Etsy can be a good starting point for people getting in to the business of selling their handmade goods online. But if you want to establish your own, independent brand identity and build a business for the long term, there will come a day when it’s time to expand beyond Etsy.
Of course you can’t just pull the plug on your Etsy store and expect your customers to follow—you need to give them help finding you and your new store, and that means finding ways to integrate your Etsy Store and your WordPress Website. If your store has outgrown Etsy and it’s time for you to build a store on a site that you control, this article will give you four options to make the transition seamlessly.
Option 1 to Integrate Your Etsy Store and Your WordPress Website: Don’t.
That’s right, after all that we’re starting off by saying no.
If you are building your own store you might be taking the opportunity to make some changes in your product line, like moving upmarket or rebranding altogether. You might not even want your old Etsy customers to find you, preferring instead to move on to a new customer base with a different demographic.
If you’re making a bold move like that, then you don’t need to worry about integration. Your Etsy store and your new WordPress website can live in different worlds, and you can set off on your journey to bigger and better things.
Option 2: Keep it Curated and Manual.
This strategy is for shop owners who are building a WordPress site to establish their brand and build an audience, but who aren’t interested in setting up their own online store. They’re happy to have Etsy continue to handle product listings and payment processing.
In this scenario, you just need your own two hands (and a computer). Create blog posts and galleries featuring your work, and link them back to the product listings on your Etsy store.
Essentially you’re treating your website as a variation on an Instagram feed or Pinterest board—but one that you have total control over and can build an audience around. And when you’re ready, there’s nothing to stop you from using Options 3 or 4 to further integrate your Etsy Store and your WordPress website.
Option 3: Display all Your Etsy Items on your Website, Send Customers back to Etsy to Buy.
What if you’re OK with sending people back to Etsy to make the purchase, but you want your website to be the primary catalog of all of your products? You basically want to copy all the items in your Etsy Store into a catalog on your WordPress website.
You could do it all by hand, but I’m going to bet that you have better things to do with your time (like making more awesome stuff). Fortunately there are WordPress plugins that let you display Etsy listings on your website.
The Advanced Etsy Widget displays your products in a grid on your website, and when a customer clicks on one they’ll be taken to the product page on Etsy, where they can purchase the item. The only problem with it is that last step—once a visitor leaves your site to look at a product, there’s no guarantee that they’ll go back to your site instead of staying on Etsy—and going to another store.
Etsy360 goes one step further and creates individual product pages, using the photos and text from your Etsy store. Your customers browse, search, and explore your products and fill their shopping card on your WordPress site, and only get sent to Etsy when they are ready to check out. That way you keep your customers on your site as long as possible, letting you control almost all of the customer experience.
Option 4: Build Your Own Store
So you’re finally ready to be done with Etsy, their listing fees, their transaction fees, and all the restrictions they put on how you run your store. If that’s you, then you are ready to get to know WordPress’ eCommerce partner, WooCommerce. WooCommerce is a free WordPress plug-in that turns your site into a full-fledged online store, with payment processing, shipping calculations, product variations, and more. You can learn all about it and how to get started with it on the official WooCommerce site.
You can get a WooCommerce store running in no time, but then what do you do with all the products on your Etsy store? Maybe you’ve only got a few, or as in Option 1 you’re making a clean break and don’t want to move any of those listings over. In that case, stop reading right now and get started on learning WooCommerce! But if you have a large number of products on Etsy that you do want to migrate over, you’ll need some help.
Over the years there have been WordPress Plugins written to import Etsy listings into WooCommerce. Some worked better than others, and some are no longer available. Today, the best one is OmniWP’s WooCommerce Etsy Importer. Read my review and comprehensive guide to the WooCommerce Etsy Importer plugin here.
WooCommerce Etsy Importer will take your entire Etsy shop (or just certain categories or products) and clone them into WooCommerce product listings. All the images, text, and product variations will be brought over automatically. If you want to keep your Etsy store around, you can even have it create your WooCommerce products as Etsy affiliate listings and check your Etsy store regularly to make sure everything is synchronized.
Free Report for Etsy Sellers: Build Your Own eCommerce Online Store Today
Migrating your listings from Etsy to WooCommerce is only one piece of building your own eCommerce store. Download my free guide to all the tools and services you’ll need to build yourself an amazing website and eCommerce store. These are the very same tools, programs, and services I use to build sites for my clients. With this report you’ll be all ready to take your business beyond Etsy and into its next phase of growth:
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Your Store, Your Customers, Your Choice
Creating a website for your business that you control is an essential piece of building a business for the long haul. But building your own site doesn’t mean that you need to leave your Etsy store behind.
The tools in this article will integrate your Etsy Store and your WordPress website and let you make that migration on your own timetable and your own terms, keeping you in the driver’s seat so you can do what’s right for your store and your customers.