Etsy launches Pattern, a website builder for its sellers

With the launch of a new service called PatternEtsy is making it easier for people to sell custom goods on their own websites.

Apparently, more than one-third of Etsy’s 1.6 million active sellers have said they’re interested in setting up their own site, but they found the process of registering a domain, creating a site, maintaining it and managing the inventory too complicated.

With Pattern, those sellers can create a site in just a few minutes — a feat that Etsy product lead Joe Lallouz demonstrated this morning for an audience of journalists at the company’s Brooklyn headquarters. Sellers can register web domains from within Pattern, then choose from five existing themes (some of them emphasizing a seller’s brand and story, others putting the products for sale front-and-center.)

Of course, an easy-to-use website builder is not a new idea, so what really makes Pattern different is its integration with Etsy. When you set up a Pattern website, Etsy automatically imports your content and inventory from your store, and will keep everything synced up. You’ll also be able to see analytics for your Etsy store and your Pattern website side-by-side on the same dashboard.

As Lallouz put it, the aim is to provide “two shops in one” — you only worry about managing one store while getting the benefits of both.

“Our focus is delivering value to existing Etsy sellers,” added Senior Vice President of Product Mike Grishaver in an interview. “We’ve spent a great deal of time and research to find what are the pain points for an Etsy seller and we’re building tools to address those.”

When I suggested that other Etsy sellers might already have their own websites and would appreciate more store integrations with the web publishing tools that already exist, Grishaver said there are no current plans, but, “You did identify a real pain point.”

Etsy Shop Home

Looking at the bigger picture, while Etsy finished 2015 on a strong note, it has struggled to impress Wall Street since it went public last year. Services like this could help Etsy retain sellers and attract new ones. It could also help them make more money from those sellers — after a 30-day trial, Etsy will cost $15 a month.

Etsy is also announcing a redesigned landing page for each Etsy seller, called the Shop Home. The new page is more brand- and image-centric, leading with a big cover image. It’s also optimized to look good on both desktop and the mobile web.

Sonia Kedzierski, Etsy’s product manager for membership and identity, said the goal of these changes is to “highlight that human connection [between buyer and seller] even more.”