Etsy traffic sees ‘dead end’ as it drives shoppers a specific item page in Q3

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Etsy‘s traffic saw almost all of their visits come from search engines to their specific product page in Q3.

The marketplace have potentially lost sales as customers have visited a particular item page which was irrelevant to their search intent, as originally reported by SeekingAlpha.

While Etsy reported on revenue uplit of $150.4m (£116.39m), their net income saw a decline of $19,894m (£15.40m) from $25,802m in Q3 2017. That’s down by 22% on the (year-on-year) YoY rate. As it appears, Etsy’s net sales income has experienced a drop, but was it due to the misdirected traffic?

Etsy’s chief executive officer Josh Silverman has said that the marketplace is now working on removing the “the dead end” from the purchase path by “adding item recommendations and notifications on item landing pages.” Commenting on the decline of conversion rates as a result of friction in shoppers’ journey, he has discussed a few initiatives the marketplace is developing to improve both customers service and sellers offering.

Personalised products

Josh Silverman says that the marketplace is now working on making more products personalised to a shopper’s unique needs. As he says:

A table can be customized to fit a room in shape or dimension. A piece of jewellery can be inscribed with a meaningful message. And we’ve historically done little to highlight this to buyers. Again, even this relatively small improvement led to a meaningful conversion rate win, which increases our confidence and the upside from investing to build the strong personalization and customization experience.”

Bundled item offering for sellers

The marketplace also report that the merchant update, Etsy Plus, a suite of tools that helps sellers advertise and customise their items will remain the same price to help merchants improve their revenue goals in the next quarter.

We’ve decided to maintain the $10 price on Etsy Plus for the foreseeable future, but we continue to test and learn how bundled offerings can drive value for various types of sellers.”
-Josh Silverman, chief executive officer of Etsy

Does Etsy’s traffic ‘dead end’ presents a potential sales drop for merchants?

While being one of the leading marketplaces, Etsy’s website is now seeing a lag in its user experience offering. The situation is especially unfavourable as the peak season is here, for sellers relying on the marketplace to promote their products, and become more established through the ‘advantage’ of selling on Etsy. But, how is it that the marketplace of a high rank failed to optimise their website’s infrastructure in time for the peak? Seamless users experience is vital as the marketplace are also responsible for making other sellers products look attractive.

Etsy are currently trying to ‘make up’ for the lost traffic and sales by introducing product recommendations and maintaining low tool fees for merchants selling on the marketplace. Naturally, charging $10 for improving sellers item copy is advantageous for merchants aiming to keep their costs down, but does it make a difference when customers aren’t even exposed to their products range? Will we see merchants reconsider selling on Etsy after their ‘dead end’ fiasco is yet to be confirmed.

7 Responses

  1. I am an Etsy Seller, where I sell vintage wares. My experience in the past year is not very good. Way too many changes that have left Sellers very frustrated with many asking Etsy to quit manipulating the search results. Along with the forcing of Etsy payments, with no Paypal Stand alone accounts, the forcing of their new finance system, this was not good business before a holiday season. Any good business owner knows, do not rock the boat when your busiest season is to begin. The search results should stand as what people type in. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to figure that out. Also sellers frustrated when a potential customer clicks on one of their items, they show other similar items in other peoples shops. Sellers pay for promoted listings, so other are benefiting. Also vendors very upset for 5% they are taking on the shipping fee. Majority of sellers use calculated shipping. We are losing another 5% of our sale. Also they do not promote vintage. Why who knows maybe the Etsy staff have no knowledge of the vintage and antique market. They are losing out big time, when sellers are offering very big ticket items. Not your $10.00 handmade item. The site is overstaturated with costume jewellery and knick knacks. I have been in the buy & sell business since the early 1980’s selling everything from furniture to boats. So I can tell you Etsy does not know their market very well. They are missing a large buying base.
    Sharon K

  2. Focusing (even more) on “personalized products” will not help. The site is already saturated with mega mass-produced products that individual shops will personalize in some way. There are handfuls of shops literally selling identical products with identical personalization options (fonts and colors/patterns). Personalization of inexpensive merchandise is a cheapie substitute for uniquely designed high quality handmade products which were the focus of the original Etsy. At this point, the real money on Etsy is being paid to the Asian factories that churn out most of the items sold on the site — only a minority of items for sale on Etsy are as described by the site’s tagline “handcrafted, vintage, custom or unique”.

  3. I have found Etsy to be a frustrating experience as a merchant. Hardly any traffic or visits and my sales have declined rapidly over the year.

    The site puts free shipping above anything else and drives merchants to have to up their prices to incorporate the price. Not to mention the greed that drove them to start taking a percentage of the shipping price. I charge shipping because I find if I incorporate the shipping into the final sales price, everyone thinks the item is now expensive.

