Etsy is running a test in which it displays individual shops on category pages. Etsy said its goals were to “find new ways to drive traffic to sellers’ shop homes and to expose buyers to the variety of items that your shops have to offer.”
It works by displaying “shop listings cards” to shoppers who are browsing category pages: “Each shop listing card will show three listing photos from the same shop, along with the shop’s icon and review star average. The card will also feature a link to the shop and will look similar to the shop cards in your homepage feed. The listings shown will be relevant to the category that the shopper is browsing. Once a shopper clicks on the link, they’ll be taken to the seller’s shop and listings from that shop that are most relevant to the category will appear toward the top of the page.”
Etsy said shops would be randomly displayed – it is not curating the shop cards, and there is no way for sellers to apply or pay to be featured.
Nevertheless, in a thread discussing the change one seller wrote, “I suspect they may be testing this for advertising in the future, but you never know.”
Sellers are always pleased at new ways to attract traffic to their shops and listings; it appears too soon to know if sellers will approve of how good a job they think it does and if it’s fair to all sellers.
Etsy noted that sellers will have no way to determine how much traffic the new feature might generate. It explained in its announcement that when a shopper clicks to view a shop, the traffic will be shown in the seller’s Shop Stats under Category Pages. “There won’t yet be a way to distinguish these views from other category page views,” it explained.
Etsy said it would continue running the test over the coming weeks, see the full announcement on the Announcements page.