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Wed Sept 21 2011 14:05:51

What Do You Think of Etsy's New Advertising Program?

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

Etsy sellers can now pay to have their listings appear at the top of search results on the handmade/vintage marketplace (see story in EcommerceBytes Newsflash). Sellers can pay a minimum $5 for 5,000 impressions in a week. The ad program is deliberately simple and accomplishes a few things for Etsy:

1) It generates incremental revenue while allowing it to keep tight control on which ads appear in search results (only ads with relevant keywords and tags are displayed);

2) It satisfies sellers who may feel they are not receiving exposure through its new relevancy search algorithm, which launched last month.

Sellers can advertise their entire store, a section of a store, or a particular listing, but they cannot set up multiple campaigns with different ad spends.

In a briefing with Etsy this week, Frank Harris emphasized that the program is not just for large sellers. Anyone can participate for as low as $5/week. And because the program is not set up on a pay-per-click model like Google AdWords, sellers who want more exposure simply add more funds to their campaign budgets. "If you spend more money you will get more impressions," he said.

Harris is Product Manager for Etsy Search. He joined the company from Google in April and was tasked with the two major search initiatives - relevancy search and Search Ads.

Only four ads are shown at the top of search results pages, and they look like other listings on the page with a very subtle indicator to show they are ads.

Sellers are bound to be concerned whether Etsy can really display relevant listings - they don't want shoppers to be turned off by seeing dresses when they're really searching for earrings, for example. That's why Etsy displays only ads containing keywords that are actually associated with listings.

But could Etsy's search inadvertently display a row of ads showing pumpkin colored dresses when shoppers are searching for earrings in the shape of pumpkins?  

Harris said the Search Ads system uses phrase matching when displaying ads. "Phrase match" is a standard technique used by Google among others.

"We further incorporate additional analysis along with phrase match to match the best possible keywords according to possible candidates. For example, a query for "unique cocktail dress" will match the keyword "cocktail dress" before "unique cocktail" (or "cocktail" or "dress")," Harris explained.

Sellers can set up campaigns as early as today, and the ads will go live to the site beginning September 27. Let us know how Search Ads for Etsy will impact you!




Comments (17) | Permalink

Readers Comments

What Do You Think of Etsy's New Advertising Program?   What Do You Think of Etsy's New Advertising Program?

by: craftstation This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 21 15:33:37 2011

Please pose this Q again after the new program has been up for a few weeks.  Etsy doesn't listen to sellers who comment ON Etsy, but they do pay attention to comments from other sites like yours.
Etsy has a major problem no matter what new tool they launch - trust.  Sellers do not trust Etsy, period.  For 7 years worth of reasons.
No doubt the ad tool will be another cash cow for Etsy, inhouse pmt processing will be too.
Bottom line, Etsy only implements new tools when Etsy benefits the most, not the sellers.
New tools don't erase the pervasive hold Etsy has on promoting their select favorite stores through total editorial control. Their heavy bias will remain the same, their total control won't change.

What Do You Think of Etsy's New Advertising Program?   What Do You Think of Etsy's New Advertising Program?

by: Fed Up With Etsy

Wed Sep 21 17:03:43 2011

Oh please, not another half baked change on Etsy.  Since I have been a member/seller they do a good job making things worse and then could care less what their sellers say. I have had it with Etsy.

What Do You Think of Etsy's New Advertising Program?   What Do You Think of Etsy's New Advertising Program?

by: Watching the Wheels
Web Site

Wed Sep 21 18:43:14 2011

I could give a rat's posterior region less about them sucking more money out of the desparate sellers. Venue selling is a crap shoot, and I will continue to wait for the occasional sale. I throw in the towel as far as thinking that this medium will work for me.

Processing Payments!!!!!

This could be the end, because considering THEIR track record regarding true customer service, bottom line:

They are NOT FIT to handle MY customers. I have standards.

