On Wednesday Etsy launched Pattern, a new ecommerce option for sellers. Pattern is a clone of your Etsy shop, but in the skin of a stand-alone online storefront. For $15/month sellers now have the option of quickly and easily adding a Pattern storefront to their Etsy shop and for an additional $16/year can purchase a custom domain from Etsy to point to it.
Pattern is a really radical addition for Etsy, rounding out their three other seller services (promoted listings, direct checkout and shipping labels) with a service that has the potential to be a significant ongoing revenue generator for the company. But is does it optimally serve Etsy sellers?
To talk this through I invited my friend and fellow Etsy watcher, Danielle Spurge of The Merriweather Council, for a video chat. We sat down yesterday to look at Pattern together and discuss the pros and cons including:
- What is motivating Etsy to add this feature?
- What advantages does Pattern offer to sellers?
- What are the risks?
- How does Pattern compare to other ecommerce options (Danielle uses Shopify on a WordPress site and I use WooCommerce on a WordPress site)
- What kind of Etsy seller is Pattern best for?
- What features could Etsy add to enhance Pattern?
Pattern is still brand new and it was fun to react to it at this early stage. If you have thoughts to share after you watch the video, we’re all ears. Danielle and I will both the reading and replying.
Melissa Kaiserman says
This was a great overview! Your thoughts on it line up almost exactly with a blog post I wrote yesterday. I definitely don’t believe Pattern is for everyone or even the majority, but it’s something that a slice of Etsy sellers may want to consider.
I wanted to mention a couple of things:
1. During the checkout process, there is no point at which a customer has the potential of seeing other Etsy listings. Whereas someone making a purchase on Etsy itself has all sorts of distractions on the cart page (search bar, category menu, “You might also like…” listings from other shops at the bottom, etc.), the cart on a Pattern site is a dropdown or popout that stays right there, very much like a regular ecommerce site. The checkout page is distraction-free as well, with the shop name on the left and “Checkout by Etsy” on the right.
2. PayPal is not an option at checkout. Not even integrated. My guess is that by eliminating PayPal altogether, Etsy is ensuring they get that payment processing fee and don’t sacrifice it to PayPal in the case of shops that haven’t integrated.
3. If you purchase a domain name instead of using patternbyetsy.com, it is not a subdomain unless you’ve set it up that way. And it’s a subdomain of your site–not of Etsy. For example, if you already have a site named myhandmadestuff.com, you could set it up so that shop.myhandmadestuff.com is what points to your Pattern shop. And if you ever decide to move off Pattern to a true standalone site, you can just point your domain or subdomain to that spot.
This is terrific. Thank you for adding clarity to these issues.
Arianne Foulks says
I’m popping in to answer the domain name questions from the end of the video!
>> Using your domain with another host later:
All domain registrars allow you to move your domain registration to another company. All domain registrars should allow you to modify your DNS settings to point your domain to any website.
It sounds like Etsy is probably using a third party service, they aren’t the registrar themselves (someone in the Aeolidia Facebook group said it’s Tucows). I would recommend purchasing a domain from a third party registrar (I use DNSimple), then pointing it from your registrar’s admin to Etsy.
>> If I move, will it kill my SEO?
If you get good rankings in Google for your Etsy Pattern site on your domain, then later want to move your site, will you be able to keep those rankings, or will you be starting from scratch?
The concern here is that your URLs will change. For instance, your Pattern site’s About page will be here:
That will be easy to duplicate on your new site, and won’t harm your search engine ranking. The “about” page URL stays the same, Google keeps sending people to it, and no harm done.
However, your product detail page (the information about a single product) has a URL more like this:
There is no chance that the URL structure of your new site on Squarespace, Shopify, or WordPress will have that exact same URL, so now you need to redirect it.
The good news is that the redirect isn’t controlled by the old site (Etsy). You can set up redirects yourself any time as the domain name owner. You just need to learn how to redirect URLs, or have a web developer help you with it. Shopify, for instance, has a place in the admin tool where you can input the old URL and the new URL and set up the redirects by yourself. This is good if you don’t have many products. If you have hundreds of products, you’re not going to want to do this one by one, and should get a developer’s help to create a redirect file for you.
I do think it would be “safer” if search engines are a big part of your marketing strategy, to set up the site that you ultimately want, on the platform that you want, before going great guns on the SEO strategies. Google considers many parts of a site (URLs, image file names, alt tags on images, page header tags, etc.) when deciding how highly to rank you. Those things will change at least a bit when you move your site, so it’s something to be concerned about.
