The 2021 Global Etsy Seller Census has been published and it contains the profile of typical UK Etsy Sellers.
Etsy host 5.3 million creative entrepreneurs, the vast majority of whom are women who run one-person businesses out of their homes. While they are small in size, Etsy sellers’ economic impact is considerable. Sellers on the Etsy marketplace sold approximately £9 billion 1 in goods in 2021.
Overall, there are 960,000 active Etsy sellers in the UK. Etsy offers an on-ramp to creative entrepreneurship for many people who might not have otherwise started a business. In the United Kingdom,
• 56% sold their goods for the first time on Etsy.
• 87% are businesses of one.
• 96% operate their businesses from their homes
Profile of the UK Etsy seller
Their creative businesses help build resilience for themselves and their families
• For 34%, their creative business (on and off Etsy) is their sole occupation.
• For the rest, it provides an important source of supplemental income–with their creative business
contributing 9.9% of household income, on average.
• 4 in 10 sellers globally have financial dependents; in the UK, 30% have children at home.
• 30% use income from their creative business to cover household expenses like bills, rent, and food.
Etsy businesses support local communities and the broader economy.
• The vast majority (87%) source their vendors and supplies in the UK.
• 12% have help (both paid and unpaid), with most hiring fewer than 5 people.
• They contribute to the broader retail ecosystem, with the majority (55%) selling their goods via other
channels as well, including other online sales platforms, social media, craft fairs, or through retail stores.
Among multi-channel sellers, Etsy is their largest sales channel.
• 43% export their goods outside their home country.
Creative entrepreneurs continue turning to Etsy for financial stability.
• 46% sellers cite financial challenges as prompting them to start their creative businesses.
• 28% of sellers who started their business in 2021 did so in part due to the pandemic.
• 7 in 10 sellers state that their Etsy income has held steady, if not grown, since the start of the pandemic
How Etsy sellers help us understand broader trends in the economy
They are emblematic of the changing nature of work.
• 58% work independently,10 and only 27% have full-time employment.
They have unique needs, particularly for simplification
• On average, they spend 52% of their business time making/designing and the rest on other administrative tasks.
• Major challenges are marketing their businesses (48%) and understanding how to grow their business (45%).
They seek success on their own terms.
• 79% want to grow their businesses, but 60% of sellers do not want to grow so big that they would have to hire others. While 49% cite supplementary income as a motivation for starting a business, nonmonetary motivations are cited as frequently, with 49% citing the ability to express their creativity as a top motivation.
They care about running responsible businesses.
• At least 6 in 10 say it is extremely or very important to run a socially responsible (60%) and
environmentally friendly (66%) business.
• More than half leverage packaging that is reused and/or contains recycled content. 69% use packaging
that is recyclable