Top 5 Etsy Alternatives For Artisans Selling Online In 2020

When you are looking for ways to sell your handcrafted or handmade products outside of Etsy it can overwhelming. Discerning which option is the best fit for your situation and longterm goals is tough. That’s why I have curated what I consider the top 5 Etsy alternatives for artisans selling online in 2020.

Etsy has been the go-to place to sell anything unique, handmade, and artsy for over a decade. But since it went public in 2015, it has become more difficult for artisans to stand out. The crowded marketplace has more than 2.7 million active sellers!

Artisans sellers on Etsy also struggle with sudden and continual policy changes, fee increases, and the constant threat of being shut down without notice. All of these moving variables are why so many people are looking for e-commerce alternatives to Etsy and why I am happy to provide them below.

Here are the top 5 Etsy alternatives for artisans selling online in 2020:

Total control -> WordPress + WooCommerce
Managing products -> Shopify
Multi-platform selling -> Squarespace Commerce
Convenience and some control -> Big Cartel
Online store speed -> Volusion


WordPress + WooCommerce | Best For Total Control

If you are looking to have ownership of your store, then WordPress and WooCommerce can put you completely in control.

Once you register a domain and acquire hosting, you own your WordPress website. It will never be at the mercy of a platform’s changing policies, updating terms, or increased selling fees.

Although this option does involve recurring costs, the basic version of the WooCommerce plugin is free.

Top 5 Etsy Alternatives For Artisans Selling Online In 2020
Top Etsy Seller Mimi Green Uses WordPress + Woocommerce For Their Online eCommerce Store

Adding and editing products is an easy task; it is very similar to editing a Word or Google document. And you can adjust every detail of the design and layout of your shop and product pages.

It has built-in two-step integration with Stripe and PayPal. So it’s a breeze to connect your payment accounts and start taking orders right away. It also has a built-in review system that gives you complete control over which reviews are shown publically.

You also find more control simply by the essentially “no limits” nature of open-source software. With WordPress + Woocommerce, you can upload and upgrade plugins. These allow you to have more precise control over every aspect of your store.

Shopify | Best For Managing Products

Setting up a Shopify store is not too much more involved than it is with Etsy. In addition to getting email and hosting, Shopify has lots of theme templates to choose from.

The templates all revolve around a common thread of showcasing your work and highlighting your products. But it’s not just about showing off your wares. The management of product additions and inventory is very streamlined. This gives you greater control over the full product life cycle.

Top 5 Etsy Alternatives For Artisans Selling Online In 2020
Top Etsy Seller Mignon Mignon Uses Shopify For Their Online eCommerce Store

With Shopify, you can see products displayed on the backend, with pertinent information included at a glance.

Your inventory is shown and can be organized in varying ways, while in-stock information is displayed. Doing routine inventory checks is easier with this readily displayed information. It also makes removing old products or repricing items to be on sale easier as well.

The drag-and-drop media editor helps you add new pieces and have them live on your site quickly. It’s a lot easier to manage your wares when you have full inventory management capabilities, not just basic uploading capabilities.

Squarespace Commerce | Best For Multi-Platform Selling

Squarespace Commerce is designed to be used across a variety of industries. It starts you off from the very beginning of your site-building journey with an industry-tailored approach. Then it adapts as your business scales and grows.

Squarespace Commerce is excellent for both launching an online business and growing existing sales. The variety of professional-looking themes helps you find a template that is just right for your business.

In Squarespace Commerce, products are highlighted artistically with a variety of themes.

Top 5 Etsy Alternatives For Artisans Selling Online In 2020
Top Etsy Seller GLDN Uses Squarespace Commerce For Their Online eCommerce Store

Where Squarespace Commerce really shines is in its ability to let you sell across platforms. You can sell via your online store through social media “click to buy” integrations. If you see your customers face-to-face, you can also use it as a physical point of sale (POS) system so you can sell your wares offline.

All sales sync up to your online inventory management, so your stock is accurate. This also means the marketing analytics insights are on point.

Squarespace Commerce also makes your sales journey easier by automating tax, making product management easy, emailing customers, and even helping with SEO.

Big Cartel | Best For Some Control

Big Cartel is an eCommerce platform with no Etsy-style marketplace attached but it has tailored its community and resources to crafters, makers, and other sellers of unique or handmade goods.

It combines user-friendly website building with eCommerce functionality, so you won’t have to navigate setting up your own website. Big Cartel also offers some of the customization, marketing, and other promotional tools that Etsy is lacking.

They charge a flat fee each month based on the total number of listings you want to have, which means zero commission on sales. You will, however, have to use Stripe or PayPal to accept online payments, with the associated fees from whichever provider you choose.

Top 5 Etsy Alternatives For Artisans Selling Online In 2020
Top Etsy Seller Bertie’s Closet Uses Big Cartel For Their eCommerce Store

Volusion | Best For Online Store Speed

Volusion has been an e-commerce option for over 20 years. What sets it apart is that it has been able to evolve and refine its offerings. Because of its mix of scalability and efficiency, Volusion is a top choice for growing businesses.

It offers thoughtfully designed themes with enough choices to give you options but not so many as to overwhelm you. Your customers are well-managed, too. You can import customers externally, manage them internally, and even use MailChimp to communicate with them.

What Volusion really excels at is in page loading speed, an important factor in high search engine ranking. Since Volusion hosts its sites on servers designed to handle heavy traffic, they load quickly. That loading speed carries over from desktop to mobile optimization too.

Top 5 Etsy Alternatives For Artisans Selling Online In 2020
Top Etsy Seller Lillian Rose Uses Volusion For Their eCommerce Store

There Are Always Options

While Etsy is certainly a fine option to start selling, if you really want to grow your brand, keep more profits, and maintain brand awareness, you’ve got options.

And, of course, there are more than these top 5 Etsy alternatives for artisans selling online in 2020, so please review more if one these don’t seem like a good fit.

However, there is no such thing as an overall “best” option for everyone. So take what I have shared here, and combine it with your goals, expertise, resources, and situation to determine what will work best for you.

If you would like more guidance on which options to consider, click here to read What To Look For In an Etsy Alternative.

One thing you can be sure of is, whatever your business needs to transition away from Etsy, there’s an alternative e-commerce software to match those needs.

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