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Etsy Unveils Plans to Make Free Shipping a Core Part of the Shopping Experience

Etsy to provide sellers with tools and support to make it easy for them to guarantee free shipping on orders of $35 or more to US buyers

Etsy, Inc., the global two-sided marketplace for unique and creative goods, announced plans to make free shipping a core part of the Etsy shopping experience. Etsy is providing sellers with tools and support to help them guarantee free shipping to US buyers who spend at least $35 in their shop. By making it easy for sellers to offer free shipping, Etsy will empower them to better meet buyer expectations and more effectively win customers in today’s changing retail landscape.

Josh Silverman, Etsy’s Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Shoppers come to Etsy to discover over 60 million special and unique items that often cannot be found anywhere else. Yet we hear that high shipping prices often deter shoppers from completing their purchases. By making free shipping the norm on Etsy, rather than the exception, we’ll connect more people with items that they love. Ultimately, we believe this will help increase marketplace conversion and order value, encourage repeat visits, and drive more sales for Etsy sellers.”

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Sellers around the world are able to participate in this initiative. Etsy will be providing sellers globally with tools and educational resources to help them adopt a free shipping guarantee for US buyers. In addition, beginning on July 30, 2019, Etsy will give priority placement in US search results to items that ship free and to shops that guarantee US buyers free shipping on orders of $35 or more. This means that shoppers in the US will primarily see items that ship free and shops that offer free shipping on orders of $35 or more in the top and most visible rows of search. Etsy will begin actively marketing this free shipping initiative to buyers starting in September, with the goal of driving more traffic to the Etsy marketplace and sellers’ shops.

Kruti Patel Goyal, Senior Vice President, Product, added, “Buyer expectations continue to evolve, and we want to help sellers adapt and thrive in an increasingly competitive retail landscape. Free shipping is now table stakes when it comes to online shopping. We realize that offering free shipping may be a big step for some of our sellers, and we will be there to support them every step of the way. We are providing numerous tools, resources, and customer support touchpoints to make it easy for them to set up a guarantee and understand how free shipping can help them reach their business goals.”

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According to Etsy buyer data, buyers are significantly more likely to purchase an item in their cart with free shipping compared to an item that has added shipping costs. Etsy also ran a limited-time free shipping promotion in May 2019 that led to higher order values when participating buyers purchased items that shipped for free or were eligible for free shipping.

Given the timing of the launch, this initiative is currently expected to have modest upside to Etsy’s previously announced 2019 gross merchandise sales guidance. The projected impact of this initiative will be shared when Etsy reports its second quarter 2019 financial results.

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