What Do You Think of Etsy's New Advertising Program?   What Do You Think of Etsy's New Advertising Program?

by: Cindy
Web Site

Wed Sep 21 20:18:14 2011

I've been on Etsy forever, and love them so. My concern is that nothing good lasts forever. Etsy's community is wonderful and listing and selling fees low. They are low enough that people sitting with 100 items in their shop and not selling anything don't seem to mind. It's a low risk cost gamble to open a store. However, if you don't use proper keywords and relevant search terms your item won't get noticed. Search ads may be there to help the clueless, and for as little as $5 may be a viable option wherein a "showcase for your item slot " started at $7. Still a good value $5 vs $7.  My concern is that what other changes are coming down the pike? And if so, will they reward the community that supports them so?

What Do You Think of Etsy's New Advertising Program?   What Do You Think of Etsy's New Advertising Program?

by: Pop

Wed Sep 21 20:28:12 2011

"And because the program is not set up on a pay-per-click model like Google AdWords, sellers who want more exposure simply add more funds to their campaign budgets. "If you spend more money you will get more impressions," he said."

Why would anybody want to pay for impressions? Do they think we are stupid?

At least with pay-per-click you only pay if someone actually clicks on the ad - it's a pay-by-performance model.

Paying for impressions is how they did it back in the 1990's when nobody understood that all that matters is that someone clicks on your ads - not how many times your ad is displayed.

With Etsy's plan you are paying the same regardless of whether the ads are actually bringing you any business.

What Do You Think of Etsy's New Advertising Program?   What Do You Think of Etsy's New Advertising Program?

by: anyone out there

Thu Sep 22 08:42:12 2011

I've seen better advertising in high school newspapers. Just like everything else fleecebay does it on the cheap. They actually think buyers are STUPID

What Do You Think of Etsy's New Advertising Program?   What Do You Think of Etsy's New Advertising Program?

by: HarmonyGroveAntiques This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 22 11:20:12 2011

I keep thinking about listing some of our antique furniture on Etsy but everything I read says they are absolutely no better than Ebay! They seem to follow each and every misguided, screw the sellers, steps that Ebay makes in their small seller extermination campaign.

I would love to hear someone who sells what we do doing well anywhere other than Ebay. Just once!

What Do You Think of Etsy's New Advertising Program?   What Do You Think of Etsy's New Advertising Program?

by: Et tu, Brute!

Thu Sep 22 11:32:02 2011

Are you referring to the strip that is at this moment showing the recently listed items over the relevency?  I sure do hope not!  It would be another "shoot the poor seller in the fool" exercise!  My traffic has -- yes -- actually increased I believe with this double exposure, although it's brief with the relisting/new listing.  This change would be a back to square one and minus for so many!

And are you kidding?  Taggin is the name of the game and it will make a mess at the top of the page!  Ask anyone trying to sell actually Christmas stockings what a "Christmas stocking" search will bring up?!  Thousands upon thousands of tags "christmas stocking stuffer"!  It's a nightmare!!!

What Do You Think of Etsy's New Advertising Program?   What Do You Think of Etsy's New Advertising Program?

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 22 12:13:04 2011

Etsy built its name as an alternative to Ebay for handmade items....now that it's built up its sellers it will turn around and "eat" them as did Ebay (shrug)  Its been coming folks and now it has begun in earnest.

What Do You Think of Etsy's New Advertising Program?   What Do You Think of Etsy's New Advertising Program?

by: Et tu, Brute!

Thu Sep 22 13:21:51 2011

I definitely foresee a website ALL MY OWN in my future!!!  Over HALF my traffic comes in from Google search anyway!  One of my handmade is extremely exclusive.  The other extremely holiday.

IT's time.

What Do You Think of Etsy's New Advertising Program?   What Do You Think of Etsy's New Advertising Program?

by: Et tu, Brute!

