT development team. But the modern software market provides enthusiasts with perfect solutions for developing websites of different complexities.

Building a website like Etsy is pretty simple nowadays as well. It is not required to demonstrate the expertise using a cutting-edge development tool, it is quite enough to bring your idea to life with a ready-made marketplace script. Let's find out how to do this.

Etsy and Its Success Story

What you can by on Etsy

Before thinking of how to design a solution like Etsy, a business owner needs to extend their knowledge about this marketplace as a whole and become aware of the basis for all the processes taking place there.

Etsy is a tremendous online marketplace that reflects the principles of sharing economy. What can people buy here? In the top of the sales, there are clothing items, home décor, accessories and jewelry. Exceptional attention is devoted to vintage goods people sell here.

The marketplace started its road to success back in 2005. The contributors that decided to provide vintage lovers with the opportunity to exchange and sell their collections online hadn't even imagined the success they are about to achieve. Now, there are more than 27 million active customers and around 1.7 million retailers. And the numbers keep growing every day.

The Etsy brand runs both a website and a mobile app to make the user experience even more convenient. The solution updates frequently and follows the innovative trends to keep the leading positions.

The Marketplace Features

Etsy is a good example of when less means more. It is different from other global eCommerce websites. Etsy occupies a limited area of goods to sell. And in this defined segment, Etsy is the best.

What are the most prominent features of this platform?

  • Etsy API

Etsy has its own open API. With this tool, web developers can easily join the community, and what is more important, every specialist is able to create websites similar to Etsy using the API.

  • Live Advertising

The founders believe that the greatest part of the customers that came to Etsy was attracted with live advertising. More than 67% of users are women, and there is a considerable percentage of users that joined the marketplace because of personal recommendations.

  • Offline Activity

Besides running the eCommerce business, Etsy community organizes workshops and meetings, provides support and consultations for local crafters and artists.

  • Unique Products

Etsy works with one-of-a-kind handmade and vintage items. The vintage products older than 20 years are only possible for sales.

  • Complete Store

On the Etsy's page, a retailer can open a whole custom web store that would perfectly reflect the brand idea and core of the whole business.

  • Global Shipping

Etsy delivers products to the countries worldwide.

The Essentials of Etsy's Processes, Business Model and Revenue

The  Essentials of Etsy

Etsy has installed a seamless work process that consists of several significant elements:

  1. Start with Sign Up

The sign up includes providing the standard information about the user. After this, a vendor can start the sales. Take a note that listing on Etsy requires a charge fee.

  1. Choice and Filters

An interested customer can browse the website, filter the existing offers, ask questions and pick the desired product.

  1. Adding to Cart

After the choice is made, a single click is needed to add the products to cart and make a transaction. The service charges a 3.5% fee for each purchase.

  1. Rates and Reviews

Another significant element of Etsy success is an opportunity to rate and review the goods. It helps future customers make the right choices and stimulates other business owners to improve the level of quality they provide.

Etsy's business model includes different components. These parts combined together make a contribution to the obvious success.

Another important aspect to discuss is what actually builds Etsy's revenue. There are 2 basic sources of income: charges and additional payments. As we have mentioned above, Etsy charges listing and requires the commission for each sale. Although the percentages are small, the sum paid by a million vendors is impressive. Some features are not free. So if the retailers need to add some special opportunities to the web store, it is necessary to spend money on them.

Etsy sales grow annually. In 2017, the annual profit was more than $3.2 billion.

In 2017, the annual profit was more than $3.2 billion.

How to Build Your Own Multi-Vendor Marketplace?

It is a great job to create selling platforms like Etsy. The price for such type of service depends completely on a region you build it in. If you hire an in-house team for hard office work in the USA or Great Britain, the website may cost you a fortune. If you turn your head to the outsourcing option and target Eastern Europe, you will save your money. And take a note that lower price does not mean lower quality.

Etsy was created quite fast. Only 3 months were taken to build the first version of a solution.

Online shopping sites like Etsy should include the following functionality:

  • User Account

Let the users perform Sign In procedure via Google or Facebook. Add the extended account settings and design a convenient dashboard.

  • Notifications

Brief but informative notifications may be useful for vendors. Additionally, they may draw the attention to the things you want your users to pay attention to.

  • Filters

Such options as location, price, shipping conditions, etc. are significant. They help both retailers and customers reach the aim.

  • Messaging

Information exchange between retailers and customers is crucial. Make the users love your solution by letting them interact on the pages of your website.

  • Ratings

If ratings work well for Etsy, why not use them for your own software product? Enable the Ratings and Review feature and watch as your popularity grows.

  • Transactions

Make a research and discover the most widespread online payment methods in your region and outside of it. Add them to your marketplace and make a transaction history accessible for the visitors.

Following the simple tips and trends, you will be able to realize great alternatives to Etsy for sellers.

What can we do for your Development Purposes?

Make a marketplace

We will find the optimal solution for you to realize all the features of your development goals. Our business analyst will clarify the details of your idea and recommend the optimal combination of software solutions to reduce your costs and to create a powerful web solution for sales needs. We will help you make a marketplace that will have:

  • a powerful functional building;

  • responsive design;

  • there are no restrictions on product lists;

  • a large number of user accounts;

  • content change and management;

  • various commission settings;

  • various advanced functions, and so on.


If you decide to create a marketplace similar to Etsy and understand what opportunities for you will open after it is created, then contact Roobykon Software Company. We have a very large expertise in creating marketplaces and we will help you bring your business to a higher level.

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