Etsy updates on search tests and new ideas

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We’ve written recently about how Etsy has been testing new ways of displaying and categorising in search. You can read about that here: Etsy is testing new search features to help buyers.

And Etsy has updated users about these experiments in the past few days. Etsy is the only major online marketplace that is so open and regular in communications of this sort and that’s to be saluted.

Here are some of the details:

New badges

One approach that Etsy is taking is the use of badges in search that help buyers understand what they’ve found. As they say: “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

It would also seem that they are increasingly highlighting items in search to improve conversion. It’s not entirely clear exactly what these tests are or how highlighting works, rather like eBay’s Best Match, it appears to be secret. But Etsy says of the tests: “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. We’ll keep you updated on those tests.”

Highlighting availability

Etsy is also telling buyers when an item is almost out of stock, presumably to entice a conversion. They say “this experiment is currently running. We’ll update you if we make this change permanent.”

It’s well known that Etsy is undergoing a period of transition and change. They have cut staff numbers, made cuts to the marketing budget, changed the management team and CEO. But what is also heartening is the extent to which they are willing to experiment with the platform to get back on track.

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