Etsy seems to have cornered 2020’s key fashion accessory.
The company generated more than $600 million in gross merchandise sales on face masks alone in the second and third quarters, helping its share price more than triple this year. So what happens when mask sales, which are already on the decline, go away? Early holiday sales data are encouraging, suggesting Etsy could continue to climb, buoyed by more-sustainable categories and a defensible business model.
In its third-quarter report, Etsy said masks’ percentage of gross merchandise sales had dropped to 11%. It cited a steady monthly deceleration, expecting mask sales to be substantially lower in the fourth quarter compared with a quarter earlier.
Still, data from Edison Trends show that Etsy expanded online customer spending on Cyber Monday by 73% year-over-year—well ahead of top retailers such as Target and Amazon , at 43% and 19%, respectively.
Since it is unlikely that masks were a big holiday gift draw, Etsy’s recent growth seems to imply broad interest in nonmask products that can continue after the coronavirus pandemic subsides. Etsy says that “personalized gift” has actually been the most-searched term on its site this year and that top sellers throughout its recent cyber week sale included such things as custom ornaments and blankets.