EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2879 - August 28, 2012     3 of 4

Etsy Goes Beyond Search with Its Wedding Portal

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Search is one of the most powerful features of an ecommerce website or marketplace, but how do you satisfy the buyer who doesn't know what he or she is looking for exactly? A host of startups have sprung up to offer a curated shopping experience, with users and experts displaying items they like, which fosters a browsing experience.

But how do vast marketplaces satisfy the "window shopper"? In addition to its "treasuries," Etsy has been testing new ways to engage shoppers, and it reported back to sellers how one such test has performed.

The Etsy Wedding portal launched in April of this year and offers brides and grooms a more guided shopping experience.

Etsy said the launch was part of a concentrated effort to make the browse experience on Etsy more engaging and useful for buyers. One finding, according to the company, is that members who begin their Etsy visit in the Weddings experience are significantly more likely to make a purchase compared to those who begin shopping from the old category experience.

Etsy also found that shoppers are spending 21% more time browsing the new Weddings pages than pages in the old Weddings category, and visits to the new Weddings experience are 37% higher than the old category, without counting additional traffic from the promotional banner on the Etsy homepage.

The marketplace reassured sellers that just as many shops were selling wedding items since launch as they were prior to the Weddings change.

'Where the initial pages were showing a few hundred items in each Weddings subcategory, we’re now showing up to 10,000 items per subcategory, and we’ve improved the setup to show this many items without significantly slowing down performance. Even if a member does view all the items in a particular subcategory, they now see a prompt to search and continue their shopping, rather than hitting a dead-end. We believe these are excellent and much-needed improvements, and we hugely appreciate the community members who pointed out how much these changes were needed."

Etsy said it was dedicating serious resources to improving browse. "We believe that by making improvements like we have with Weddings, we can turn more shoppers browsing Etsy into purchasers throughout the categories."

Sellers discussed Etsy's Wedding update on the discussion boards.

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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