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Etsy Makes Tweaks to Search

Etsy is making two changes to search. In one change, visitors can no longer click on a link to a seller’s Shop when viewing search results – instead, clicking on a Shop name in a listing in search results will lead the buyer directly to the listing page for that seller’s item instead of to the Shop home. The other change impacts which listings will show in search results based on the buyer and seller’s geographic location.

Etsy had told sellers in early June it would test a change to the listing cards in search results to make the entire card link to the listing that is displayed. “This means that while we will still show your shop name, clicking on the shop name will lead the buyer directly to your listing page.”

The reason? “In our research, we found that it’s confusing for buyers to have multiple clickable parts to one listing card, especially for buyers browsing on mobile. We want to determine whether removing extra links has any impact on viewing and purchasing behaviors.”

This week, Etsy announced the change would be permanent on Search pages. “We’ll also be making this change to all pages across the site over the coming weeks.”

“We did not see any change in the number of buyers purchasing a listing that they were searching for and we did see an increase in favoriting on listings. The number of buyers looking at the shop homepage decreased less than 1% during the experiment. This showed that buyers were not using this link to the shop when browsing for listings, and that removing the link did not decrease their interest in clicking on a listing to learn more.”

Sellers discussing the announcement on the Etsy boards were confused over the term “listing card” – other sellers explained it referred to thumbnails, as they were previously called. One seller said they had found it helpful to have the choice of clicking on a listing or going directly to the Shop.

With regard to the second change, Etsy explained it’s removing the ability for members to select “everywhere” as their account region. This impacts both buyers and sellers. Etsy explained, “Your account region affects a number of things on the site, including your search results. If your region is set to Canada, for example, you will only see items in your search results that ship to Canada unless you change the “Ships To” filter when searching.”

It went on to explain, “Keep in mind that we do not limit search results to only items from your country. If your region is set to Canada, you’ll still see items from all around the world in search results as long as they ship to Canada.”

The region preference can also affect other parts of the site, including which help articles and Seller Handbook articles users see, and it can help Etsy determine whether or not a user is eligible for features or promotions that are specific to a certain country.

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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). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.