Etsy has made its first major change since filing for an IPO earlier this year: Like other more conventional retailers, the handmade goods marketplace is teaming up with Postmates to test same-day and next-day delivery. New York will be Etsy’s first market for express delivery.
According to Re/code, the service will launch this fall and will be branded as Etsy ASAP; it will run $20 per delivery. Etsy sellers based in Manhattan and some parts of Brooklyn and Queens will be able to participate in the program. (Our guess is the gentrified stretches of brownstone Brooklyn, greater Williamsburg, and Long Island City where Etsy’s user base might reside.) Sellers can choose which of their products to offer for instant delivery, as well as the time windows during which couriers can stop by. An Etsy representative added that the program is geared towards purchases made during the holiday season.
But here’s the big question: How great is the demand for immediate Etsy deliveries? It seems unlikely that Etsy’s user base is clamoring for same-day delivery, given the site’s product offerings. Etsy’s express delivery could be a quick fix if you put off buying a birthday gift till the day-of, but quick turnaround is most desirable when it comes to utilitarian goods, like toilet paper or groceries. To make things worse, Amazon is reportedly launching an Etsy competitor called Handmade at Amazon.
Etsy is, however, working on a much bigger project at the moment: bringing its sellers’ products into retail stores.
Update: This article has been updated with additional information regarding the holiday season timing of Etsy’s pilot project.