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December 22, 2020

A Tale of Two Marketplaces: How Shoppers Search on Amazon & Etsy

Wrapped holiday gift with tag Photo by Samuel Holt

‘Tis the season for shopping and gift-giving! US online shoppers don’t only buy presents on Amazon, they’re making purchases on other platforms too.

One of the more popular platforms this year and holiday season is Etsy.

For those of you that have been hiding under a rock, Etsy is an online marketplace where independent makers, artists, and collectors can sell vintage, handmade, or custom-made jewelry, clothing, home décor, art, toys, and more. The popular marketplace made its first appearance online in 2005.

Etsy’s 2020 growth got our wheels turning. Exactly what are customers searching for on Etsy? How do Amazon and Etsy shopper searches compare?

Our data scientists rolled up their sleeves and did a little analysis on the search behavior on both platforms in early December. They started with the top Christmas-related keyword phrases on both Amazon and Etsy and found some important differences.

Finding #1: A keyword phrase that has really high search volume on Etsy may not be as popular on Amazon and vice versa.

Top Amazon Christmas Keywords

Amazon Volume

Etsy Volume

christmas tree

9,167,564

7,317

christmas lights

4,739,198

3,148

christmas decorations

4,442,221

1,028,563

harry potter advent calendar 2020

3,577,892

0

gifts for women

3,569,455

128,839

christmas decorations clearance

2,824,684

26

gifts for men

2,816,616

336,477

christmas wrapping paper

2,685,365

2,014

family christmas pjs matching sets

2,612,653

15

Top Etsy Christmas Keywords

Amazon Volume

Etsy Volume

christmas ornaments

1,596,438

1,604,754

christmas stockings

70,438

1,419,650

babys first christmas ornament

31,579

1,141,484

christmas wreath

55,381

1,092,127

christmas decorations

4,442,221

1,028,563

nightmare before christmas

1,549,862

996,871

christmas gifts

107,724

910,645

christmas svg

591

858,524

christmas

708,806

819,163

Only one of the top Christmas keyword phrases overlaps between both marketplaces: “christmas decorations.”

Handmade wooden reindeer ornament hanging in Christmas tree

Finding #2: Etsy keywords describe unique features customers are looking for in a product.

“It is interesting to note that in Etsy’s third-quarter over 10% of their revenue were masks - mostly from small manufacturers with a wide array of mask themes.”

- FORBES

We decided to take a closer look at how customers are searching for face masks on both platforms.

Top Amazon Face Mask Keywords

Amazon Volume

Etsy Volume

face mask

8,350,628

580,888

kids face mask

3,346,922

104,099

masks for coronavirus protection

2,749,726

0

face shield

2,567,507

447,573

disposable face masks

2,337,186

943

face masks washable

2,313,828

890

kn95 face mask

2,140,217

0

Top Etsy Face Mask Keywords

Amazon Volume

Etsy Volume

face mask with nose wire

98,438

1,058,156

christmas mask

14,036

747,333

mask with nose wire

9,448

671,007

face mask

8,350,628

580,888

black face mask

1,255,011

528,261

washable mask

2,353

490,914

holiday face mask

147,835

416,005

Again, with the exception of the keyword phrase “face mask," the top face mask-related keywords are quite different.

On Amazon, shoppers are searching for function-specific masks for defined audiences (for kids, disposable, kn95, for coronavirus protection).

On Etsy, the top searches are more design/appearance specific and indicate particular mask features (with nose wire, Christmas, holiday, black). This observation isn’t too surprising considering Etsy says it is “the global marketplace for unique and creative goods.”

Handmade cloth face mask with striped pattern on white surface Photo by Bára Buri

An interesting comparison, though, is the Amazon keyword phrase “face mask washable” and the Etsy keyword phrase “washable mask”. Both keywords describe a face mask that can be washed, but phrases are ordered differently based on the priority of what the customer is looking to buy on a particular platform.

On Amazon, the priority is a face mask that is secondarily washable. On Etsy, the search is specifically for a washable mask.

Take a look at the top 100 keywords on each marketplace to see the variations in Amazon and Etsy shopper searches:

The keywords you use in your Etsy and Amazon listings should reflect the differences in user expectations based on the platform you are selling on.

At MerchantWords we’re dedicated to you and your business. We’ve been collecting and analyzing Amazon keywords since 2012. We realize not all keywords are alike, so we’re taking our data collection expertise and building a new tool for entrepreneurs to expand their reach on Etsy. MakerWords, a new keyword tool for Etsy sellers is launching in 2021.

SIGN UP NOW! Be the first to know about the launch and get a chance to beta test the tool for free!

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