In my note to the community last week, I wrote about our focus on bringing more buyers to Etsy to help make sellers successful, particularly as we all prepare for the holiday rush. One of the key ways buyers find your shops once they’ve arrived at Etsy is through Search. Two weeks ago we announced our intentions to make sort by relevancy the default search setting, along with some tips on how to adjust your listings for the change. We made that change on Tuesday, August 9.
Over the past few months, we’ve been testing improvements to sort by relevancy (as first mentioned in this forum post in May). In our tests, relevancy beat recency on several key measures: number of listings clicked on from search, number of items favorited, and number of listings viewed per visit. Listing views and favorites lead to increased sales, so a search experience that leads to more of both is better for sellers. We also think diversity is important to Etsy’s marketplace, and in sort by relevancy, we show more diversity of shops on average than we do in sort by recency. Finally, we ran tests in which we put relevancy results next to recency results for groups of shoppers (without telling which was which) and shoppers picked relevancy over recency 15 to 1. Relevancy is clearly a stronger experience for buyers.
We have been watching the site while listening to your reactions and suggestions in the Forums and on the Blog. As I write this, search sorted by relevancy has been the default for less than 48 hours, but we’re pleased to share some early data that supports what we learned in testing.
- The total number of shops with a sale was higher in the past two days than any other days this year.
- The past two days saw more favoriting activity than any other other days this year. More individual sellers had an item favorited and more individual items were favorited than any other days in 2011.
- Two of the four biggest overall sales days on Etsy in 2011 were the past two days.
- Two of the four days with most individual items sold in 2011 were the past two days
Switching to relevancy as the default search sort was a necessary step in our continued effort to improve the search experience on Etsy. The “search results sorted by relevancy” approach gives us more options to continually improve the overall search experience as the marketplace continues to grow. We’ve been listening to your feedback as we rolled out this important change, and we’ve made an important policy change related to tagging and answered your most common questions in this FAQ. If you have any questions you’d like to ask, the search team is doing a live webcast with Q&A at 3 p.m. ET today. Join us in the Online Labs.
We recognize that switching to relevancy was a major change, but it is an important one in signifying our commitment to the search experience on Etsy. It’s a journey, not a destination, and we’re committed to it for the long haul. Thanks again for being a part of the Etsy community, and we look forward to more of your feedback as we continue to make Etsy the best marketplace it can be.