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Complaints about Yet Another Etsy Design Test

Etsy is running a lot of “experiments” to test new layouts and navigation, and many of them are getting a thumbs down from sellers. The latest tests kicked off this week, and a discussion thread created by a seller on Tuesday afternoon describes what participants of the tests are seeing when viewing their shops.

Sellers described a change in which Etsy has removed their shop banners and is displaying one large photo of the latest item in each section the seller has created in their shop instead of displaying the items sellers had chosen to display. This is a problem for one seller who doesn’t want to promote every section she’s created. “I don’t like this (design) with the giant photos of the latest item in each section. I keep some sections all year but that doesn’t mean I necessarily want those highlighted all year long – like Christmas right now.”

Another common complaint from sellers is that there is a lot of white space in the new test design. Said one seller responding to another’s post, “I must have the same one as you, 6 inches of white space, no banner no shop announcement no search, all my sections with pics I wouldn’t choose to feature, reviews and a huge pic from my about page. (Why did they put this on the storefront??) I swear this layout might as well be a eBay search result, cold impersonal with absolutely nothing to set one page apart from another.”

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An EcommerceBytes reader said he thought the changes were so bad, he put his Etsy shop in vacation mode because he said Etsy is highlighting a negative feedback rating he received from a buyer. “I had one neg out of 91 5-star ratings and that one is prominent. And the customer ordered the wrong size and never asked for a refund.”

He also said he found it difficult to navigate his shop. “I’m totally disgusted with the whole thing. I’m now focusing on Zibbet and ArtFire. I’ve been in 3 tests in the past few months. No more.”

Another problem for a different seller: “the search button is missing from the shop frontpage. It can be accessed from all items but… I need it in the storefront!” Some others agreed, with one seller writing, “I can’t find my store’s search bar and I sell several items with the same themes. How can buyers search my store for other items in the theme they are interested in if they can’t find the search bar to search my store. Unfortunately it will mean a loss of sales for me.”

One Etsy user said she liked the way the sections were presented with an image. “Looks very inviting,” she wrote. “And whatever section you are on that section’s name is on the top and also in a different color from the sections’ list.”

Another was not pleased with the way the sections were presented. “Who is going to think to click on a listing to find shop sections. When I click on a listing I expect to find information about that item I clicked on. This is going to cause a lot of confusion. When I saw the new layout this morning I just couldn’t believe how bad it was. I can’t help but think we’re all being punked!”

Etsy is also running other tests, including one in which it hides shipping costs on listing pages for some shoppers. The test drew such an outcry from sellers that Etsy responded, with executive Eric Fixler explaining that Etsy doesn’t like to run tests during, or in the run-up to, the winter holidays, and as a result, “the tests can cluster up because we’d prefer to get them done earlier in the year.”

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Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. Send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.


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