Thu Sep 22 13:33:39 2011

@ Harmony,

Etsy is much better than Ebay by a long shot!  I left ebay in 2008 completely and absolutely.  If you want to sell some great items in vintage, go ahead.  IMHO.  Long term, for those like me trying to earn a L-I-V-I-N-G online selling has become exasperating!  

I had five people talked into giving Artfire a try, and then they Artfire changed and mandated a monthly charge for sellers. All five people said forget about it!  Further, I know several sellers who went buyer only as a result.  I have two pro shops on Artfire and one I'll set to buyer only at the end of this month and the other I'll keep through the holiday.  Maybe.  It's too bad.  Artfire was becoming a viable alternative but ''the greed'' struck them as well, I reckon.   And I see from Alexa that Artfire's numbers have been dropping since.

What Do You Think of Etsy's New Advertising Program?   What Do You Think of Etsy's New Advertising Program?

by: iramency
Web Site

Thu Sep 22 15:56:52 2011

I did not realize before that a user could choose as little as $1 per week or as much as they like for the program making this an affordable option for the Etsian. As for me, I'm still trying to find a viable alternative from using Paypal's crappy payment system. I wish Etsy would make their own. I hate the thought of being an ex ebayer using paypal which is an ebay service when I'm loyal to etsy.  Go Etsy. Innovations to the community!

What Do You Think of Etsy's New Advertising Program?   What Do You Think of Etsy's New Advertising Program?

by: Et tu, Brute!

Thu Sep 22 19:26:37 2011

@iramency

Former eBay and PayPal executive Stephanie Tilenius is on  the Board of Directors of Etsy.

I can't help but wonder how long have you been with Etsy?  They already have a tarnished history to their ''credits''.

What Do You Think of Etsy's New Advertising Program?   What Do You Think of Etsy's New Advertising Program?

by: Etsy5

Sat Sep 24 08:34:54 2011

I've had a shop on Etsy for more than 5 years now. Sales have been less than exciting but I realized long ago that I most likely would never ''quit my day job'' to pursue Etsy exclusively. Most of my sales happen at antique & craft fairs;

It's nice to have an online presence where people can see my stuff. I had my own web site for more than 10 years, but made few sales there (less than $1,000 retail in all that time), so don't fool yourself that having your own web site is the way to go. It might work for you, then again ...

For me, it was a toss-up between working on my web site or making product and, while I enjoy both, I enjoy making product more than coding. My domain name is currently pointed at my Etsy shop so if I ever want to go back to my own web site, people who are used to finding me via my domain name will still find me.

I do NOT want Etsy to handle payments for my sales. I do not foresee the day when I will ship product before being paid. If it comes to that, I may have to reconsider having my own web site after all.

What Do You Think of Etsy's New Advertising Program?   What Do You Think of Etsy's New Advertising Program?

by: Val

Sun Oct 2 15:33:17 2011

Well, I've made a purchase from GoDaddy and a host...thinking I need to have my own website soon, as well as Etsy. But Etsy alone isn't moving forward.

What Do You Think of Etsy's New Advertising Program?   What Do You Think of Etsy's New Advertising Program?

by: Etsy 888

Sat Oct 15 10:37:21 2011

I'm a seller on Etsy for 1 year now.  My items sell for $1 apiece so $5 for ads means 5 sales before I break even. All I see here is that my top competitor who sells much much more now than I do has bought up practically all of the slots, so I still get lost and am paying to do so.  It's the old story - the rich get richer.  The claim that it helps the small seller is untrue.  It helps the big seller to get bigger and more than helps to kill off the smaller ones.    

What Do You Think of Etsy's New Advertising Program?   What Do You Think of Etsy's New Advertising Program?

by: Imdarma
Web Site

Mon Jan 2 07:45:59 2012

two steps forrward three steps back....many sellers are now complaining quietly about this. just when they got the relevancy strategy down (ie: how to tag and put keywords in to make sure your item prevails) everyone was bumped for paid search ads.  It's like trying to understand the Google Algorithm, we just don't get it.  



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