EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2679 - November 22, 2011     2 of 4

Etsy Launches Recommendation Feature in Search Results

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Amazon and Google have become masters at showing visitors products they think buyers might be interested in based on their past purchasing history and keyword searches, and on Monday, eBay announced it had acquired a company called Hunch to help it do the same. Last week, Etsy also joined the personalized-recommendations bandwagon.

Etsy has launched a new feature that is designed to display items that Etsy believes the shopper will like. Now when you're signed into Etsy, you may see a row of "Items Just for You" at the bottom of search results pages. The new feature replaces a homepage feature called "Items You Might Like" that was retired last month.

The new "Items Just for You" feature is populated with recommendations based on shoppers' "favorites" and past behavior. The feature shows relevant results for the search query that also meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • recently viewed items;
  • items you've favorited;
  • items favorited by people in your circle;
  • items in your cart;
  • and Taste Test results.

According to Etsy, shoppers who are curious about why a specific item in the section is being recommended to them can hover over the item to see.

Etsy will also be launching a "Recently favorited" section at the bottom of the category pages. It will display a row of items in the category that have been recently favorited by other users. For popular and large categories, this row of recent favorites will be displayed frequently, while for more niche categories, shoppers won't see it as often. According to Etsy's announcement, "In order to keep this row fresh, we will only display the row if there are 4 recently favorited items in the category, from 4 different shops."

Etsy's new feature got positive responses, but some users were dissatisfied with the feature, reporting that they saw the same items over and over again. Others reported they were unable to cross out items they weren't interested in seeing again.

In fact, trying to eliminate annoying listings can backfire. Wrote one Etsy user on the discussion boards, "I can't say I'm too impressed with this one. But if it's here to stay, please allow us to x-out items we're not interested in. I've just searched for a bag, and as I came across shops that where obvious resellers, I clicked into them to flag them. Now, items "just for me" are brand new Channel bags, apparently."

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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