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Tue June 8 2021 12:21:43

Etsy Runs Hundreds of Tests on Its Marketplace Every Day

By: Ina Steiner

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Remember when Etsy used to share information with buyers and sellers about tests it was running on its site? That transparency was enormously helpful to sellers especially in cases where they encountered something new so they could check to see if it was a glitch or an intentional change the company was testing.

(As online sellers can attest, the latter  - tests - sometimes leads to the former - glitches.)

Etsy runs hundreds of tests every day, it recently revealed - but they are run on "limited online traffic."

"Our desire for fast development naturally calls for ways to gain insights as early as possible in the lifetime of each experiment, without sacrificing the scientific validity of our conclusions," company engineers explained on Etsy's tech blog, Code As Craft

The good news - the post was about how Etsy engineers are using an approach that can shorten the duration of experiments by up to 20%.

Implementing changes without testing them first wouldn't make sense, but keeping sellers in the dark about tests can also be frustrating and can waste sellers' time when they try to determine why something is suddenly working differently.

Four years ago, Etsy told sellers, "We know it can be frustrating to be surprised by a change in your shop when you're part of a test, but announcing experiments before they happen can bias the results. If you knew we were testing a new tool in Shop Stats, for example, you might use the tool differently, impacting the results of the experiment."

It's interesting to read the comments Etsy sellers left when we wrote about that 2017 post about its experiments. Months later, Etsy changed the way it shared information about the experiments it runs on its site. (The link no longer goes to that announcement, but you can find in our coverage.)

Would you like to see Etsy and other marketplaces bring more transparency to testing? How do you weigh the benefits of testing before launching a change versus running tests without any notification or explanation?



Comments (4) | Permalink

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Perminate Link for Etsy Runs Hundreds of Tests on Its Marketplace Every Day   Etsy Runs Hundreds of Tests on Its Marketplace Every Day

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

Tue Jun 8 19:54:58 2021

This isn't Etsy's purpose.
If they were a medical EMT they'd be Practicing out of class.
Punishable by a multi-million dollar law suit.

Perminate Link for Etsy Runs Hundreds of Tests on Its Marketplace Every Day   Etsy Runs Hundreds of Tests on Its Marketplace Every Day

by: comgensup This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 10 09:42:30 2021

While Etsy is busy running their "secret background tests" their listing tools CONSISTENTLY fail to load pictures, they have no editing tools or spell check, their Pinterest button is located in the same spot as exit button, causing you to exist the program and lose all information if you accidentally hit it. Their title form and text form boxes are NOT editable. If by chance you hit the wrong button, you can't retrieve anything and have to re-enter all the data.  They should skip the silly tests (which are likely all designed to take more money from sellers)  and fix their ancient listing form. I've sent numerous suggestions on how they could improve their site - I'm an evaluator - they use some and reject the others. They don't pay me one cent for trying to fix their flim/flam poorly constructed listing tool, but are happy to charge more than 30% in fees for ad related sales. They are simply putting that in Josh's pocket and doing NOTHING to improve site for sellers. Poor poor pitiful Etsy.

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

Sun Jun 13 15:27:38 2021

Just doing some online shopping just now.
Individual websites are a Pleasure.
Never thought once to go to Ebay or Etsy.
I wanted to keep it Happy  :o)

Perminate Link for Etsy Runs Hundreds of Tests on Its Marketplace Every Day   Etsy Runs Hundreds of Tests on Its Marketplace Every Day

by: 1 Angry Artist This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jun 19 10:03:29 2021

Nobody ever told the Etsy engineers that if it ain't broke don't fix it.

It seems that anything they have that's working is sooner or later changed for something else that isn't half as good.

All Etsy testing has one goal- to make more money for the owners and to screw the sellers.  The only thing Etsy and the other big platforms have going for them is that they do provide traffic.  It is very difficult to get that kind of traffic on your own website.  And so it goes.

Thanks to the lockdowns during the time of covid, there are millions more people who decided to sell their old stuff online.   Ebay, Etsy, etc. are full of them.  They have no idea what they're doing and fill the sites with garbage and junk.

Etsy should do some tests to figure out how to separate the quality merchandise from the crap that has flooded the site.  Same for Ebay.

I have seen prices on items that I can't believe except that these are people who have never sold anything.   Examples- second hand clothing that is obviously used, priced at $25-75.     Vintage jewelry, certain brands that I have purchased for under $20 now priced at $125.00 !!  

Of course nobody is buying this stuff, but it does clog up the platforms.



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