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CEO Reveals Gateway Drug that Gets Shoppers Hooked on Etsy

Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson had some interesting things to say to Wall Street analysts on Wednesday, including talking about a competitive advantage that gets shoppers hooked on the marketplace.

Dickerson called weddings a “gateway drug” to Etsy – brides and grooms buy invitations, dresses, and favors on the site. They get married on the site, they have babies on the site (not literally, he pointed out to accompanying laughter).

The interview took place during the Citi Global Technology Conference in New York. Perhaps prompted by talk from eBay about how unstructured data hampers them (thus its emphasis on its Structured Data Initiative), Dickerson was asked how Etsy makes the 40 million unique items on Etsy discoverable.

A well built-out big data operation, he said. Etsy takes unstructured data and makes it structured using machine learning using big data techniques. The exploratory search Etsy launched last year takes unstructured data from listings and provides a hybrid between search and browse.

It helps guide a buyer through the search process – and it has increased engagement on Etsy by 10% in terms of clicks, Dickerson said.

Etsy’s CEO was also asked if Amazon Handmade had an impact on its business – we’ll have more on this in the next issue of the new EcommerceBytes 411 newsletter.

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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. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.