Friday, April 29, 2016

Reviewing Pattern, Etsy's New and Easy Way to Set Up A Stand-Alone Online Shop

Do you have an Etsy shop, but struggle to create your own stand-alone website to further brand yourself? Or, are you on eBay or another website but want an Etsy shop and a stand-alone website? Whether the limitation is skill, money, or time, there's a new platform that solves all those issues. Etsy's new Pattern service allows you to use the listings on Etsy to quickly and easily create your own stand-alone website. Because I'm so busy lately that I'm working nearly every waking hour (which is a habit I have to stop, more that later) I decided to give Pattern's 30-day free trial a go. Not paid or asked by Etsy to do this, just a busy entrepreneur who's wanted an improved stand-alone website for my organic body care company for months. Here are some of the pros and cons to consider:


+ Puts your stand-alone website/shop and Etsy shop in one place for easy tracking and management
+ For the most part, very easy and fast to set-up
+ Inexpensive at $15/month, the standard Etsy transaction fee of (3.5%) applies to each purchase
+ Lets you design a trial version of your site before you start
+ 30-day free trial before you decide to buy
+ Allows you to link to social media websites
+ Fast Loading
+ Looks and works just as well on mobile devices
+ You can connect you domain name to the site, completing the illusion of a stand-alone website
+ Easy option if you lack coding skills to build your own website
+ Fast option if you don't have time to work on your own stand-alone site at the moment
+ Very fast and easy to set up
+ You can link your social media to it
+ Has build-in analytics to track sales
+ Has an inbox build-in so you can track mail, analytics and sales in one easy stop

Pattern propagates the shop icon from your Etsy shop. Changing mine to a more branded version really helped the design. Another little nit-pick, it re-sizes your icon and makes it look rougher than the original.


- Only 5 themes and they look dated, looks like a basic builder made if you're code savy
- Designs not as beautifully made as ones on website builders like SquareSpace, very plain
- Doesn't allow you to brand yourself very well, only a small icon allowed- logo in text!
- Limited fonts to chose from
- No inner-linking, links will take you back to the Etsy listing
- No PayPal allowed at checkout, credit cards only
- Potential duplicate content issues, minor concern since Google's algorhythm considers e-commerce
- Checkout requires an Etsy sign-up, which hurts the "illusion" of a stand-alone website
- "Powered by Etsy" at the bottom can't be removed
- No attached blogging ability to add more content or handy "updates" for your brand
- Huge branding limitations: can't add banner, limited in front choices
- You have to generate your own traffic to Pattern, unlike your Etsy shop
- You can't access the code to change the design or improve the SEO
- Their walk-through for setting up a domain name had some incorrect terminology for GoDaddy, made me unsure if I set up the domain right so I had to call. Defeats the purpose of having an "easy" walk-through. But I'm glad they had one for all the top domain providers, helpful, though flawed.

So how do you know Pattern's right for you? Here are some suggestions...

1. You want something that looks like a stand-alone website for your Etsy shop
2. You need a low budget solution to having your own e-commerce website
3. You need something very easy and user-friendly to set-up because you lack site-building skills
4. An e-commerce site at $15/month is affordable for you
5. You can make sites but you're too busy and need a quick e-commerce site solution for now
6. You love the idea of having your e-commerce website connected to Etsy so it's a one-stop shop
7. You don't have an e-commerce site yet and could benefit from having the traffic of the Etsy shop (You will have both a regular Etsy shop and Pattern shop when you sign up for Pattern, it's where the data is pulled from to create it.)

Word of Caution: Don't buy your domain name through Pattern or it will be hard to transfer it if you move on, it's better to keep your domain name and your website builder separate.

All of that said, Pattern is new technology. I'm confident Etsy will improve it by leaps and bounds over the years. It has faults, but it's a good beginner solution for the busy entrepreneur. Because Etsy won't generate traffic for your stand-alone Pattern website like it will for your Etsy shop, it's a good solution for anyone that has a dedicated following from social media OR, if you're like me, it's good for people who sell products locally or at markets and you need a landing page for customers that isn't just an Etsy site, which can look less professional. You're not locked into a contract so you can cancel if it's not working for you or when you're ready to move up to a better solution that you can optimize with SEO.

Update: I've called GoDaddy twice, still having domain name set-up questions. Looks like you can only do a re-direct which looks unprofessional. Another con, but I'm going to keep looking into it. Will follow-up.

Have you tried Pattern by Etsy? Any tips? What do you think of this new feature? I recommend it despite it's faults IF you just want a faster "easier" stand-alone "looking" website connected to Etsy. BUT there are way better web-builders out there for similar prices that are a much better option for e-commerce, it should definitely be a temporary solution.
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  1. I've never heard of this before, Vanessa. Thanks for the heads up. I'm not selling anything right now, but I do want to look into selling in the future for my knitted stuff. The only big con for me would be that it doesn't let you take Paypal. Hopefully, they can change this in the future.

    1. Yeh that's a big problem they need to fix, but the regular Etsy shop takes them.

  2. I've seen it...I just don't think I have the need for a stand alone site just quite yet. I'm working on building traffic to my blog..that's a big enough project for now! :)

    1. If you're all online it's definitely not necessary. It helps for local traffic. For vintage I think an etsy or ebay shop looks fine. For my body care line that gets most of its traffic from locals I feel like a stand alone shop works better.

  3. My biggest issue is the seo. Other people who know, told me that Etsy site has poor SEO for Google.

    1. Yep, it does. And you can't customize it to improve it. It's definitely a temporary solution until one can get a better stand-alone website up, that's a big problem.

  4. It's not a standalone, it's a skin. Why pay $15 for something that has zero functionality in comparison to real site builders? The cons far outweigh the pros.

    1. True, I keep saying it's the "illusion" of a stand-alone site when talking to people about it.

  5. I am glad to hear an actual review about it. I am not interested, but I just was curious to hear how it dont feel like bothering. I do well enough on Etsy...why add more shit to do?

    1. Agreed, I wouldn't have considered it if I still had a vintage shop, all my traffic for that came from online. Now my business is all local-based so having the temporary stand-alone site is helpful. NOT going to stick with Pattern though it's very temporary, there are better ways to get a site up.


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