Opting out of participating in Google ads is kind of like trying to drive across the country without ever going on a highway — it’s definitely possible, but it’ll take much more time, money and effort to get there. Just ahead of Christmas, that’s the route Etsy decided to take.
ECommerce Bytes reported that Etsy sellers had been complaining about a drop off in traffic from Google ads since at least Dec. 21. However, it wasn’t until Christmas Day that a representative from Etsy responded to a message board post full of complaints from sellers. In an emailed statement to ECommerce Bytes, Etsy confirmed that it had pulled access to Google ads for its sellers products around the holidays.
“We’re always focused on maximizing seller return through [Google ads] and strategically adjust our investment throughout year, depending on seasonality,” the Etsy spokesperson said. “Last-minute holiday shopping tends to be done in person, as products won’t arrive by Christmas with online shipping times.”
While Etsy has a legitimate concern in wanting to avoid delayed shipments that would not have arrived in time for Christmas, it should also raise questions about why the online handmade marketplace is so focused on pinching pennies that it sacrifices visibility and impressions over the last crucial days of the holiday shopping season. The Motley Fool explained that Etsy stock price has plummeted from $14.50 in October to just $9.28 to start December — an eerily similar timetable to the launch and growth of Amazon Handmade, an Etsy-killer with more resources backing it than the original marketplace may be able to fend off.
Saving a few pennies by not paying for Google ads during the last days of the holiday shopping season certainly isn’t going to revitalize any online marketplace on its own, and not notifying its sellers of the imminent drop off in traffic from those sources most likely won’t help Etsy’s reputation with craftspeople either.