It’s likely you have heard of Etsy, the e-commerce leader for handmade craft products. It’s a behemoth — 7.4 million sellers did a total of $13.3 billion in gross sales last year, thanks to 96 million active buyers.
Michael’s, the craft store chain, has decided that it wants to get in on part of that action. The company is now launching its own e-commerce platform — MakerPlace — where people can sell handmade goods, teach online classes or share how-to’s — all for a lower fee than Etsy and with flexible membership options.
On one hand, it makes sense. The market is huge and many crafters rely on Michael’s as the source for their materials and supplies. On the other hand, Etsy is a monster with an established infrastructure and huge name recognition, so it will take some effort to carve away some of its market.
I doubt you’ll be setting up your own e-commerce platform but watch the MakerPlace story closely. Every organization has its own version of the Etsy industry leader. There are lessons to learn about how to go up against a giant (or why not to). Pay attention to what Michael’s has to teach you.