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Etsy Update on Clumping Problem, Offers Shop Critiques

Etsy provided an update Tuesday to the problem referred to as a search clumping issue, saying the company’s Search team was actively looking into the problem. It also offered to help sellers investigate any sales slumps they may be experiencing to see if there were ways to help them optimize their shops.

In early October, sellers had reported that while page one of Etsy search results typically showed listings from a variety of sellers, succeeding pages tended to only show listings from a small number of sellers.

Etsy acknowledged the issue on several discussion threads beginning October 19th, telling sellers it was a known issue and was investigating it. And on October 30th, Product Manager Jaime DeLanghe wrote in a thread that Etsy was testing a fix to the problem.

On Tuesday (November 4th), an Etsy employee by the name of Jed posted an update about “the issue of lack of diversity in search results (“clumping”) that some of you have asked about.”

This is something that our Search team is actively looking into. While they’re investigating, we’re more than happy to look over your listings and stats to see if any concrete optimization steps arise from that. With sales slump investigation, there may not always be a shop-specific cause we can isolate, but we wanted to extend the offer of personalized shop help to sellers who felt they could benefit from that.

You can see Jed’s post and responses from sellers on this Etsy thread.

Comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog (from October 13th).

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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/.