    The algorithm for discovering items is not working. I find the site now a disappointment and am looking for a better alternative.

    When a company puts it’s shareholders first and not the people actively making money for them, what’s the point any more.

  4. Etsy needs to leave well enough alone. The new payment account is pissing off many sellers, including myself! I am making a profit, though a small one; this is verified by my having to pay income tax and self-employed tax, but now it FEELS like I’m not making any money on Etsy because my deposits are sooo small and less frequent than they were. If Etsy had a financial problem extending up to 6 weeks of credit before the bill was due, they could have reduced that to just a few days by making the bill absolutely due by the 3rd or the 5th of the month (instead of the 15th).

    STOP TESTING in the 4th quarter!!

    Search STILL needs to be fixed, but it’s no longer my biggest concern on Etsy. That would probably be the humongous quantity of imported items being passed off as handmade. Once in a while I’ll take a few minutes and report some of these. There is one manufactured item in particular that I have reported multiple times over the last several years and it is STILL there! I even have a convo from the seller saying that it is a new item, and have shared tgat with Etsy! (This seller’s ENTIRE SHOP is filled with nothing but manufactured crap which they pass off as handmade or vintage!)

  5. I have sold on sold on Etsy for 5 years. My shop is now closed. I typically bring in around 35k on revenue yearly… I’m not a huge shop (it’s just me).. But I’m not a small one either. It provides an income for me bc I am unable to work due to health. I have 334 5 star reviews… I provide excellent customer service and a quality product. I have worked hard through all of the changes Etsy has made over the years. Some have negatively effected my shop. I had a great September. October, my views/sales plummeted. I made changes to my seo and my views began to rise.. But my sales didn’t. My orders are down 16% from last year and sales down 20% from last year. With every change Etsy makes, sellers have to spend so much time figuring it all out. We pay Etsy a premium price so we don’t have to sit in front of the computer figuring out seo and bringing in traffic. Etsy is no good to sellers if we have to bring in our own customers and /or spend hours upon hours learning a system (or seems the changes happen every 3-6) and then more hours updating all of our listings to accommodate the changes. If I have to do that.. I might has all have my own .com site and spend the money I’m giving Etsy on my own education for seo and marketing my own brand. I would much rather pay Etsy for those services so I can work on my craft. Instead… Etsy is now focused on “seller services”. They want sellers to pay individually for small things like “send a coupon to people with you items in their cart”. That service is .10¢ per coupon sent… Why is this not something that is offered for anyone paying the premium fees already collected…. .20¢ per item listed, 5% on the order total, 5% of the total shipping fee, and 3.5% plus .25¢ credit card fee (on order total).. Along with promoted listings (pay to be shown higher in search). My fees each year are roughly 10% of revenue each year. So what am I paying Etsy for if not for visibility? Etsy makes money if I make money.. So why not use part of the 10% fee I am paying to send an email (thats electronic) so we can both make more money? As I mentioned above, I have closed my shop. I am fine giving Etsy more and more money while I make less and less money. I am happy to pay them 10% when I’m making money…but when in a single month… I only get an $80 sale and most of that is eat up with fees, materials and “free” shipping… Its no longer worth my time. When Etsy gets done of its kinks worked out.. Maybe I will reopen. For now… I am regrouping.

    As a customer, I purchased my first item from China in October. It was an awful experience. I waited about a month to get the item… When is arrived late, it was awfully created and had an oder of paint fumes (it was mask.. Can’t wear it). I threw it in the trash and got my money back from my credit card processor… As Etsy and PayPal were horrible at helping me get my money back. It seems like more and more low quality, China, manufacturered goods are on Etsy these days. I’m not impressed.

  6. I’ve been selling on the Etsy market since 2005. Etsy shat the bed a long time ago when they allowed mass produced items and stopped rewarding those that worked SEO to perfection. When they stopped being handmade/vintage, they started to look like Ebay. Yuck.
    Searches are clumping and full of mass produced items, and unattractive images. Shouldn’t that be part of make the site appealing? Remember that other site that made you submit your photographs before they would allow you to list? 10, 000 something?
    Many sellers are gaming the system so that search is clogged with irrelevant items. Etsy was unique and had a lure all its own and they actually pulled in more money before they started messing around with the tried and true version, and before they went public. Hence the paid for services.
    Also, forcing sellers to constantly be guessing what the algorithm is, is not cool. Why bother being different from google style search? It’s a huge waste of Etsy and their sellers time.

  7. No wonder traffic to many shops is getting lower and lower.
    It seems to me Etsy likes this all, because upset sellers can be easily manipulated to buy Promoted Listings advertising and offer free shipping. Etsy wants to force sellers to pay more money just to give them a chance to be visible in search. Also this is not good for buyers, who won’t find exactly what they are searching for. Etsy is constantly rotating listings in search, shows many unrelevant items.


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