How to Build an Etsy-Like Website

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There are a lot of online marketplaces in the e-commerce domain, but only a few are intended for vendors looking to sell unique and exclusive products.

There are a lot of online marketplaces in the e-commerce domain, but only a few are intended for vendors looking to sell unique and exclusive products. Etsy is one of the greatest examples of a platform intended to sell handmade or vintage items from individuals.

In this article, we will figure out how to build an online store like Etsy.

How does the Etsy marketplace work?

Etsy was founded in 2005, and now this online marketplace has over 5 million active sellers and over 60 million items for sale.

On Etsy’s website, buyers can find creative gifts, unique designer things, vintage items, and many others.


The idea of the Etsy marketplace belongs to Rob Kalin, Haim Schoppic, Jared Tarbell, and Chris Maguire.

Two years after launching in July 2007, the millionth sale was conducted on the Etsy online marketplace. And later that year, over 300,000 purchases worth nearly $4.3 million were made on this online store. Soon, in January 2008, Etsy got a $27 million investment.

Currently, Etsy is a very successful e-commerce marketplace, and many are looking for how to develop an online store like Etsy.

Etsy’s business model

Etsy’s business model is analogous to other online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. It is a two-sided peer-to-peer marketplace for purchasing and selling precious, one-of-a-kind, and creative things.

Etsy differs from other platforms with the vertical approach to its business model. Generally speaking, the online store focuses on selling handmade items in very particular categories.

Payment gateways

The Etsy website collaborates with the following licensed providers:

How can a website like Etsy make money?

Let’s see what monetization strategies the Etsy marketplace uses.

  • Pattern tool fees,
  • Transaction fees,
  • Subscription fees,
  • Advertising fees,
  • Order fees,
  • Listing fees,
  • Currency conversion fees.

How to create P2P e-commerce websites like Etsy?

1. Determine your niche

The CB Insights study revealed that the main reason for startup failure is an absence of buyers’ interest. So, you need to consider how you can interest and delight customers.

 2. Select a monetization model

The great mistake of the web development process is to pick a revenue model and persistently develop a solution without testing it on a target audience.

3. Solve the chicken-and-egg problem

To develop the online marketplace, you should attract both buyers and vendors to visit and stay on your website.

Etsy solved the chicken-and-egg problem by attracting influential artists and collectors to its website. Thus, their followers also became potential buyers of vintage and handmade items.

4. Determine the core functionality

When deciding on how to create an Etsy-like website, choose the following features for your online marketplace:

  • Original, and unique website design:
  • Convenient administration of pages;
  • Catalog of products;
  • SMS or email notifications;
  • Form for feedback;
  • Multilingual web layout;
  • Different payments methods;
  • Shopping cart;
  • Optimized filters for search;
  • Goods ratings.

5. Pick the right tech stack

Let’s take a look at the Etsy technology stack:

  • Front-end

The Etsy marketplace has chosen React for its client-side.

  • Back-end

For the server-side Etsy uses Python and Java.

  • Third-party integrations and tools

Etsy uses such utilities as AfterShip, Google Analytics, AppThwack. Also, this website uses such apps as Apache HTTP Server, Amazon S3, Amazon CloudFront, Amazon EBS, Amazon EMR, Amazon EC2, and G Suite business tools.

6. Choose a design that works

To develop the design for your marketplace, similar to Etsy’s website design, it is essential to look at your web solution from the users’ point of view.

These are several rules that will help you:

  • Make the site’s interface simple and understandable for users,
  • Make the font comfortable for reading,
  • Create an adaptive design for mobiles and tablets.

7. Select a development approach

If you are looking for how to develop an online store like Etsy, you can use a marketplace construction template or order custom website development.

The choice depends on:

  • The idea of a future web solution and the functionality it requires;
  • The budget you have;
  • Your time frame.

If you want to get a ready product quickly, you can create a website with the aid of a marketplace builder such as WordPress.

However, to build an online store of high quality like Etsy, it is better to choose custom software development.


Now, you have an idea of how to develop an Etsy-like website. If you are looking for how to build a platform like Etsy but don’t know where to begin, we will be glad to help. Contact us, and our team will help you to develop a reliable, user-friendly, and successful online marketplace.

This article was originally published on the Codica blog.