Amazon Launches Handmade Marketplace to Rival Etsy

Amazon‘s latest venture launched Thursday morning. Titled “Handmade at Amazon,” it will be a marketplace that sells only factory-free and handmade products, similar to Etsy.

In addition to the concept, many features of Handmade at Amazon are very similar to Etsy. Users can search by feature, and they can also view the profiles of many global artisans. Buyers can also browse by location in an effort to stay local, which has become especially popular as of late. Products are being sold from vendors belonging to more than 60 countries.

According to Vice President of Amazon Marketplace Peter Faricy, “We have designed a custom shopping experience for customers looking for handmade items by bringing together many of the best artisans in the world, and they’re adding thousands of items daily.” Faricy continued on to mirror sentiments of Etsy’s core philosophy, saying “Knowing an item has a unique story behind it creates a personal experience that customers have told us makes owning handmade items special.”

Amazon will allow interested artisans to apply online. This differentiates it from Etsy, which allows users to simply sign up and begin selling their products. With its Handmade Marketplace, Amazon hopes to attract customers who already shop at Amazon but may be hesitant to buy products from unqualified or disreputable vendors. The experience of shopping at the marketplace is similar to shopping regularly on Amazon, which makes it very approachable. Like the regular Amazon shopping experience, there are product specifications, a place for questions and answers, and a place to leave reviews. Shoppers can also shop efficiently with the “Add to Cart” button.

Etsy responded to Handmade at Amazon’s launch with the following statement: “We believe we are the best platform for creative entrepreneurs, empowering them to succeed on their own terms. Etsy has a decade of experience understanding the needs of artists and sellers and supporting them in ways that no other marketplace can. Our platform attracts 21+ million thoughtful consumers seeking to discover unique goods, and build relationships with the people who make and sell them.” Only time will tell whether Handmade at Amazon will eclipse Etsy or be quickly forgotten.