Challenges can become opportunities.
This sounds soooo cliché when you face a crisis, but it’s also very true and encouraging once you get a chance to collect your thoughts after any initial panic has subsided.
When a big business challenge first hits, there are emotions that burst through us – usually some fear, panic, and even defeat. Some of you may have even faced that this week when you read about changes Etsy suddenly made to its platform that might affect your teething chewelry business. You’ve probably felt uncertainty and are wondering whether so much of the work you have done so far for your brand will be negatively affected.
After some of you reached out to us with questions surrounding Etsy changes, we immediately felt so passionate about sharing our past experience with you: the time when we also faced a big challenge with the Etsy platform. We 100% understand the emotions and want to offer you some practical tidbits of hope - not pie in the sky theory, but super “can-do” ideas for you as you think of moving your company and brand away from the Etsy platform to a new (and better!) vision and future!
*Working late into the evening preparing this blog post for you!
Think about how exciting it would be to build your brand entirely into its own website where people can learn more about you without being distracted by all sorts of other random products and companies surrounding yours. When people visit your website, they will be warmly welcomed into YOUR home where they can connect and get to know YOU and YOUR brand. You will have their full attention from the first click!
*Late night chats planning for how to help you best!
Here is part of our story. Only a few days after owning our silicone bead business (which initially started on the Etsy platform), our entire shop disappeared. One afternoon, we went to open our Etsy business account only to find that everything was GONE.
Due to some technical issues when we connected our previous chewelry account with our new silicone bead supply business account, our history and information were removed. All our pictures, pricing, customer information and orders were gone. To say we were devastated and shell-shocked would be an understatement. We were frozen in a state of indecision and fear because everything we had invested in had suddenly disappeared before our eyes. We understand the queasy-in-your-gut feeling that comes with unexpected negative news that could affect your business.
When we faced this issue with Etsy, we felt so alone. We had basically no customer support: no number to call (at least we couldn’t find it!) and the email responses that came back were impersonal, generic and often over 48 hours later. When we started digging into whether other people had similar experiences, we were shocked to see how common the experience was of other small businesses losing their work through rather abrupt Etsy changes/decisions.
We could not stay in a state of indecision for our company and knew we had to find another alternative to the Etsy platform. The challenge created an opportunity. We didn’t know it at the time, but looking back we are thankful for the experience and how it benefited our little start-up company.
Enter SHOPIFY. Back then it wasn’t as well-known, but one of our husbands mentioned hearing about it and, after doing some research, we decided to take a chance on this ecommerce platform to re-build our brand.
Best. Decision. Ever. (***and to be clear, we are not making a dime from promoting this platform—we wanted to be authentic and real with our customers about why we KNOW from our own experience that this platform is fantastic for small businesses and how there is hope after leaving Etsy... no affiliate links going on here!!!)
*Past the late night planning into the early morning planning :)! Fueled by coffee and the passion of wanting to help our customers!
We had zero tech experience. No idea how to code. Didn’t even know basic web development vocabulary. How were we supposed to somehow create a website for the hundreds of products we had sitting in our basement office that needed to be sold?! OVERWHELMING.
But once we made a decision and started our free Shopify trial, we never looked back. The Etsy platform was quickly forgotten (and not missed!) as we explored this whole new world of incredible opportunities through Shopify.
There were 3 critical things about Shopify that sold us on it quickly.
- It was incredibly user friendly and so we were able to get up a decent website structure much more easily than we expected. Everything was geared to making the process simple for people who had little to no website experience. This was sooooo important for us, because it built a trust in the platform and made computer jargon suddenly straightforward and clear for us. Brilliant.
- Their customer support was incredible—real phone calls with real “Shopify gurus” (term for their support people :)) who helped us every step of the way with our questions. We never felt like we were speaking with someone on the other side of the world who had no connection to our current context or issue. They also offered quick and easy online chats where you could get pretty much instant support from someone qualified to help you. If the question you had couldn’t be answered right away, they started a support ticket for you, which was generally answered within 24 hours!
- Reasonable price options for your website. The $29 monthly fee seemed so incredibly fair when we experienced how phenomenal the platform and its tools were, along with the amazing customer support. Not to mention, it freed us from the astronomical Etsy fees that took so much of our previous profit away.
So, if you are facing challenges with Etsy, this may be the time to take the jump and find another platform that will work even better for you! Or you can diversify by continuing to use Etsy PLUS other alternatives! There are other options out there to grow your brand such as Amazon, eBay, and other avenues for having a website created. But based on our experience, we would recommend Shopify in a heartbeat. And remember, sometimes you don’t know how much better it could be until you try!
Want to get going?! To help you through some of the set-up process, we thought we would show you some quick and easy ways to get started with your own Shopify website. Find it all here!