I started off with researching other similar apps, namely Pinkoi and ASOS. Pinkoi is very similar to Etsy, but it gears more towards the asian market, while ASOS is an online fashion retailer that has a great variety of brands (over 850 in fact) to choose from.
From looking at how they organise their home page and search page, to trying out their flow from 'choosing a product' to 'adding it to cart', I've dropped down notes and created a table illustrating their similarities and differences. It acts as a really good reference tool while I brainstorm solutions.
Then I created a sample user persona and user flow to act as a guide while I re-design the purchasing experience.
As mentioned in the 'Goal' section, I am only tackling the 'search, choose, add to cart and purchase' flow.