Etsy’s growth hack: face masks

Sales of face masks have turbocharged Etsy’s platform, which could sell in $8-9B in gross merchandise value (GMV) this year.

November 13, 2020

Put your hand up if you bought a face mask this year from Etsy — the handmade and crafts goods platform.

You would not be the only one.

Etsy’s recent Q3 earnings release showed $2.6B in gross merchandise sales for the quarter, of which 11% were for masks.

Here’s a more tangible number: Etsy slanged 24m masks in the September quarter!

The mask effect is pulling in more sellers and new products

While the mask selling was a big pull in April, Etsy has continually added new sellers through the pandemic, according to research from Marketplace Plus.

It’s on pace for 1.9m new sellers this year (vs. 1m in 2019) and its product catalog has grown from 60m to 80m products.

“The increase was across the board,” notes Marketplace Plus, “with Home & Living, Art & Collectibles, and Jewelry departments leading.”

Come for the mask, stay for other handmade items

For 2020, Etsy is on pace for gross merchandise value of $8.5B to $9B, an 80-90% increase from 2019 (it’s worth noting that some Etsy mask sellers have been warned about making medical claims).

Investors have clearly noticed: $ETSY is up 4x since its March lows and is now valued at ~$16B.

In what will surely go down in business history books, Etsy is the first company to reach 10 figures in revenue while allowing the sale of “Doll Arm Earrings” (happy Friday the 13th)…

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