A seller is blaming Etsy's use of Artificial Intelligence for problems in search. In a post on the Etsy boards
, she said she found inaccurate attributes in her listings she hadn't added. These attributes caused her items to show up in searches that didn't apply to her products, which had the potential to mislead shoppers, she said.
Specifically, she found "outdoor" in the attribute field for "Room." That's a problem, since her pillows appeared in search results for the term "outdoor pillows," she explained. "I specifically avoid using the term, because there are special fabrics that are meant to be used outdoors, and mine do not include that."
That could lead to a poor experience for buyers (and returns for her).
Another Room attribute she avoids using is "nursery" due to safety concerns, but she found that attribute in her listings as well.
She wondered if Etsy was using image-recognition technology to make incorrect assumptions about her items. When she searched her shop for "Nursery," it showed a few of her items in the results - "they were items that had "pale blue" and "pale pink" - further bolstering my theory that this must be some image-recognition program at work," she said.
"Sometimes Artificial Intelligence gets it wrong, and for Etsy to add misleading, inaccurate, and possibly dangerous details to our listings without our knowledge is just setting us up for failure, especially in view of the recent ODR rules." ODR is a reference to Order Dissatisfaction Rate
, an issue that drew some negative attention last month.
Sellers responding to the original poster described similar cases, such as Etsy automatically adding turquoise as a "Gemstone" attribute when the seller had simply used it to describe the color of the item.
Hat tip to Cindy Lou of CindyLouWho2.com who tweeted on Thursday
, "Notice to Etsy sellers: they are adding attributes to your listings again, so keep an eye out for inaccurate ones" with a link to the discussion board.