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Etsy Readies New Listing Tools for Sellers

Etsy has been working on new tools to make it faster and easier to list and manage inventory in seller shops. The online marketplace is advising sellers to try them out before they become the default next month.

Nickey Skarstad, product manager for the Shop Management team, said 10,000 sellers have already been testing the new tools in the marketplace’s Listing Management prototype that first launched in May 2014 and was opened up more widely in October.

Participants have tried out the features that Etsy added to both the listing process and the listing manager and have provided their feedback to the company. The listing process includes a quicker workflow with an updated preview step – now optional – and bigger photos at the top of the page.

Skarstad told EcommerceBytes sellers have been enthusiastic in particular about the new Quick Edit mode, which makes it faster to edit multiple listings without having to use the Bulk Editing feature. What normally takes four clicks to make an edit takes one click, she said.

A set of new filters is also popular with sellers – they can filter by shipping profile, shop section, and by tags. So, for example, if a seller has tagged one-third of their listings Valentines Day, they can use filters to find just those listings.

Try It, You’ll Like It, Etsy Seller Says 
Just because 10,000 sellers have tried the new listing tools and provided their feedback doesn’t guarantee a home run, as any online marketplace seller knows. Etsy put EcommerceBytes in touch with a seller who initially disliked the tools, but is now enthusiastic about how much efficiency she has gained using them.

Etsy seller Michelle from TheWoolFish said it took her a week of using the tools to get used to them, and now she can’t picture running her Etsy business without it.

She maintains 300-350 made-to-order listings and sells an average of 33 handmade items per week. She adds 4-6 new items every month and renews 5-10 expired listings weekly. “I am constantly editing items, updating tags and fixing quantities,” she said, and finds the new listing manager much more efficient.

The new search feature and the bulk editing are her favorite new features. She makes bowties, neckties, and pocket squares and must constantly check that the total quantities of each item for sale match the quantity of that fabric she has in stock. “Using the bulk edit and new search feature in tandem makes this process so easy,” she said. “I am able to use a broad search term (like “math” or “red”) and see on one screen how many items are active, expired, and sold out. Then edit the quantity, title, and price of 24 items all on one screen.”

What used to take her a week using the old listing manager where she had to juggle multiple screens at once – searching, checking and editing items one fabric at a time – now takes her a day, she said.

Initially it was difficult to get used to the tabs (active, draft, sold out, etc.) no longer being on the top of the page, she said. And she disliked the new listing page – she felt it was too big on her screen and seemed to scroll on forever, and everything was moved around from where she was used to. However, she got used to it. “I love it now and would never want to go back to the old manager!”

What would she tell other sellers who might be reluctant to try it? “I encourage sellers to reserve judgment for a week or so and spend that week exploring the new listing manager! The changes are very seller friendly, and make a lot of sense.”

Cropping Photos Inline, In-Line Stats
Etsy also made it easier for sellers to crop photos right in the listing process so they don’t have to open another program to crop a photo and re-upload it. Etsy’s Skarstad said it’s also easier to update thumbnail photos – this is the image that shoppers see in search results and on the shop homepage.

Other features include better bulk editing, in-line stats, and a faster listing process.

In perusing online discussions among sellers trying out the new listing tools in prototype, it appears another feature sellers are enthusiastic about in addition to Quick Edit is the In-line Stats.

When sellers click “Stats,” it displays their listings alongside statistics on those listings. “You can see views, favorites, sales, revenue and renewals,” Skarstad said. “While we had this information in the old version, we improved how this information is displayed, helping sellers discover actionable insights from their data.”

More Changes to Come 
Over 1 million new listings have been created with the new Listing Process since October, and Skarstad said it’s just the first step in 2015 to continue to make shop management easier on Etsy. “By rebuilding these pages fundamentally, we are laying the groundwork for more high-impact seller services to come,” she said.

Etsy is giving sellers the opportunity to try out the new tools and leave feedback before they roll out to everyone next month.

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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/.