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Etsy Launches New Homepage after Months of Testing

Etsy launched a new homepage after several months of testing, and in a blog post for developers, it provided more information about the reasoning behind the new design. Etsy shows the new homepage design only to first-time visitors to Etsy’s homepage – returning visitors continue to see the same homepage design as before – at least for now.

Etsy is also testing the regular homepage design to provide more customization when a visitor is signed in to the site, the company told users last month.

With regard to the new homepage design, Etsy engineer Diego Alonso said a “series of web experiments” were conducted in order to help it improve the homepage experience for first-time visitors. The main goal in conducting the test was to successfully communicate to new buyers that Etsy is a global marketplace made by people. “On the quantitative side, we primarily cared about three metrics: bounce rate, conversion rate, and retention over time. Our aim was to reduce bounce rate (percentage of visits who leave the site after viewing the homepage) without affecting conversion rate (proportion of visits that resulted in a purchase) and visit frequency.”

Alonso described the details of how Etsy conducted the tests, and said, “After conducting user surveys, usability tests, and analyzing our target web metrics, we have finally reached those goals and launched a better homepage for new visitors.”

Sellers often express strong opinions about marketplace design and usability, and many dislike the frequent testing of designs and features that goes on at sites like Etsy, eBay and others.

An important feature on any marketplace homepage are the hyperlinks to categories or landing pages that are placed prominently in navigation bars, and sellers have taken issue with Etsy in the past for leaving out certain categories from the homepage navigation bar.

At the top of the new homepage for first time visitors – below a search box and sign-in link – sits a navigation bar that includes the following hyperlinks: Art, Home & Living, Jewelry, Women, Men, Kids, Vintage, Weddings, and a pull down for “more.” Those are the same hyperlinks as on Etsy’s regular website, minus a few: Craft Supplies, Trending items, Mother’s Day Gifts, spring Celebrations, Gift Ideas and Mobile Accessories.

The nav bar appears in a different position than on the regular homepage – returning visitors see the nav bar in a column on the left side of the page.

Another key change to the homepage is the display of a large banner featuring a photo of a seller with the words, “Shop directly from people around the world” along with the name of the seller and hyperlinked thumbnails to the sellers’ items. (This appears at the top of the new homepage underneath the nav bar.)

The next sections are Recent Favorites, Community, and another featured seller. Those are followed by a marketing section with three selling points: Satisfied Customers, Passionate Sellers and Secure Transactions. At the bottom of the page is a newsletter subscribe box: “Get top trends and fresh editors’ picks in your inbox with Etsy Finds.

You can read Alonso’s full post on the Etsy Code as Craft blog. And if you would like to see the new design for yourself, sign out of Etsy and clear your browser cache/history and return to the Etsy homepage.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.