Home Etsy is an International Word of Mouth Phenomenon (Charts)

Etsy is an International Word of Mouth Phenomenon (Charts)

Wouldn’t you love to have people in every corner of the globe talking about your website face to face and on their blogs? That’s the enviable position that online crafts marketplace Etsy finds itself in according to survey results the company published today. Word of mouth and personal blogs are the primary way people around the world are finding out about the site and there’s an active community of craft sellers on Etsy from every continent but Antarctica.

At a time when marketers are obsessed with getting traction on Facebook and are just beginning to take users outside the US seriously, Etsy’s survey of its international members is fascinating – as is the company itself.

Etsy is Hot Stuff

Etsy is an online marketplace where people set up shops to sell physical goods they have made by hand. Knitters, painters, potters and musicians use Etsy like millions of other people use eBay. The Etsy community also meets offline, though, at Etsy-sponsored craft fairs in cities around the globe.

Etsy means business, too. It’s raised more than $30 million in venture funding and has the backing of people from places like Facebook and Flickr. Probably the hippest VC fund in tech, Fred Wilson’s Union Square Ventures, is an investor – as is early Facebook fund Accel.

This Fall Etsy started looking for a Director of International Marketing and announced major plans to expand its support for international buyers and sellers.

The International Profile

Traffic monitoring services indicate that about half of Etsy’s website traffic is coming from outside the US. Where do all these people live? The company’s survey of almost 1600 international sellers showed that these members come predominantly from the UK and Europe, with healthy chunks from Canada and Australia. Sixty-seven different countries were represented and 97% of the respondents were women.

French, German and Spanish were the most popular languages spoken after English. Almost everyone said they preferred to be paid for the crafts they sell by PayPal, a great sign that PayPal’s international woes may not be as bad as they used to be.

The most interesting parts of this survey may be how respondents learned about Etsy and how they promote their shops beyond the site. Word of mouth was far and away the leading way people discovered the site, something that any other website would be insanely jealous of. Discovery by blog was also bigger than search and advertising.

How did people promote their shops? Their personal blogs are the number one way, they said. Take that “post-blogging” cynics!

That’s a snapshot of Etsy’s method of international growth. We thought it was remarkable enough that we wanted to share it with readers here.

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