etsy tips

Etsy tests 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 currently testing:

  • The functionality of 'favouriting' and adding items to a list from the search and listing pages. "We’re testing favouriting and adding items to a list from the search and listing pages to help Etsy shoppers keep track of items they’re interested in while browsing or searching." They are testing this to "understand how shoppers interact with favouriting and creating lists while browsing or searching."
  • Different ways to highlight a shop’s sale when buyers are shopping on Etsy. "We’re testing different ways to highlight a shop’s sale when buyers are shopping on Etsy to help give information most relevant to their needs. For example, letting buyers know when a shop’s sale is ending." Their goal is to "understand how to better communicate sales and how different approaches may affect a buyer’s purchase."
  • A limited-time offer to potential new buyers. "We're testing special offers to new buyers on Etsy. For example, a limited-time credit for their return purchase when they spend a designated amount on their first." The goal here is to "incentivise new buyers in making their first purchase as well as coming back again to Etsy for a return purchase."

    Etsy notes that:
  • "Not all buyers who visit your shop will see what we’re testing. This is because Etsy often displays experiments to a small percentage of buyers." 
  • "We recommend not making changes in your shop in response to a test. The experiment you’re seeing might not result in a permanent change."
Etsy testing announcement

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

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?

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:

*EDIT
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: etsy.me/2uYioh6

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?

Etsy attributes for item listings - what are Etsy attributes and how do they affect search relevancy?

What are Etsy Attributes and how do they affect search relevancy?

What are Etsy Attributes?

Etsy has developed 'attributes', an additional listing tool for sellers that will help shoppers find relevant results in search. When listing an item, you can now select extra details such as colours, dimensions, an occasion, and/or a celebration from dropdown menus that are used along with keywords in item tags and titles. Etsy says: "Adding this specific information will make your items more relevant in search results, so buyers can find them more easily."

There are a variety of ways to shop on Etsy. Shoppers can browse the categories, the suggested listings/shops on their home page, utilise the search bar, and/or filter by location, price, or colour in the sidebar. Soon there will also be filters to narrow down searches by way of attributes.

Etsy suggests you "use a combination of item tags and attributes to help show your items in a variety of searches."

How do I add attributes?

When listing an item, simply select as many relevant attributes as possible to maximise your item’s reach in search results.

Etsy attributes - Etsy seo tips - get found in search

Use the 'add attributes' tool in your Listings Manager to edit your listing attributes consecutively without having to open and edit each listing in full. It also keeps track of listings that haven't been edited for attributes yet. See screenshot below:

Etsy attributes tool in shop manager

How will using Etsy's Attributes impact the discovery of my items in search? 

From an Etsy admin discussion post recently: "Think of your attribute as an additional keyword. In the future, the attributes will help you appear in filtered results. But starting March 27, they'll act as keywords in text searches."

If you select an attribute, you don't need that keyword as a listing tag as well. "If you simply use "birthday" as a tag, you can definitely remove it if you have selected the matching attribute. Because exact-phrase matches perform best, I recommend keeping complex phrases like "birthday soap set" should you have them.(Source.) 

In my opinion it's important to add attributes to your listings now to stay ahead of the game in search. Attributes provide extra opportunities for your listings to be found - as every tag helps! Once the attribute filters are ready, even more opportunities will open up - provided that shoppers actually use the filters.

Admin quote from a discussion: "In the future, we will build search filter options based on information provided through attributes. At that time, selecting an attribute option will ensure that your item appears in at least one filtered set of results for that attribute (or filter set)."

If you haven't added attributes when the search filters are live, your listings won't be found when shoppers filter their searches. Your listings will still appear in general text searches as previously.

Will shoppers use the forthcoming attribute filters? The popularity of the filters cannot be known until the feature is launched. When I worked at Etsy a few years ago, many people were using the search term 'uk' when there was a perfectly functional location filter in the sidebar, so I guess the impact of new filters will depend on how obvious they are to shoppers, and how well they work, etc.

Custom variations will also be considered in search. "Each option you offer in your item variations is an individual attribute that will be factored into search in the future. For example, if you offer 5 different necklace lengths, your listing will appear in results for each individual search of those measurements, assuming you have stock for each. However, adding these variations won't create additional listings so the listing will only appear once in results for relevant searches." (Source.)

Some sellers are disappointed by the lack of attribute options relevant to their items. Hopefully this shortfall in options will be remedied in future:
"Over time, we’ll introduce more and more relevant attributes to each item category to help you describe your item and connect it to buyers looking for it." Quote from a recent Etsy admin announcement.

Want more Etsy tips? Grab a cuppa and read my other posts here.

Further reading:
Etsy Help article explaining attributes

Freshen up your Etsy listings post-Halloween! Etsy tips for shops that mean business!

Illustration by Heidi Burton

Illustration by Heidi Burton

Just a reminder to freshen up your Etsy shop post-Halloween! Re-title and re-tag your Halloween listings to make them more evergreen... (or ever-orange?) For example the above image used to be a Halloween journal and is now an "Thanksgiving planner. Autumn pumpkin notebook. Grey Moleskine journal for Fall, with orange pumpkins illustration. Notebook, journal or gift."

You could market some items for Thanksgiving Day in the USA (November 24th 2016). More info on Thanksgiving here.

If your products and listings are overwhelmingly screaming Halloween and cannot be convincingly marketed as autumnal, it might be a good idea to either offer them at a discount or deactivate those listings until next year, because everybody - IT'S CHRISTMAS. 

Don't forget to weed out Halloween references in your descriptions and look out for any listings where you selected the occasion as Halloween in the drop down lists when creating the listing!

Hope you had a:

Illustration by Heidi Burton

Illustration by Heidi Burton