Imagine getting into your car and finding out that overnight, the manufacturer had switched the position of the windshield wiper and directional signal without warning. That's how it can feel for sellers when marketplaces make changes, especially those who need consistency and reliability in order to run their businesses.
In a blog post
this week written by Etsy's Seller Handbook editor Taylor Combs, Etsy opened up about its approach to making changes on its marketplace. Like eBay, Etsy often runs tests (which it calls "experiments") before implementing a change.
"Experiments are one way we gather data about how Etsy buyers and sellers interact with a new feature and measure how changes to that page or tool affect an end result. By testing new features with a small percentage of Etsy users, we gather valuable data that helps us ensure that the changes we make will have a positive impact for the majority of Etsy sellers."
Etsy acknowledged the tests can be disconcerting to sellers:
"We know it can be frustrating to be surprised by a change in your shop when you're part of a test, but announcing experiments before they happen can bias the results. If you knew we were testing a new tool in Shop Stats, for example, you might use the tool differently, impacting the results of the experiment."
As Etsy wrote, testing can be frustrating, but it's good to see the company communicate with sellers about its approach - though some may fear it's a sign of many more changes on the way.
What do you think of the pace of testing and changes at marketplaces like Etsy, eBay, and Amazon? What feedback do you have for marketplaces - and any ideas for improvements in how they implement such testing?