In a press release, Amazon announced the success of their new Handmade category and the expansion of subcategories due to an increase in demand.
First launched in October 2015, Amazon Handmade features products crafted by pre-approved artisans who have met Amazon’s requirements. Products range from jewelry and home décor to art and stationary. Popular categories include furniture, kitchen and dining, and bedding. During Amazon’s press announcement, they disclosed the addition of three new categories: accessories, baby, and toys and games.
— Mary Turner (@thesaleswhopper) May 14, 2016
“The most frequent piece of feedback we receive from customers and artisans is they want even more categories of handcrafted items,” said Steve Johnson, Director for Handmade at Amazon. “We are excited to better serve our growing number of artisans by unveiling the Accessories, Baby and Toys & Games categories, while providing our customers that love handmade items a quick and simple way to purchase fun and unique items with the familiar Amazon experience they know and trust. Handmade at Amazon has been performing beyond our expectations. In fact, leading up to Mother’s Day we saw sales jump more than 50 percent.”
One doesn’t need stats and figures to see that Amazon Handmade is a success. Social media sites like Twitter are full of artisans and satisfied customers sharing photos of handmade items they either crafted or purchased. When Amazon first announced the opening of a handmade category, many worried what it would mean for those who shop and sell on Etsy. It’s still too early to tell what the long-term impact Amazon Handmade will have on Etsy, but many artisans are welcoming the opportunity to sell their wares on Amazon in addition to Etsy. Amazon Handmade artisans must apply and be approved in order to sell through the new category.
Red Watercolour Love Heart https://t.co/lsvCbnpaZw Amazon Handmade Wall Art@Amazon pic.twitter.com/1IHyyeZFy8
— Holly Taylor (@HollyTaylor1985) May 15, 2016
— Business Insider (@businessinsider) May 13, 2016
The press release continued to describe Amazon Handmade’s success and discussed how much the category has grown.
“Since launching the Handmade store last fall, the number of items has grown by 4x to more than 400,000 quality handcrafted items from all 50 states and more than 80 countries around the world. For the artisans choosing to use the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service to reach Prime customers with FREE two-day shipping, approximately 95 percent of those artisans have made a sale. Handmade at Amazon has added thousands of Prime-eligible items. Since the beginning of the year, there’s been a 100 percent increase in handmade artisans taking advantage of the FBA service to deliver items quickly to Prime customers.”
Current Amazon Handmade categories include jewelry, handbags and accessories, home decor, artwork, stationary and party supplies, kitchen and dining, furniture, bedding, baby, and toys and games. Of these, home and kitchen is the largest, while handcrafted sporting goods is the smallest sub-category. Handmade items for the home is a popular choice, as many people want to decorate their homes in stylish, creative but also unique ways. When choosing between something handmade or mass-produced, you lose the feel that someone crafted your item, poured their heart and soul into it, and that your piece will stand out.
One artisan spoke with Amazon about her passion for her craft and excitement about expanding her reach to new clients through Amazon Handmade.
“Before opening my Handmade at Amazon shop, I only sold locally in the Bay Area. Now I am able to share my art and passion with customers nationwide. It has been exciting getting orders from all over the country and knowing that customers across the U.S. are wearing my jewelry,” said Megan Stoltz, the small business owner of Audacia Designs, based in San Francisco. “I have seen huge growth in my sales since joining Handmade at Amazon. The amount of jewelry I sell each month continues to increase as I test new ways of selling my items. Using the Fulfilled by Amazon service has made it simple to give my customers an easy and free shipping option which has consequently increased my sales.”
What do you think about Amazon Handmade? Have you shopped or sold through this new category yet? Do you prefer to shop handmade items through Amazon or Etsy?
[Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Amazon Studios]