We have worked with many clients moving HUGE sites with tons of content. Keeping their URLs functioning and their search engine rankings from dropping is not a simple task! Get some help from a pro if you’re unsure.
You’re the best. This is so wise. I really appreciate your expert advice, Arianne.
One thing I don’t think I heard discussed was the whole EU tax situation. I used to have WooCommerce and have considered Shopify. When the EU decided I would have to pay taxes, I switched to a WP plugin called Etsy360 which basically populates my Etsy shop onto a WP Page. All transactions are run through my Etsy shop which means Etsy collects and sends those pesky EU tax remittances.
I was curious about Pattern because it would allow me to continue to sell my ePatterns anywhere in the world and still give me a professional (Shopify/WooCommerce) looking shop. Now, I’m not so sure. Using Etsy360 allows my shop to have all of my ads and subscribe boxes. Plus, customers can use Paypal or Direct Checkout. I don’t think it has affected SEO in any way.
It sounds like Pattern needs a little work. I may give it a try since it’s easy to switch off Etsy360.
This is such a great point. I hadn’t heard about Etsy360, but that’s another interesting alternative for people who like the Etsy checkout system, like having inventory be consistent between shops, and like having Etsy take care of VAT for them, plus you get the benefit of offering PayPal and having all the other plugins and third party apps that a WordPress site offers. Thank you for this!
Damian Clem says
Great stuff here! I’m actually the developer of Etsy360 and wanted to say to those that have used Etsy360, thank you! Here’s an article that might help explain Etsy360 vs. Patterns… https://www.etsy360.com/traditional-website-vs-etsys-pattern/
Thanks again Leslie and Abby!
Allison Dey Malacaria says
Danielle’s point about using Etsy as a tool to build your business has to remain a primary focus in any conversation about having an Etsy shop and using Etsy services. Etsy is a service I use within my business. But Etsy is not my business. Etsy’s surveys always word the question of your business status as “Are you a full-time Etsy seller? Part-time? etc.” rather than “Are you in business for yourself full-time? Part-time? etc.”. The presentation of Etsy-as-your-business is central in their communications and promotions.
I have looked at all the pros and cons and I’m not convinced I want to pay Etsy twice for essentially the same thing. I am looking at purchasing a domain and would like to establish my own ecommerce site. I don’t really believe I will be getting what I want with Pattern.
My biggest concern is that new shop owners will jump right on the Pattern bandwagon and be taken advantage of as so many are operating on a hope and a prayer rather than a solid business and marketing plan. I get this impression not from the presentation or timing of the service itself, but from the discussions on private FB seller groups that tend to attract new sellers. It’s cool, it’s new, it’s the Etsy God with hands open and a shiny new toy inside. “Look, you can have YOUR OWN SHOP!” is the main message these new sellers are getting. And without any additional training or entrepreneurial smarts, they are depending on Etsy for traffic, views, and sales to create a thriving business. Etsy’s training programs, from which these groups spring, are almost entirely bereft of any discussion of building the business outside the Etsy environment. It’s misleading and frankly, a little smarmy. If not for a few “older” sellers, none of these newbies would hear anything about business management and marketing from Etsy about Etsy within an Etsy program. New sellers are in the groups squealing with delight and excited questions about Pattern. Quietly I’m thinking “oy vey.”
Thank you for this analysis of Pattern. I’ve posted the link to this discussion within several groups. Pattern’s free trial could be loads of fun if for nothing more than to see how one’s products look, examine branding, and dream a little. It will be interesting to see if anything comes of this, or if this will end up being a lot of cobweb-building on the part of those who purchase.
Thank you. Took the words right out of my mouth. I have an etsy store myself but i am also a professional website designer. It’s a great idea to integrate the etsy platform into a website and only have to manage your products from one location but at the same time it’s sort of monopolizing another business market. I am able to help a lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners not only with a great website design but the marketing aspects that go with it. I’m fearful that a lot of store owners will be jumping on the pattern bandwagon instead of searching for a local website designer to partner with. One of the great things about etsy is that you can support local business and talented artists but what about the web design community that will potentially lose clients to the big guy? Not completely sold on the whole thing. Artists and startups would really benefit from the one on one relationship that design and marketing professionals can give them.
I loved the video and the great info and advice. I tried the Pattern site but will definitely cancel before free period expires. I do have a question which I didn’t hear addressed. Since Etsy and Pattern are connected how does a seller know what sales come directly from Etsy and which sales are Etsy ecommerce? Thanks in advance for any light you can shed on this.
