Is Etsy’s Pared-Down Strategy Working?



Product initiatives narrowed

When Josh Silverman took over as Etsy (ETSY) chief executive last year, his first move was to narrow the company’s focus by discarding product initiatives that he felt stood little chance of being successful. As a result, 800 product initiatives that Etsy had in the pipeline at the time Silverman took over were reduced by half, according to a report by Fortune. There were also staff layoffs.

At Business Insider’s IGNITION conference earlier this month, Etsy CEO revisited the changes he made at the company, saying that his decision to pare down product initiatives was necessary even though it was a painful shift, Business Insider reported.

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Etsy’s accelerating growth

Silverman was named Etsy CEO in May last year. Etsy has been reporting accelerating revenue growth since Silverman took over. Etsy’s revenue rose 41% YoY to $150.4 million in the third quarter. That was the company’s fastest revenue growth in more than a year, placing it among the fastest-growing major e-commerce companies. Shopify (SHOP) and Alibaba (BABA) grew their revenues by 58% and 54% YoY, respectively, in the third quarter. Revenue rose 29% YoY at Amazon (AMZN), 25% YoY at JD.com (JD), and 6.0% YoY at eBay (EBAY) in the third quarter.

Craft goods market in the United States

Etsy is a seller of handmade goods. The market for craft goods in the United States was valued at $43.9 billion in 2016 compared to $30.1 billion in 2011, according to the Association for Creative Industries data, cited by Quartz.


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