Etsy, the popular online marketplace, has opened doors for Pakistani sellers to showcase their handmade, vintage, and unique products to a global audience. Some stats before we go on.
How Does The SAARC Region Look For Etsy?
According to a report by EcommerceDB, Pakistan’s e-commerce market is projected to reach $7 billion by 2024, with a compound annual growth rate of 32%. In 2021, Etsy reported that it had over 3.9 million active buyers and over 250,000 active sellers in the Asia Pacific region, which includes Pakistan and the SAARC countries. Another report by Statista, details how the e-commerce market in India, which is the largest economy in the SAARC region, is projected to reach $120 billion by 2025, with a compound annual growth rate of 35%.
Imagine the potential! These data points highlight the significant growth potential for Etsy and e-commerce in Pakistan and the SAARC region, as well as the increasing interest in online marketplaces like Etsy among sellers in the whole West/South Asian contingent since Pakistan lies at a cross roads between the two.
What About Etsy Itself?
Scanning data from Nasdaq reports (https://www.wallstreetzen.com/stocks/us/nasdaq/etsy/statistics) as of May 6, 2023, the market capitalization of Etsy Inc. was approximately $30.61 billion, with a price-to-earnings ratio of 98.03. The company’s revenue in 2022 was reported to be $4.87 billion, with a net income of $411.24 million. Additionally, Etsy’s gross merchandise sales (GMS) in the first quarter of 2023 grew by 13% year-over-year to $3.10 billion. The company’s active buyers also increased to 99.9 million, up by 16% from the previous year. These statistics indicate strong growth and performance for Etsy, both globally and within specific regions such as Pakistan and the SAARC region.
An article by Fortune magazine discusses how Etsy’s CEO, Josh Silverman, is navigating a business slowdown after the pandemic boom, with a focus on combating counterfeit products and maintaining trust with buyers. Silverman believes that the hardest money to earn is from a customer, and that ensuring customer satisfaction and trust is key to the company’s success.
Back To The Drawing Board: Why Etsy?
Setting up a shop on Etsy involves creating an account, creating product listings with descriptive titles, tags, detailed product descriptions, and high-quality photos. However, Pakistani sellers may face unique challenges such as payment processing and shipping, which can be overcome by using third-party payment processors such as PayPal or Payoneer and reliable courier services that factor in shipping costs.
Promoting an Etsy shop is crucial for success on the platform, and social media can be a powerful tool to attract customers. Paid advertising on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest can help connect with potential customers and showcase products.
Etsy’s decision to accept sellers from Pakistan is part of its global expansion strategy and provides new opportunities for Pakistani artisans and makers to diversify and grow their business. With a rich tradition of handicrafts and handmade products, Pakistani sellers can benefit from Etsy’s global reach and the growing trend of consumers seeking out unique, high-quality products. By following the guidelines for setting up a shop, creating effective listings, processing payments, shipping products, and promoting the shop on social media, sellers can increase their reach and build a successful business on the platform.
Some Etsy Pakistani Success Stories
Etsy has seen several success stories from Pakistan and the region. One Pakistani Etsy seller who has found success is Saad Ali Jan, who built a thriving business selling handmade leather goods. Saad recommends creating a brand page on Instagram and regularly posting to attract customers.
Another success is that of Sana and Amna, two sisters from Lahore who started selling their handmade jewelry on Etsy in 2014. They have since built a successful business, with their products being sold in over 30 countries. Their success is attributed to their commitment to quality and attention to detail, as well as their effective use of social media to promote their products and engage with customers.
One more Etsy shop owner from Pakistan is Nudrat, who started selling handmade dolls on the platform in 2017. She has since expanded her offerings to include other handmade products, such as bags and accessories, and has built a strong following on social media. Her success is attributed to her commitment to quality, unique designs, and personalized customer service.
Several other Pakistani Etsy shops have been successful in selling unique and handmade products. Studio KJP, run by a mother-daughter duo, specializes in handmade stationery and paper goods. The Copper Anchor offers unique and customizable jewelry pieces made from copper wire. Bano’s Artisan sells handmade home decor and accessories inspired by Pakistani culture and traditions. These shops have received several five-star reviews and have been featured in Etsy editorials.
These success stories demonstrate the potential for Pakistani sellers to succeed on Etsy and reach a global audience.
Where To Find Insights & Resources?
To catch some more information on what’s happening in the Etsy community from Pakistan, one can join the open access Facebook group. This group seems one of the largest among the others we ran through, with around thirty two thousand members and is a community of individuals from Pakistan who sell their handmade and vintage products on the online marketplace Etsy. Members of the group share insights, experiences, and tips on running a successful Etsy shop, including topics such as product creation, pricing strategies, marketing, and shipping.
The group provides a platform for Pakistani Etsy sellers to connect with each other, seek feedback on their products and shops, and find resources and tools to enhance their businesses, serving as a valuable resource for Pakistani Etsy sellers to learn and grow their businesses while being part of a supportive and collaborative community. There are several more private groups on Facebook and Whatsapp, that create the same fundamentals of support and are life lines for budding Etsy shop owner aspirants from Pakistan.
Another interesting information source is through Etsy Hunt. The page provides a glimpse into the vibrant and diverse creative community in Pakistan by highlighting the top 500 Etsy shops in the country. The list includes a wide range of product categories and showcases the impressive sales performance and customer reviews of the featured shops. In addition to the list, the page offers guidance for entrepreneurs who are interested in starting an Etsy shop and tapping into the global marketplace for handmade, vintage, and unique items. Although no data sets are provided, the page however sheds light on the growing trend of e-commerce in Pakistan and the potential for local artisans to succeed on a global scale.
In terms of metrics and data, Etsy has not released specific information on the number of sellers or sales from Pakistan. However, according to a report by Statista, the e-commerce market in Pakistan is projected to reach US$3.9 billion in 2023, with an annual growth rate of 29%. This suggests that there is significant potential for growth in the country’s e-commerce sector, including on platforms such as Etsy.
While success on the platform requires hard work and dedication, the opportunity to showcase unique and handmade products to a worldwide customer base can be a game-changer for small businesses and individual artisans. The growth of the e-commerce sector in Pakistan suggests significant potential for growth and development, making Etsy an attractive platform for Pakistani sellers to expand their business.
- Saad Ali Jan’s shop is called “Hide and Seek” and is based in Lahore. Here is the link to his website.
- Sana and Amna’s shop is called “Amna and Sana” and is based in Lahore. Here is the link to their Facebook page.
- Nudrat’s shop is called “Handmade by Nudrat” and is based in Karachi.
- Studio KJP’s shop is called “Studio KJP” and is based in Islamabad. Here is the link to their Facebook page.
- The Copper Anchor’s shop is called “The Copper Anchor” and is based in Karachi. Here is the link to their Instagram page.
- Bano’s Artisan’s shop is called “Bano’s Artisan” and is based in Islamabad. Here is the link to their website.