I’m not sure, but I have a friend who has a Pattern site and made a sale and she did know that it came through the Pattern site so there must be a notification.
Melissa Kaiserman says
Yes, the sale is tagged as coming from Pattern on the orders page, and probably on the invoice itself.
Melissa Kaiserman says
I have an answer from someone I know who had a sale today in her Pattern shop.
In the app on the orders page, it says “Pattern Order” in front of the date. But on the invoice there is no designation.
In a browser on the orders page, there is a blue tag that says “Pattern Site” below the breakdown of items. On the invoice, that same tag is after the order number & date.
Thank you for helping us clarify Melissa.
Debra Harris says
Great review! I have been toying with different websites and platforms since I started my business 2.5 years ago and I have never been satisfied. I’ve wasted a lot of time and money doing it myself and getting other people and businesses to help me and still all my revenue comes from Etsy. I still have a day job so I don’t have as much time as I’d like to try to make a new site so I decided to give Pattern a try.
My take on it is it is professional looking but extra bland. Just got it working today ad the first actual issue I see is that my Etsy shop photos don’t look right in pattern. Some of the product is cut off, even on the product page so it looks unprofessional. Now I have to see how I can edit my pictures so they look presentable in the Etsy shop and Pattern.
Pippa Mars says
Hey Abby and Danielle–
Thanks so much for taking the time to lay this all out. You make life so much easier for the rest of us!
I wanted to comment on a point you touched on in discussing potential SEO ramifications of Pattern. I just got back from Craftcation, where I learned that having sites with duplicate content can negatively affect your page rankings in Google search results.
I’m no SEO expert, but this is of concern to me, since my current Indiemade store site cross-posts content directly to/from Etsy, creating the same issue that Pattern will create for its users.
Here’s a link I found in Google’s webmaster support zone that goes into this in detail:
Obviously this doesn’t affect the Etsy SEO you were both discussing in the video, but does affect Google SEO, which we also all care about.
It looks like I’ll be learning a lot more about this in the near future.
Thanks again for sharing a very informative discussion.
This is a good point. I will have to investigate in further detail. I am a professional website designer and is true that duplicate content can hurt your search engine rankings. You would be better off writing 2 separate unique descriptions : one for etsy and one for pattern. I don’t think it allows for this yet. The other thing that might be happening is that etsy is using an api to pull your product feed into the pattern website. In this case, there would not be a duplicate content issue. BUT all of the SEO juice would likely be going directly to the etsy.com shop rather than your pattern site..
Great points. I think it would be good for Etsy to clarify the SEO issue. Perhaps they have and I’ve missed it?
Melissa Kaiserman says
Etsy has not clarified, but I’ve spent some time looking at the page source and Etsy is using canonical tags on Pattern listings. So they’ve taken care of the duplicate content issue, but the SEO juice does indeed go to the Etsy listings.
Okay, terrific. This is super helpful.
If it doesn’t use PayPal, I perceive that as a problem. I try always to use it as my means of purchasing online. I have left sites that don’t allow me to use it. 9 times out of 10 it will be enough to stop me from making the purchase if I can’t use PayPal.
I totally agree.
I find this option to have own website by one click as great.
I know what takes to build own website (good looking, perfect technically working, secure for processing payments, data etc). If you aren’t by your self a programming language guru and have heaps of time and knowledge to invest in building and looking after your own web, then you will pay not a small $ for professionals to do it for you. So I consider all fees what etsy takes is reasonable, and they offer you great service and platform by managing your web side, so you have free time for creating and production of your product…
Natalia Norena says
I have a technical question: In case I decide to cancel my current site and move to pattern, can pattern also host my old email if I point my DNS server to their IP addresses ?
After I point my DNS servers to pattern IP addresses how long will it take before my pattern website is accessible?
I sent these two questions to Etsy three days ago, but I have no answer yet.
Unsure if anyone can give me some pointers, I can not get my name servers to change. I have tried also changing the A records cause I’m not sure if it is a subdomain. I only have a little knowledge of all this. My hosting company was not listed.
Thank you in advanced!!!
