|Tue Feb 12 2013 15:55:58|
Etsy to Measure Seller Performance
By: Ina Steiner
Any time an online marketplace sets out to measure a seller's performance, sellers get nervous about the implications - eBay sellers have learned that less than perfect metrics can cost them exposure in search, for example. Etsy is now testing ways to measure a seller's performance in customer service before rolling them out site-wide, and some sellers are starting to worry.
Etsy uses something called "prototypes" to run tests of new features, inviting sellers to participate and provide feedback. Etsy launched the Customer Service Stats prototype, explaining, "For the customer service factors that are measurable, we want to make it easy for you to see how you're doing. Are you responding to conversations quickly? How about sending tracking information? By joining this prototype, you can view your shop's Customer Service Stats, and help us test out this new feature. Think of these stats as an internal barometer, to help provide the best possible experience for your customers."
Some sellers believe Etsy is laying the groundwork for rating sellers and wonder about the implications. One seller asked if the new Customer Service metrics could in any way be tied into sellers' feedback ratings, or if the metrics could be in any way tied to relevancy search, now or in the future.
An Etsy moderator replied:
"We do not have a secret roadmap (plan for the feature) that we are hiding. Our goal is to be as open as possible. Right now we are iterating, starting with this prototype. Before we make any changes on the site we test and prototype extensively to make sure we understand the impact.
"This is still a prototype for us to gather information to make improvements. No matter what we do, our guiding principle for the feature on the whole will be to err on the side of not punishing the innocent. We definitely understand that there are unique challenges that some sellers face with some of these metrics, so this prototype is to help us find them and take them into account. There will be more changes coming!
"With that in mind, to answer your questions from above, the Customer Service Stats pages are not tied to the Feedback system and your stats do not affect your ranking in search, category or browse."
From seller comments, it appears Etsy is measuring customer response times, processing time, and package tracking data.
Have you seen the new customer service metrics Etsy is testing? Are they helpful to you as a seller? And do you fear Etsy could use them beyond providing you with information about your own performance?