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Editor's take: Etsy is the prime example of a company that was able to successfully pivot during the crisis. Instead of shutting down shop and conceding that people would have less money to spend on the platform, the site doubled down on efforts to direct customers to those selling non-medical grade face masks.
When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended wearing cloth face coverings in public as a way to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, Etsy took the call to action to heart.
Josh Silverman, Etsy’s chief executive officer, said during the company’s recent earnings report that their team had to adjust quickly to address the surge in face mask demand on the platform. Etsy’s backend staff created on-site banners and automated filters to help direct customers to sellers with inventory and even retrained search algorithms.
The effort paid off in a big way.
Etsy said total sales on the marketplace doubled in the month of April. On a call with investors, Silverman said it was like waking up and discovering it was Cyber Monday, “except everyone in the world just wanted one product and that product was in extremely limited supply.”
They aren’t taking their foot off the throttle, either.
The company has launched a new TV and digital video campaign around an “Always Open” theme and is creating additional on-site experiences to help engage new shoppers.
Spending on the platform hasn’t been limited to masks, either. Reverb, the online marketplace for music gear that Etsy purchased last summer, saw a 79 percent increase in sales in April as well.
Masthead credit: TextureWorld