“50% of Etsy UK sales are to UK buyers,” says Etsy CEO Josh Silverman as points to the UK market’s success on Etsy.
Speaking to CNBC, Josh says that both UK and Germany sellers now hold more than 50% of local trade and he wants to see more countries where at least 50% of merchants’ business is domestic outside of the US. This means that if you are a UK seller than at least half your buyers will be based in the UK making fulfilment and shipping easy. Etsy is no longer purely US focused and if you don’t already sell on Etsy then it’s worth considering doing so if your products are suitable for the marketplace.
He recalls that when he became a CEO two years ago, he knew that Etsy is “incredibly relevant in a world where automation is changing the nature of work.” Josh says that creativity can’t be automated so Etsy enabled millions of creative entrepreneurs to take their creative passion and turn that into a business. Now, 66% of Etsy trade is US-based and 33% is international.
Etsy CEO Josh Silverman on diversity as a competitive advantage
A third (33%) of Etsy engineers are female, in comparison to the industry average of 12%. Some 15% of Etsy board members are female. Josh says that this didn’t happen by accident, it becomes a competitive advantage because they’ve been focused on building a diverse workforce for many years. He says that it makes sense for the business, 87% of their sellers are women and 87% of their buyers are female too. Josh says that “it ought to be a company led by many terrific women. Women know Etsy is a place where they can succeed.”
Josh says that Etsy’s stock moves up and down a few percentage points almost every day so he doesn’t lose a lot of sleep about the stock’s movement. He points to Etsy growing 4 percentage points faster than the market last year. He says that over the next five years he expects to grow much faster than the market, every year for at the least the next five years.
Etsy vs Amazon
When asked about Amazon’s speed of deliveries, he explains that two companies are quite different, and therefore the last mile experience would be too. He says that Etsy are buying lots of commodities all the time. You want these things to come fast and cheap, says Josh, but there’re times when you want something meaningful, those are often things that you’ve made to order. He says that goods on Etsy are personalised, they’re not sitting in a warehouse, waiting to ship so he claims that it makes sense that a product takes longer to arrive. He says that customers are perfectly prepared to wait for that.
Amazon HQ2 would have been “good” for Etsy
Josh says that over the medium and long-term it is good for New York to have more great tech employers. “We think that having a better tech sector in New York is good for us.” He says that Etsy competes with Amazon on and off the playing field for customers and employees. But ultimately, he says, “I compete with Facebook, Google with many of the best tech employers for talent. We’re not afraid to compete with them for talent.”