Rochelle Duplessis says
Thank you so much for this discussion! I have an Etsy shop and just deactivated my Pattern site. I like that the information and format is saved and I have the option to activate at any time. I loved the ease of Pattern, you really are managing your Etsy site on the most part as the Pattern site is updating from Etsy listing editing or publishing. I also loved the layout of Pattern. I think that Pattern is not the best option for someone who it not engaged in social networking, especially if they are not generating enough sales to support the $15 month fee. I have found, for now, my Etsy shop is increasing in the area of generating interest and until I have more online sales (currently I have more in person sales) Pattern isn’t a wise business option.
I think the experience of trying to drive traffic to a Pattern shop can really highlight the value of being part of the Etsy marketplace. The traffic that Etsy brings in is really significant. I have my own site as well as an Etsy shop. I use Etsy to bring in new customers, then work to convert those customers into newsletter subscribers so that their next purchase will be through my own shop. In that way my Etsy fees are the equivalent to advertising fees and there’s no better place to spend that money.
Francois D'Ours says
Your response clarified my thinking in regards to Pattern.
I have standalone paypal and I depend completely on my income from Etsy. However, I will never sign up for Etsy’s direct check out. No integrity with that system at all. They hold your money, withdraw your money and cancel your sales at will.
I’ve used Direct Checkout since they launched it. The majority of my Etsy customers chose Direct Checkout when paying. I’ve never had a problem.
Did you miss the fiasco this summer? Direct check out was delaying sales for days and days and double charging customers. This went on for months. I don’t think it is completely fixed yet. It was and still is all over the fora. Etsy was closing threads like crazy in attempt to do damage control I believe.
That was our of their control. WorldPay was having a problem. It was resolved and no money was lost. Outages are part of running an online business.
That is my point. Worldpay is unreliable. Rated much lower than Braintree which is the top rated. PayPal uses Braintree.
You’re welcome to not use it of course.
Of course it is a personal choice. I think there are many like myself who use much caution when purchasing online.
Susie Smith says
Very useful info which has given me even more to consider. I really want my own website and the one big thing that I like about pattern is that inventory is connected as a lot of my stuff is one of a kind. But on the other hand, I don’t get an enormous amount of traffic and I’m not really sure how big a deal it would be for me to manage two separate inventories. I am also wary about putting all my eggs in one basket, and pattern not having paypal seems a big drawback.
I loved the emphasis on using etsy as a tool for your business. I’ve only recently started trying to take what I do more seriously (it’s always just been a hobby) and I have no clue about the business side of things.
When you have your own website the responsibility of driving traffic to it falls entirely on you. It requires consistent effort to make that happen. The nice thing about being part of Etsy is that Etsy brings in traffic without requiring extra effort on your part. Before investing in a website, whether through Pattern or another platform, I think it’s a good idea to come up with a plan to drive your own traffic. Otherwise you’ll be spending more than you make.
I’m curious to know if your opinions of Pattern have changed at all since their new updates to it. It seems they have made some big improvements recently, like not requiring customers to have an Etsy account, and not sending them to Etsy for checkout, as well as integrating with MailChimp. In addition to my Etsy shop, I’m using WordPress with Shopify buy buttons right now, but I’m barely driving any of my own traffic, and I was thinking it might be simpler to have everything in one place.
Here is a link with info about the updates, if you haven’t heard about them yet: https://www.etsy.com/pattern/release-notes
Yes, I have heard and I think those improvements are really significant. I think as it stands now I would encourage people to give it a try.
Kimberly Scott says
I am so grateful to all of you for all this wonderful information. You would not believe how helpful it is to me.
Thank you for taking time out of your day to provide others with their questions.
I sell on Etsy and also have a WP site and am so frustrated after always seeing the “have a blogging website in 5 easy steps”, no one ever telling you how difficult it is to build yourself. My site looks like nothing I envisioned and I spend so much time trying learn WP I don’t have time to do all the other things I need to do to build my business. I thing I am going to try Pattern for 30 days and just see if maybe that will work for a bit while I find someone to help me out with the WP site.
Again, thanks ya’ll! : )
I prefer the ease of Pattern as well – inventory, orders, shipping, sales tax, etc. are all handled nicely in the same console, and no time wasted learning technical stuff. They’ve made some important improvements since its release, and I certainly hope for at least some more customization upgrades in coming releases. In the meantime, I’m happy with paying less than the major platforms and having the integration between they Etsy and Pattern shops. Also, Kimberly, your shop looks very nice. 🙂
I like pattern. A domain looks better on a presentation card than an etsy link, It looks more professional. However, I wish pattern will allow more tools to edit the website. For example, aside from the blog, I wish I could add a page for press release.
That’s a great idea. I hope that Etsy continues to expand the capabilities of Pattern.