Etsy testing announcement - what new features is Etsy testing?

Etsy Announcement - Etsy new features testing.jpg

Etsy is testing new ways to inform shoppers of what’s popular and unique on Etsy. Here's some insight into what Etsy is testing, and new features you may notice:

Etsy is testing new ways of highlighting your products to shoppers and letting them know how popular an item is on Etsy. "We believe that giving shoppers more information about what’s trending on Etsy will help them discover and buy products they’ll love."

So what exactly is Etsy testing? The following information is a direct quote, straight from a forum post by an Etsy admin:

  • Telling buyers when an item is almost out of stock

Beginning this week, we’ll test a new way to let shoppers know that an item is close to selling out. We believe that notifying shoppers that an item is almost out of stock will allow them to complete their purchase before an item sells out. 

For listings with an item quantity of three or less, shoppers will see the information “3 left in stock,” “2 left in stock,” or “1 left in stock” as the items sell. The text will not display on one-of-a-kind or made-to-order listings. During this experiment, we’ll be showing this information to a percentage of all shoppers. 

  • Highlighting best-selling items in search

During this experiment, we’ll be showing buyers best-selling listings that match the terms they search for. A percentage of shoppers who search for popular phrases will see highlighted best-selling items on their search results page. We believe that knowing those items are popular with shoppers will help new buyers feel more confident making a purchase on Etsy. 

  • Best-seller badge

In addition to showcasing best-selling items in search, we’ll be testing a best-selling item badge. The badge will appear on items that are top sellers in their category and will be displayed on listings in search and on category pages. Badges will appear based on sales of that listing, so a shop may only have one listing with a badge even though they have many listings for that item.

  • New badges

Etsy is home to millions of one-of-a-kind and totally unique items and we want to make it easier for shoppers to discover these special items. In addition to testing a badge for best-selling items, we’ll be testing a badge for items that are totally unique. These badges will appear based on information we have about your listings. Shoppers will start to see both badges this week and we’ll let you know if and when they become permanent features. 

  • Highlighting items in search

We recently announced that’d we would be testing new ways to highlight best selling items in search. We’re exploring other ways of featuring items and shops on search pages that aren’t based on number of sales.

  • Telling buyers when an item is almost out of stock

We also told you about a test that shows shoppers when an item is almost out of stock. This experiment is currently running. We’ll update you if we make this change permanent. 

Which of my own listings have badges?

If ever you want to view your listings in search results as a shopper might, browse using 'incognito mode' or 'private browsing' (depending on your web browser) to replicate browsing externally. If you're signed in using your usual browser, Etsy's algorithm will recognise you and show results based on your browsing history and activity, which is different from what a potential shopper/individual would see as a 'guest' when not logged in.

Most of the features being tested will show in search results/listing pages, not in your storefront, so go 'incognito' and search for your items. Here's an example screenshot of one of my cards, found using the search 'funny anniversary cards'. My card listing has the only 1 left text underneath, and the card top left is an example of one with a bestseller badge.

Etsy bestseller and low stock badges - etsy testing 2017

How will these badges impact traffic and sales if they are made permanent?

It's too early to say. I do think the one-of-a-kind badge will give shoppers more incentive to buy as there's now an urgency (fear of missing out), along with having a unique item that nobody else has!

One of a kind Etsy stationery - Etsy testing badges

The same urgency applies to only one/two/three left. Hashtag FOMO! Will sellers stock fewer multiples of an item to have the badge of urgency shown?

I'm on the fence about the bestseller badge and search results leverage at the moment. Of course it's wonderful if your own item is slapped with a bestseller badge, and reigns supreme in popular search results, but I back the sellers that aren't at the top of page 1 in search results too. You'll find awesome products on page 100 that haven't had a chance to shine, and deserve to. I don't like to see all the attention put on the most popular, most featured shops when there are endless unique and lovingly-made items to choose from.

However, the announcement did state they are "exploring other ways of featuring items and shops on search pages that aren’t based on number of sales." The best thing you can do at the moment is to continue developing your listings/products/shop, and optimise your listings for search.

See my blog posts about Etsy seo for tips on optimising your shop and listings:

Update from Etsy as of 18/08/2017

"Thanks for your feedback on the best-seller and one-of-a-kind badge experiment. We’ve found that buyers are responding positively to seeing this kind of information on listings, but we hear and understand your concerns about the one-of-a-kind badge. We will no longer be showing the one-of-a-kind badge to shoppers. 

We want to help shoppers discover unique items on Etsy, so we’ll be updating the badge to say “only 1 available.” You can see what the new badge will look like here:

Because we’re seeing positive results from the best-seller badge experiment, we’re going to continue that experiment and evaluate the results after we’ve gathered more data. We’ll let you know if we decide to launch the best-seller or “only 1 available” badge to all buyers or if we test other ways of highlighting unique items to buyers." 

Having said all this, Etsy is merely testing ideas at the moment and nothing is set in stone. Keep an eye on the forums (and my social media posts) for updates! What are your thoughts on the tests? How do you think they might impact your shop?