If you’ve been an Etsy seller for any length of time, you’ve probably heard of their standalone website builder, Pattern by Etsy. But is Pattern by Etsy worth it? Or should Etsy just lay it to bed?
Pattern by Etsy is an online software created by Etsy to help sellers explore the idea of having their own stand-alone web store.
Through Pattern, you can take your existing Etsy listings and list them on your stand-alone website. You can customize this website and tailor it to your own branding and overall aesthetic design.
You’re able to collect richer data to help your marketing campaigns and generally move more products. The appeal is that it enables you to use your Etsy listings to attract people who don’t typically use Etsy as a marketplace to buy a product.
What is Pattern by Etsy?
In essence, you can take your Etsy products and sell them in your own store that’s away from Etsy – technically.
So if you still have to play by Etsy’s rules and pay their fees, what’s the attraction of Pattern by Etsy? Let’s take a look at the pros and the cons.
PROS: Is Pattern by Etsy Worth It?
Etsy knows a thing or two about its sellers. A giant corporation, privy to a lot of data – it’s safe to say they know how to cater to the needs of the people that pay them. And that’s where Pattern came from.
Many Etsy sellers expressed the desire to build their own store but lacked the skills and experience.
Etsy created Pattern for those people and thus tailored the product to them.
Pro: It’s easy to establish
As mentioned earlier, Pattern takes your existing Etsy listings and pushes those product pictures, descriptions, and more into your Pattern site. This means you don’t have to double-handle your inventory, making it much quicker and easier to set up.
You can create a domain straight from the Pattern dashboard and connect it to your Pattern store. For example, rather than your online storefront having an address like etsy.com/shop/YouGrowGirl/, you could make your Pattern store have the domain YouGrowGirl.com (assuming it’s available, of course!).
Pro: It has simplified payments
Settling up payments with Shopify, WooCommerce, or another stand-alone eCommerce platform can be tricky, to say the least. Using Pattern by Etsy, you can easily offer the same payment methods your Etsy customers can use. There’s no need to integrate third-party payment methods or double-handle shipping information. Payments and shipping on your Pattern store are handled the same way they’re handled in your Etsy store.
Pro: It has better inventory management
If you’ve got products that you want to sell, but they don’t meet Etsy’s handmade or vintage definition, you’re able to sell them on your pattern store. Mass-produced products can be listed in your Pattern store, alongside handmade items. With this in mind, you can create a Pattern-only listing and offer it in your Pattern store, thus increasing the average cart spend.
Pro: It’s not unlike a typical eCommerce store
Etsy’s goal in creating Pattern was to develop its own version of a website builder. And they did that.
- Connect to Google Analytics
- Create a blog for SEO purposes
- Brand your store however you like
- Collect emails for email marketing
- Integrate Google AdWords
- Market with Facebook & Pinterest
These are the most basic functionalities that you see in providers like Shopify, Wix, and other platforms. They’re features that gently introduce Etsy sellers to the bigger world of eCommerce without overwhelming them.
CONS: Is Pattern by Etsy Worth It?
Pattern by Etsy has a lot of pros. But in its lifetime, its also come under the scrutiny of many individuals – Etsy sellers and eCommerce entrepreneurs alike. Here are some of the cons about using Pattern by Etsy:
Con: It has limited customization options
Earlier in this article, when we said you could tailor your Pattern store to your branding – that’s true as long as your branding fits in with one of the ten themes that Pattern offers. It’s worth mentioning that these themes are well designed by professional UX designers. But, when other eCommerce store builders offer thousands of templates and drag-and-drop designers to create your own templates, ten premade templates is a little constraining if you’re feeling creative. You cannot add any third-party builders to change the design, so layouts, images sizes, and navigation are all pretty fixed.
Con: The fees add up
- Pattern Publishing Fees
- Etsy Listing Fees (No longer applicable)
- Monthly Pattern Fees
- Transaction Fees (No longer applicable)
- Payment Processing Fees
You might have some money left over at the end of the month if you’re lucky!
Many Etsy and Pattern sellers alike have voiced their displeasure at Etsy’s sheer number of fees. An entirely free online store builder is going to be insanely hard to use. So there’s no arguing that you have to pay for Pattern’s ease of use.
Luckily for Pattern users though, Etsy has started to reign back some of their fees and no longer charges listing or transaction fees. This comes as a light at the end of the tunnel as Etsy attempts to keep Pattern competitive with other 3rd party web store builders.
Con: No software upgrades
The Etsy team very rarely updates the Pattern tool. Since its launch in 2017, no fundamental new features have been introduced, no update or maintenance of their ten premade themes. Many sellers explain that it feels like Etsy itself doesn’t care about Pattern, but they’re happy to take your money for using it.
Con: It copies your product listings
One of the most significant conveniences of Pattern is that your Etsy product listings are pushed directly into your Pattern store and used there. But this is also a downside. Whatever images you use in your Etsy store, you have to use them in your Pattern store. There’s no way to use different photos, descriptions, and so on, as Etsy’s Shop Manager manages Etsy listings and Pattern listings.
So, is Pattern by Etsy worth it?
If you’re an Etsy seller wanting to explore the broader world of eCommerce and start your online store, then Pattern is a great place to start, but it comes with many restrictions and high fees.
If you’re an experienced seller wanting to spread your brand name further and attract more customers to your own website, then you should look elsewhere.
Pattern is a good, albeit expensive, way to dip your toes in a stand-alone eCommerce store, even though it technically isn’t a stand-alone eCommerce store. If you want to start your online store and operate it alongside your Etsy shop, Pattern is an excellent place to start. But with limited customization and marketing options, the effort put into a Pattern store is probably better put into educating yourself about building a genuinely stand-alone eCommerce store.
Do you sell on Pattern by Etsy? What do you like or dislike about it? Let us know in the comments below!
Happy selling everyone!