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Latest Etsy Tests Draw Ire from Sellers

Etsy continues to run tests of various design and navigation changes, and sellers continue to object to some of the changes they and their buyers are being exposed to. Etsy has said it exposes only a small number of users to each test it runs, but some sellers say they are being subjected to a barrage of many different tests, making it time-consuming to complete routine tasks.

Some sellers say they see different versions of the site depending on whether they’re accessing Etsy using their smartphone, laptop, or desktop computer. “I have three different versions of Etsy,” one seller wrote.

While another seller said she sees different versions of the site on her two different shops – “it is incredibly frustrating trying to remember where things are in which version,” she said, adding that she is “wasting time looking for things.”

In a thread on the Etsy boards, a seller asked why Etsy was testing a change to icon designs and menu changes. “Etsy should have an Etsy user (esp. a seller!) as a web designer or consultant to know which ones are important” the seller wrote.

When another seller said they had missed messages from shoppers because of the changes, a user replied, “DITTO! so tired of all this switching back and forth every day, geeezzzz.”

When some users downplayed the impact of the testing, a seller wrote, “I don’t care if Etsy changes the shop front page, but I do care that the tests are continuing this long and I am in and out of different tests all the time. No one is complaining about change… We are complaining about constant testing of different tests and all the confusion that is involved which could cause loss of sales.”

One seller reported seeing changes to the search bar, with a Browse Etsy drop down menu that takes users directly to the browse categories.

On August 1st, things kept changing for some users – “no joke..my shop “for me” has changed it’s look 4x just since 8am…I’m dizzy and lost,” wrote one user.

Even sellers who liked what they were seeing in some tests had a problem with a much-discussed change: Etsy apparently is testing removing an icon from the top of a user’s pages that shows them if a “convo” (message) is in their inbox. One seller who said she “really liked” the changes she was seeing in a current test wrote, “Aside from not having a little icon at the top that lets me know a convo is in my inbox, its nice and clean. I especially like how when you list something, it brings you back to the listing manager and not the listing you just wrote and previewed.”

In response, another seller wrote, “I absolutely do not understand not having convos as a top level icon. That to me sends a message that Etsy cares more about buyer only accounts who would be more interested in activity feed and favorites and Etsy doesn’t care so much about having things that I believe sellers use a great deal more often which would be convos.”

“I love having an individual button for convos and favorites, it is SO ANNOYING to have to find them on a drop down menu,” wrote another.

An EcommerceBytes reader said she thought the testing was “terrible and more time consuming.” One of the problems for her: She can only see few large blocks or categories of seller’s products whereas she used to see a whole page filled with seller’s items. “Sometimes I would find something to purchase I wasn’t even looking for. It was a serendipitous, fun experience. To show all products, I now have to find the box that says “show all”. So now it’s two clicks and searching for it, instead of one… for everything. It was so easy when the menu was on the left and we could choose which to click immediately.”

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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/.