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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2653 - October 17, 2011 - ISSN 1539-5065    2 of 6

Etsy Shuts off Some Shopping Recommendation Features

By Ina Steiner
October 17, 2011

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Etsy is shutting off three shopping features, two of which made personalized recommendations to shoppers. Etsy said the features allowed it to learn more about how people use Etsy, but did not get specific about why it was doing away with them.

Etsy Product Manager for Search Frank Harris wrote in a blog post, "We have decided that they don't make sense to continue supporting right now, but they may very well be incorporated to new features coming out in the future, or folded into an existing one."

The three features Etsy is turning off are the following:

Suggested Shops: "Suggested Shops is a feature we launched in a member's Favorites to discover other shops. Personalization and recommendations are important to the Etsy experience and they will continue on other parts of the site. (The getRecommendListings API method will also be deprecated.)"

"You Might Like" Home Page Module: "This personalized module suggested items based on your behavior on Etsy."

Explorer: "We launched Explorer as an experimental search experience. As we improve search, we will take our findings from this experiment into consideration."

The decision may have to do with recent changes Etsy has made in search. In August, Etsy changed search to make relevancy, rather than recency, the default sort order on its search engine. Recency of items does factor into Etsy's algorithm, especially when searches are broad. Etsy also displays the top four most recent items in a section at the top of the search results; clicking arrows allows searchers to view more recent items. The home page currently displays a number of features including "handpicked" items and 16 "recently listed" items.

Etsy also recently launched Search Ads that look like regular listings and appear at the top of search results pages.

Harris said that by focusing efforts around the most successful features, Etsy is able to simplify its overall user experience while having the biggest impact on its community.

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 ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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