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How to Take Advantage of Etsy’s Repeat-Buyers Feature

How to Take Advantage of Etsy's Repeat-Buyers Feature

Etsy enhanced a feature that helps drive repeat buyers to individual sellers’ shops, and it offered tips on how sellers could take advantage of the feature.

The “Etsy Updates feed” notifies shoppers of updates to sellers with whom they’ve interacted (through either favoriting one of their items or by following their shop). “For example,” Etsy explained, “if you put an item on sale or add new inventory, those buyers will get a notification in their Updates feed about this news.”

Visitors to Etsy can view their Updates feed by clicking on the bell icon in the navigation bar – if there are new notifications, it will display a number next to the icon to draw attention to it. Etsy said it also encourages buyers to visit their Updates feed through email marketing and push notifications.

In a post on the seller announcement board on Wednesday, Etsy wrote: “While the Updates feed isn’t a new feature, we’ve spent the last year making improvements to make it easier for buyers to get notified about your shop and encourage them to revisit your items and make a purchase. In fact, we’ve seen that the Updates feature can help bring buyers back to shop from you again!”

It encouraged sellers to send a message to buyers after they’ve made a purchase to encourage them to follow their shop. “You can use the Snippets feature in Message as a quick and easy way to send buyers a Message after they’ve made a purchase,” it advised in the announcement post.

In order to appear in the feed, sellers can do one of several things:

  • Run a sale
  • Send a coupon
  • Add new items
  • Restock items

The call to action comes as Etsy works to attract new buyers and reactivate lapsed buyers. Chief Financial Officer Rachel Glaser told analysts that Etsy had added 6.4 million new buyers in the second quarter and reactivated 5 million lapsed buyers during the same period.

She provided additional color, reporting that “recently lapsed” buyers – those who made their last purchase between 13 and 24 months ago, represented about 40% of the lapsed buyer total.

Reactivating lapsed buyers are a big opportunity, CEO Josh Silverman added during the second-quarter earnings call.

Glaser also disclosed Etsy had ended the quarter with nearly 8 million habitual buyers, down 2% sequentially, and down 1% versus last year. They accounted for 46% of Etsy’s GMS (sales).

Sellers on any marketplace know the value of repeat buyers, but are generally hamstrung from reaching out to them directly.

What do you think of Etsy’s priority in getting buyers to return and purchase more frequently – and could they provide sellers with additional tools to help it do so?

Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
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/.

5 thoughts on “How to Take Advantage of Etsy’s Repeat-Buyers Feature”

  1. good idea in theory, but it’s so annoying to get daily updates on products and minimal discounts for all the purchases ive made on a particular marketplace.

  2. *** Update feature almost non-existent since 2021, per Engineering department ***

    As a buyer on Etsy, I want to know when my favorite shops list new pieces, however, Etsy no longer provides the same amount of info it had in prior years.

    Sometime, around March of 2021, Etsy sellers came into the forum with complaints that Etsy’s “Update” feature was limiting the amount of data Etsy had previously provided. And this is what I’ve noticed too….Etsy would maybe show me one shop per day of new listings, instead of the four or five Updates, per day, Etsy previously provided.

    I have a repeat buyer for my jewelry shop. Last summer my buyer told me that she no longer was informed, by Etsy, of the new pieces I post to my shop.

    If Etsy wants to increase exposure for Sellers and Buyers, they why did they reduce their “feed”? Why did the engineering department pull-back on such a simple and fruitful function?? And for any buyer who does not want to see their site bombarded with “Updates”, Etsy should engineer “Updates” to be “turned off” by shop members.

    This whole article makes me sick! Etsy makes it sound as if this “Update” feature is a huge catalyst for Sellers and Buyers, when in fact, Etsy rarely supplies me with any “feed” at all. I then have to go through all of my favorite shops and favorite items, to know what has changed in their shop.

    What a joke!

  3. *** Etsy wants Sellers to reduce their price points ***

    Since Etsy mentioned in this article, that the “Update” feature is nothing new..then why is Etsy making mention of it ?

    An an Etsy seller, I am CONSTANTLY reminded to give discounts to new and old buyers. And this is what I see in this article. Etsy’s sales are in the toilet, so they want to encourage Sellers to give discounts…which is then forwarded to potential Buyers through the Update feature.

    Etsy is in a pickle and they know it. The only way Etsy can compete is by reducing prices which are controlled by the Sellers. I hear CEO’s on CNBC, daily. They say they are looking for ways to cut prices for the buyer who is dealing with inflation.

    I say, if Etsy wants to increase sales, they should reduce fees for Sellers so that those costs can be passed down to they Buyer.

    Sellers…stick to your guns! Don’t reduce your prices because Etsy wants you to. Force Etsy into reducing fees for Sellers by causing more pain for the Etsy website.

    1. I do stick to my guns w.r.t. prices on Etsy. Many of my Etsy customers are repeat customers so I’d only be hurting myself if I were to offer them a bounce-back coupon or a sale across my entire shop. I play things slightly different on eBay, sending “offers” when I’m so inclined. I have some repeat customers there too, but not as many as on Etsy.

  4. *** Etsy notifies buyers of price increases, too. ***

    I have strong bonds with my repeat buyers. Earlier, this summer, I raised my prices. One of my customers notified me that Etsy notified her, via Updates, that I had raised my price on the piece she had favorited. My buyer also knew of the Etsy Strike by buyers and wanted to let me know of the price increase notification, thinking if this was Etsy who was intentionally increasing my prices without my knowledge.

    I informed her, that I had increased my prices due to increased fees by Etsy. Then both of us wondered, why would Etsy inform buyers of price increases?

    As an Ex-Software engineer, I suspect that the engineering department coded the Update function to forward ANY price change instead of just informing of a “discount”. And what a stupid move this is…to inform Buyers when Sellers increases price points.

    And now I know why I was losing Admirers each time I increased prices. Those buyers who were “on the edge” of making a purchase, made a final decision to unload my shop from their favorite shops list, when they were literally shown it would cost them more money to make a purchase.

    Etsy is a clueless company who has no control within it’s own teams and departments. I guarantee you that the Executives at Etsy really do not know how their website is functioning…but rather they get some glossed overview from some sycophant manager.

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