The marketplace has announced changes to the way you make and categorise your Etsy listing. Specifically, Etsy will be helping sellers put their inventory in the most suitable category by providing information about where shoppers browse for similar products and also making suggestions about the most suitable categories.
You can find the full announcement here, but here’s the gist:
Add your listings to the most specific and accurate category available. It helps us create more ways for buyers to browse Etsy and filter and explore search results, helping them find your items. Now, when you add a category to new listings or update your existing listings, you can search all of Etsy’s listing categories to find just the right home for your item.
Choose the most specific term from the list and we’ll automatically include all the categories that category is nested within. We’ll even offer suggestions based on the categories you use frequently. You’ll also see all the categories buyers can find your item in when they’re browsing on Etsy.
– Madison Kiani, Etsy
Etsy merchants have been given the opportunity to comment on the move in the thread above but at the time of writing, no-one has offered an opinion yet.
As other marketplaces move ever more towards structured data and a catalogue approach to organise the goods for sale, Etsy has a different problem. Because it deals in the unique and handmade, in the main, it is more difficult for it to offer a streamlined catalogue system like eBay and Amazon.
So, where titles and keywords and product identifiers become ever more vital elsewhere, Etsy is still reliant on a category system to assist buyers and merchants. That’s perhaps why this announcement sounds like a strangely outdated innovation that is surely long overdue and one we assumed was already available in the Etsy listing flow.
The silence of Etsy merchants perhaps suggests that it’s a good thing and bring it on.