In order to analyse the most successful stores on Etsy and gain an understanding of the side hustles with the most success on the platform, we decided to take a look at the top 100 stores in the UK with the highest estimated average revenue.
We then decided to take a look at where they were located within the UK, the items they sell, the average unit price, the total number of sales, and the total estimated revenue based on these figures.
Taking a closer look at different sectors of selling on Etsy, ‘Personalised Gifts’ took the top spot for revenue within the Art & Collectibles sector with an estimated overall revenue of £827,850. Throughout the stores analysed, many with the highest estimated average revenue used high quality, recyclable/reusable materials, and all items were listed as ‘handmade’, furthering Silverman’s argument around items on Etsy feeling ‘special’.
The top-performing store overall was a seller of engraved plant pots, illustrated portraits, and personalised books, solidifying the fact that personalised items are the way to an Etsy buyer’s heart.
Interestingly, one of the highest-performing stores in this sector based on revenue alone had also sold among the smallest number of items. With a mid-way average unit price of £42.25, the items sold were among the higher-priced goods within the sector. However, this goes to show that quality is one of the most sought-after elements of an item purchased on the platform.
When it came to the Handmade Wedding & Party sector, it seemed that the ability to personalise purchases was what drove consumers to buy from the top-selling stores, as Personalised Keepsakes and Giftstook the top spot with the highest average revenue. A store selling personalised gifts attained the highest estimated average revenue within this sector, with a total estimated revenue of £4,900,995 across 163,421 sales.
Personalised Stationary and Cards placed second within this sector, with the highest-performing store selling ‘Save the Date’ stickers and cards, ‘Couples’ prints, and ‘Thank You’ keepsakes. Overall, the average revenue for these items overall is £690,758.
Though Signage and Decor were the lowest-performing stores when it came to overall revenue, one store stood out among the highest estimated revenues. With just over 32,000 sales, a mid-way item price of £30.75, and an estimated revenue of £992,302, a seller of high-quality, signage has seen success through the ability to personalise their handmade items.
At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest revenue was found among stores that lacked the ability to personalise items for the big day.
Within the Home and Living sector, categories included stores selling Furniture and Utensils, Home and Garden Accessories, and Personalised Gifts. Unsurprisingly, Furniture and Utensils saw the highest revenue per store with an average of £3,604,406.
Top sellers include those who found their success by offering furniture and utensils made of wood, sustainable materials, and handmade items. Also popular within this sector were decorative items included within the Home and Garden category, such as glassware.
Handmade kiln-formed glass items were particularly good for revenue, with one of the stores analysed having among the lowest number of sales at 9,778, but one of the highest revenues at £2,857,620. Though this store does not offer personalisation, the items are handmade, high quality, and offer a wide variety of items to their customers.
Overall, Custom Jewellery was one of the sectors generating the highest revenue for sellers on Etsy. The stores that saw the highest amount of revenue despite a lower number of sales included items made with real sterling silver, were handmade, and offered personalised options for potential buyers.
Although only four stores within the top 25 analysed sold Sterling Silver jewellery, the overall estimated average revenue for those stores reached over £2 million; the highest of any within this sector.
According to the data, sellers in the North East are making the most by selling on Etsy, with an average estimated revenue of £4,900,995 among stores located within this area. The top-performing items were Personalised Gifts.
With an estimated average revenue of £2,750,979 per store, shops in the North West have seen most of their success selling Custom Jewellery. Meanwhile, Yorkshire and the Humber sellers favour Printed Gifts.
In order to assess the overall success of the stores, we also wanted to take a look at their marketing efforts to find out whether having a Social Media account, Website and Ads enabled would impact how successful the stores were.
Overall, we found that 92% of the top-performing stores across all sectors were utilising social media as a marketing platform, whilst 87% of those also had their own official websites separate from Etsy. However, just 30% had enabled Ads on their platform.
Overall, the sector with sellers earning the highest amount of revenue was Custom Jewellery. Stores analysed throughout the study saw an average estimated revenue of £1,856,118, with the most successful stores focusing their efforts on including personalised items in their listings made from sterling silver, revealing that buyers on Etsy may be looking for gifts with a personal element. Still, they’re more likely to buy from stores using higher-quality materials.
Also among the top performing sectors was Home and Living, with an average estimated revenue of £1,087,211 per store. Here, we found that stores utilising sustainable materials were more likely to be successful, alongside those that offered personalised options and custom additions.
While Etsy has grown tremendously over the 17 years since its launch, our research shows that although the platform has evolved over time, shopping small for high-quality goods handmade by individual sellers remains at the forefront of buyers’ minds.
We analysed 100 of the top performing Etsy stores in the categories: home and living, wedding and party, art and collectibles, and jewellery, filtering by sellers that are based in the UK and sell handmade items. We then selected the products that were marked as bestsellers and analysed the store as a whole, as well as looking at Etsy’s ‘star sellers’ that had over 5000 sales, with exceptions for those that had a high midway unit price.
We used the data provided by these individual stores to calculate an average estimated revenue, multiplying the midway unit price of their products by the total number of sales. Then grouping by product family within the sector to discover which of these side hustles would be the most profitable to start in 2023.
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