ETSY to SHOPIFY making the move


First let me state that I made some good sales while on ETSY and am not here to pass judgement on their recent moves to appease their shareholders for more future growth while possibly alienating their sellers. But, I did live through the eBay transformation from mom & pop sellers to wholesalers from overseas and the rules, regulations and fee increases they put on their sellers. That's what pushed us to Etsy...

So if you are wondering how hard is it to spread your wings and move from an ecosystem like ETSY to having your very own shop out on the world wide web I will try to share what I did on a cold winter's weekend in February. Yes, I had my shop running in a weekend.

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There are Pro's & Con's to stepping out on your own and you have to be ready to be your own marketing & PR department to be heard in the big market place. I would recommend you keep your Etsy shop in some form until your new place is established and is making sales for you. That won't happen overnight.

For those of you who have only sold on eBay or Etsy the freedom you get of being able to create your shop with your own personal identity is a nice feeling. With Shopify you get the ability to create a shop with your own graphics, messages and your rules for how you want to do business. We tested other platforms like Big Commerce but their approach was to cryptic having to do a lot of infrastructure building to enable the platform.

Another benefit is that you can sell on multiple channels using the platform -- sell on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Amazon and even eBay if you choose. The site also includes a blog that helps with SEO.

Shopify has a lot of the same look & feel when creating a product as on Etsy. Title, description, pictures, weight of item, tag words, category and your done.

Product Add Page

Conversion was pretty straight forward using Etsy's inventory CSV file, it will bring over about 98% of the data you need. CSV file includes the listing title, description, price, currency code, quantity, tags, materials, and image URLs for all of your Currently for Sale listing. As you can see Etsy does not include sections or as Shopify calls it collections. Your key items transfer right in to your new Shopify shop. There is a video you can watch on how to do this, just click on the link in the import products pop-up screen.

Etsy Inventory Import Icon

You can use the bulk editing tool and filters to add your categories, see filters I have created above.

Step 1 -- is to create your account and shop. It will be closed until your turn it on when your ready to open. -- You will need to add the typical things about your business as you did with Etsy including payment processors. Shopify has a great selection of payment processors - major credit cards, PayPal, ApplePay, Amazon Pay and ShopifyPay all with reasonable rates. Shopify does not force the customer to choose unlike Etsy. I never received a PayPal order after they implemented their own pay system. Also no 20 cents per listing/renewals, that adds up for 100's if not 1000s of items.

Step 2 -- create some graphics such as a logo and if you want some banners on your home page. There is a rotating slideshow you can use for sale messages or feature products. These can be done online using tools like Canva, Adobe Spark or if you already have a tool like Photoshop or equivalent.

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Step 3 -- create your collections, be sure to fill in all the descriptions with good SEO keywords and make it the H1 tag using the format command on the command bar. Do this before downloading inventory and assigning your collections. Here you can have as many collections as you want.

Step 4 -- download and import your inventory, this will probably be the most time consuming of the steps adding your collections. Once this is complete and all your graphics are in place. You can do a trial order using the instruction on the profile screen. That will test your payment gateway.

You have now opened your shop and are now ready to enhance it. Shopify has multiple home grown and 3rd party Apps that can enhance and optimize you shop. They are listed in the App section on the main admin screen. We use SEO alt image app to give all our images a name for SEO reasons, FREE shipping bar, email integrator, related blog posts, picture watermarking, imaging magnifier, social autopilot.

If you have selected the social media channels your Pinterest, Facebook shops should be populated. There also 3rd party apps to help with Instagram. We haven't seen much traffic from Instagram, but Facebook and Pinterest send some nice traffic and we have had orders from Pinterest. Your customer just buys your item right from the Pin and Shopify processes the order.

We hope this helps with any anxiety you may have about starting a stand alone shop. As for cost Shopify basic is $29 per month. That is much cheaper than a display case or booth at a local antique mall and you can get exposure to customers from all over the world if you choose to open up international.

About us -- Indypicker has been selling online since 2008 on eBay, Etsy and indypicker.com.

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