Today Etsy has released its 2021 Global Seller Census. This census gives a rundown of what Etsy sellers looked like through 2021. Throughout the pandemic, the artisan marketplace became a shining light for many to realize their entrepreneurial dreams with an incredibly low barrier to entry and a fantastic audience of buyers.
In 2021 Etsy hosted 5.3 million creative entrepreneurs, which is nearly a million more than in 2020. Those sellers collectively sold $12.2 billion in goods. Let’s take a look at some of the key data from the global seller census for 2021.
Etsy Global Seller Census 2021 Key Data
Etsy sellers are creators, artists, designers, curators, and makers. The vast majority of them are women who run one-person businesses out of their homes:
- 79% of sellers identify as women.
- 84% are businesses of one, and 95% operate their businesses from their homes.
- 1 in 4 live in rural areas.
- The average age of a seller is 44.
- For nearly half, Etsy was the first place they sold their goods.
The census revealed that sellers’ businesses help build resilience for themselves and their families.
- For 32% of sellers, their creative business (on and off Etsy) is their sole occupation; for the rest, it provides an important source of supplemental income.
- Approximately a third of sellers shared that they use income from their creative business to cover important household expenses like bills, rent, and food.
- 4 in 10 sellers have financial dependents, including 25% who have children at home.
What Drives Etsy Sellers
The need for financial stability was a driver for creative entrepreneurs to run their businesses on Etsy. In fact, half of all sellers cite financial challenges as prompting them to start their businesses.
- In 2021, 34% of sellers who started their business did so in part due to the pandemic.
- 7 out of 10 sellers state that their Etsy income has held steady, if not grown, since the start of the pandemic.
- Despite the challenges due to the pandemic, on average active sellers have increased their sales by 23% over the past two years.
But financial motivations are not all for Etsy sellers. The census found that creative expression and running a responsible business are also priorities for the majority of sellers:
- While 63% cite supplementary income as a motivation for starting a business, non-monetary motivations are cited even more frequently, with 65% citing the ability to express their creativity as a top motivation.
- Approximately 6 in 10 say it is extremely or very important to run a socially responsible (62%) and environmentally friendly (57%) business.
- More than half leverage packaging that is reused or can be recycled.
Local and Global Economic Impact
Amidst pandemic restrictions and sourcing shortages, sellers contributed to their local communities and the broader economy. Data showed that:
- The vast majority of Etsy sellers source supplies domestically.
- While the majority are businesses of one,16% have help (either paid or unpaid), with most hiring fewer than 5 people.
- Etsy sellers contributed to the broader retail ecosystem, with the majority (56%) selling their goods via other channels as well, including other online sales platforms, social media, craft fairs, or through retail stores. Among multi-channel sellers, Etsy is their largest sales channel.
- 3 in 10 sellers (29%) now export their goods outside their home country.
In addition to global impact, Etsy took a closer look at the economic impact of sellers in the United States and found that:
- Overall, Etsy sellers contributed $14.3 billion to the U.S. economy in 2021, up 167% since 2018, and created 3.8 million jobs, enough to employ almost the entire city of Los Angeles.
- Together, they generated nearly $3.8 billion in income for households in the United States, with sellers based in California, Florida, Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Illinois leading as top contributors to economic activity supporting individuals, families, and communities globally.
The 2021 Seller Census report also provides insights for the seller communities operating in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, and India.
You can read the full Etsy Global Seller Census for 2021 here.
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