Etsy promised more consistent shipping prices across its platform as part of an announcement to sellers on Tuesday:
"Buyers expect free shipping when they shop online, and they should never have to worry about added shipping costs getting in the way of finding something special.
"We want to make shipping prices more consistent across Etsy, and we're building new tools to help you price your shipping competitively and keep shoppers coming back. We'll share more details with you soon.
"Offering free shipping is an important step you can take today to set yourself up for success. Create a free shipping profile to easily offer free shipping on multiple listings at once."
Etsy explained the full message as a "sneak peek at how we're building on everything we've accomplished together" as well as a look back at highlights from the first few months of 2019.
Among the good news included in the announcement:
- Sales on Etsy grew 20.8% and active buyers increased by 18.2% in 2018.
- Etsy is investing in new national television ads in the US. Each commercial "highlights how the vintage and handmade items on Etsy can play a starring role in life moments big and small."
- Etsy kicked off the Etsy Design Awards. "Submit a standout item from your shop and you could win $15,000."
- Etsy promised improvements to the Conversations tool to "make it easier to respond faster to messages from buyers" in a more personal way.
- Variations are coming. "Soon, you'll be able to connect your listing photos to the variations you offer so shoppers can see in a glance what all the options available for your listing look like."
Among the news that could be considered good or bad - more information is needed, Etsy announced:
- "Over the next few months, we'll be testing new ways to make Etsy search more personalized so shoppers see results that are more tailored to them, whether they're shopping on their laptop or using the Etsy app."
In the comments, sellers are pushing back on the claims about buyers wanting free shipping. A common complaint cited is that it turns off buyers when they purchase more than one item from a seller - and it's not just sellers of supplies who made that complaint.
Other comments exposed an issue we hadn't heard much about - de-emphasizing sellers branding.
Wrote one seller: "How does Etsy expect us to be successful when they are removing our shop branding from listing pages? We need buyers to enter our shops from a listing. And Etsy is purposely removing that ability. What does Etsy gain by sabotaging our efforts?"
Another seller replied, "Couldn't agree more, the list of "other items from the seller" at the top of the items page was removed, ever since them our multiple items orders have dropped drastically. There is nothing to encourage a buyer to look further more into the sellers shop."
What's your reaction to Etsy's initiatives, is it moving in the right direction? What are your favorite picks and dreaded pans?