Online marketplace Etsy is on the rise

September 10, 2021 by
Sanne Leenders

In a comparison of the biggest online marketplaces by total GMV in the world, Etsy ranks 21st in 2020. Though, it is no wonder that an online marketplace such as Etsy can by no means compete with all-round international giants like Taobao, Tmall, Amazon or Walmart. Neither is this Etsy’s intention.

The US-based international online marketplace serves a niche market. It is a platform for small businesses and private sellers offering vintage, handmade and craft items to an audience that values the individualist character of many of the products. This apparently hits a nerve. Etsy has been performing extraordinarily well recently.

Etsy is attracting more and more shoppers

According to Etsy’s recently released Q2 2021 figures, the platform attracts more and more shoppers. The number of new buyers per quarter has constantly been above the pre-COVID average for at least a year. In addition, it was twice as high in Q2 2021 than it was in pre-COVID Q2 2019.

Repeat buyers increased with 114%

The numbers of active and repeat buyers on Etsy have also increased remarkably in the past months. In Q1 2021, the number of active buyers was up 91% compared to the same period in 2020. Repeat buyers increased even more – by 114% between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021. The dynamic in buying behavior and user numbers is also reflected in Etsy’s GMV development.

A flawless GMW record

GMV-wise, Etsy looks back on a flawless record. The online marketplace was able to increase its total GMV by solid double-digit percentages every year over the past five years. Year-on-year growth had slowed down a bit in the years. However, in 2016 and 2017, 2018 and 2019 Etsy saw growth rates above 20% again. The COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 broke all records and helped Etsy increase its total GMV by 98% from US$4.9 billion to US$9.9 billion.

Etsy beats the growth of several other marketplaces

In percentage terms, Etsy thereby beats the growth of several other marketplaces which rank a lot higher in the global GMV comparison mentioned above. GMV on Amazon, for example, increased by 42% year-on-year in 2020. Moreover, the world’s biggest online marketplace Taobao registered 2020 GMV growth of only 13%.

The forecasts for Etsy’s GMV development over the next two years are also very positive. Year-on-year GMV growth in 2021 and 2022 is projected to exceed pre-COVID levels.

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