Handmade shopping has grown in popularity in recent years thanks to the introduction of online marketplaces like Etsy, along with some consumers’ increasing desire to support independent businesses and entrepreneurs. In fact, as reported by Handshake, there’s actually a rising demand for handmade items in the gift industry as a whole. So how many consumers have taken part in handmade shopping? And what factors can impact those buying decisions? We asked 1,000 respondents on August 9-11 about their thoughts on the market for handmade products.
In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 30% of respondents said that they’ve purchased handmade items many times. And 40% have done so at least once or twice. Of those who have purchased handmade items, 53% have done so at craft fairs. 39% have bought handmade items at flea markets. 30% have bought them from local stores. 27% have bought them from farmer’s markets. 25% have purchased handmade products on eBay and another 25% have bought them on Etsy. 20% have purchased handmade items on Amazon. 10% have bought from independent online stores. 6% have bought from other marketplace sites. And 5% have purchased handmade items from other sources, like from friends directly or through Facebook.In addition, 51% of handmade shoppers said that they have purchased handmade fashion accessories. 46% have purchased home items. 42% have bought holiday items or decorations. 39% have bought artwork or prints. 34% have bought food items. 30% have bought handmade clothing. 17% have bought toys or kids items from handmade sellers. And 5% have purchased other types of products, such as cards or paper goods.
In general, 48% of respondents said they think handmade shopping has gotten more popular in the past five years. 49% think that handmade shopping is likely to continue gaining popularity over the next five years. And 47% said they are at least somewhat likely to purchase handmade items over the next year.Of those who are at least somewhat likely to purchase handmade items in the next year, 21% ranked quality as an important factor to consider when making those purchases. 19% ranked cost as an important factor. 18% place a lot of importance on their handmade purchases being unique. 17% value style. 10% value convenience. 9% think that brand name is important. And 7% care about the company’s reputation.
Of those who have purchased handmade items, 81% said that they chose to buy handmade because they could get items that were truly unique. 51% said they like that buying handmade items allows them to support small businesses. 38% have chosen to buy handmade because of the quality behind the products. And 30% cited cost savings when buying handmade items.Overall, 72% of all respondents think that handmade items are generally more special than mass produced items. 58% think that handmade items are higher quality than mass produced items. And 55% think that handmade items are more stylish than mass produced items.
With nearly half of consumers planning to purchase handmade items over the next year, it seems like the once tiny niche is growing into a legitimate industry. However, even though it appears like there’s been a lot of recent attention on big marketplace sites like Etsy, the majority of handmade purchases still seem to take place in smaller, in-person settings like craft fairs and flea markets. So for companies like Etsy and Amazon, it could be beneficial to not focus solely on artisans that want to sell online. Offering and promoting mobile sales apps and similar tools designed to help sellers at craft fairs and similar events could really attract some new artisans to those platforms.You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.Photo Credit: patchwork pincushion #5 by Audrey B. under CC BY 2.0What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.