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Mon Feb 12 2018 16:58:40

Etsy Tries Image Recognition to Improve Search

By: Ina Steiner

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How good are you at creating keywords for your listings? Could technology do a better job at crafting search keywords than you? 

Etsy ran a test in which it used image-recognition technology to identify relevant search terms based on sellers' photos in an effort to help match listings to more relevant searches. It exposed a percentage of US buyers to the test listings in January and February.

The results: "We saw neutral to slightly positive impacts on the key metrics for this test. We're now conducting a deeper analysis of the results."

The test is over, but it's possible Etsy could run additional tests or could even decide to implement the technology based on the results of its analysis.

We predict sellers would oppose mandatory implementation of such a feature, but might be open to having the opportunity to examine auto-generated keywords and deciding for themselves if they should be added to their listings. 

It seems clear that buyers would blame the seller for any mis-matched and misleading keywords even if it was "the machine" that made the mistake. And heaven forbid Etsy inserted trademarked words into listings that could incur the wrath of brands and their intellectual property lawyers.

Comments (9) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Etsy Tries Image Recognition to Improve Search   Etsy Tries Image Recognition to Improve Search

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Feb 13 06:57:34 2018

Why are these companies always trying to complicate search with technology? I just don't get it.  

Someone needs to tell them about Occam's razor.  The more assumptions you have to make, the more unlikely an explanation is.  Very similar to their thinking.

Keep it simple stupid.

Perminate Link for Etsy Tries Image Recognition to Improve Search   Etsy Tries Image Recognition to Improve Search

by: hopeforthebest This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 13 12:32:05 2018

Occam's Razor has nothing to do with 'assumptions', it is a scientific principle that states that the simpler the hypothesis, the more likely it is to be correct.


Perminate Link for Etsy Tries Image Recognition to Improve Search   Etsy Tries Image Recognition to Improve Search

by: Redlion This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 14 01:13:09 2018

OH GOOD LAWD

Perminate Link for Etsy Tries Image Recognition to Improve Search   Etsy Tries Image Recognition to Improve Search

by: SammyCat This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 14 07:14:58 2018

Occam's razor (or Ockham's razor) is a principle from philosophy. Suppose there exists two explanations for an occurrence. In this case the simpler one is usually better. Another way of saying it is that the more assumptions you have to make, the more unlikely an explanation is.

Perminate Link for Etsy Tries Image Recognition to Improve Search   Etsy Tries Image Recognition to Improve Search

by: Flying Childers This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 14 07:59:09 2018

Etsy just won't quit with the constant changes.  Too many employees with time on their hands.  Hard to believe a robot could be worse than most of the idiots they have working there.  

Funny thing- by their own admission, most of the tests have negative or neutral results.   If you look at their Testing page, you can see the results of the tests they ran for the last few months.

Almost none of them prove to be positive for buyers or sellers.

Perminate Link for Etsy Tries Image Recognition to Improve Search   Etsy Tries Image Recognition to Improve Search

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Feb 15 06:46:03 2018

I know what Occam's razor is.  I just don't think I used it properly to get my point across, or perhaps I should not have used it at all.  My point was the simpler way of doing something is usually better.

Perminate Link for Etsy Tries Image Recognition to Improve Search   Etsy Tries Image Recognition to Improve Search

by: ewegolf This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 15 08:41:50 2018

Image-recognition technology...lead to more relevant searches.  Really?  How could they possibly improve on the relevance of searches they now have in place?  Type in Board Games.  A buyer gets 57,934 results.  Click on Board Games and the drop down offers: Chess, Checkers, Bingo, Chinese Checkers and Go. So 57,000 plus listings have no category.  A buyer might have a better experience if they could find what they are looking for.  A novel concept but not nearly as novel as image-recognition technology.  Etsy has indeed kept it very simple.

Perminate Link for Etsy Tries Image Recognition to Improve Search   Etsy Tries Image Recognition to Improve Search

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Thu Feb 15 21:27:34 2018

Etsy has failed to realize their bases are dying off. The hand makers of kool things are aging and dying off. Can't be replaced by kids glued to their gizmos unable to make a thing with their hands. People interested in buying the available goods are dying off leaving behind kids glued to their gizmos not appreciating antiquity and kool hand made stuff.
Ergo : Etsy will die in just a short time.

Perminate Link for Etsy Tries Image Recognition to Improve Search   Etsy Tries Image Recognition to Improve Search

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Mon Feb 19 07:48:57 2018

Etsy TAKES 11%+  of our sales.



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