EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 3181 - October 24, 2013     2 of 3

Etsy Redesigns Homepage for New Buyers

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Etsy has been testing a new homepage for first-time visitors and announced Wednesday it was officially rolling it out to all new Etsy visitors. The page is designed to show shoppers that Etsy is a marketplace that brings buyers and sellers together rather than a strictly retail site.

Etsy said the redesigned page does a better job in conveying what Etsy is, and said new buyers were more likely to engage with Etsy: "they're spending more time on site and are more likely to favorite an item during their first visit."

Etsy first rolled out a separate homepage design for new visitors in 2011. At the time, the company said it needed the homepage to convey what Etsy was ("that it was a marketplace for buying and selling; a community; a company whose mission is to change the world's economy") and where new visitors should begin and stick around ("we need to guide new visitors along a path that will lead to deeper engagement").

Last October, Etsy had redesigned the page to encourage new visitors to browse and replaced the list of categories with themed "browse" pages "designed to better introduce new visitors to the breadth of items that can be found on the site."

Etsy has been testing the latest version of the homepage for first-time visitors since August. "The goal of the designs we tested was to create a homepage that better communicates what Etsy is - a marketplace where shoppers can connect directly with makers, designers, and curators - and make shopping here appealing to new buyers."

One seller felt Etsy was rebranding its marketplace after it recently redefined handmade and rolled out new controversial guidelines:

"They're not branding themselves as "home of handmade" anymore. Their statement on their about page is: "Etsy is a marketplace where people around the world connect to buy and sell unique goods. Our mission is to re-imagine commerce in ways that build a more fulfilling and lasting world." It also covers their a** with the FTC, that is if the entirety of their advertising changes. So . . . welcome to the new Etsy . . . not home of handmade anymore, but home of the unique. I will have to ponder upon these things."

Another seller called it eye candy, writing, "I saw the new homepage and it is BEAUTIFUL! I'm almost mad at our homepage."

In response to a seller who said they did not like the fact that the new homepage for new visitors had no way for them to see categories, an Admin wrote, "Ahead of our homepage test we reviewed all the elements on the current homepage for new buyer engagement, and found that they rarely interact with the category modules on the lower left hand side of the existing homepage. When users are logged in, they will continue to have access to that module. We prioritized more engaging content for new users on the new homepage."

In the "recent favorites" section of the new page, Etsy said it would rotate the shops frequently throughout the day - "We're striving to show a range of products from our website with this section," an Etsy Admin explained. They will include a diverse mix of handmade, vintage and supplies and there are no special restrictions for particular categories.

Recent Favorites are algorithmically generated (not manually curated) using recency and favorites as major factors. "We also consider aggregate shopper behavior, just like we do in relevancy, to better understand how users engage with similar items," the Admin explained in answer to questions. "Our goal is to surface items that we think best represent what new buyers are looking for on Etsy."

In addition to Recent Favorites, the new page also displays Community Tastemakers ("Get inspiration from these Etsy members' top picks"); a link to "What items do your favorite brands and bloggers love?"; a picture and quote from a seller; and a section at the bottom that calls out Satisfied Customers, Passionate Sellers and Secure Transactions.

Unfortunately sellers can't measure which visitors come from the homepage for new visitors versus the existing homepage for return visitors since Etsy doesn't differentiate between the two in Shop Stats.

All signed-in members, new or old, will continue to see the homepage as it exists today. (Try a different browser to see the new page.) The homepage for new buyers does not include any treasuries, but they will remain on the homepage for return visitors. Etsy said it will run the new page through the holidays and has no plans for additional changes to the homepage in 2013.

For more information about this year's redesign, visit the Etsy announcement board.


About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.


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