Shop Etsy

Update on Weddings

Aug 23, 2012

by lauramhood handmade and vintage goods

Last April, we tried something new with the Weddings section of the site, by incorporating wedding items, trends, how-to’s, expert advice and the stories of real couples — all in one place. This was our first revision to the browse (as opposed to Search) experience in many months and the changes we introduced were quite different for sellers: items sorted by relevancy, new subcategories, design updates, and more.

This launch was part of a concentrated effort to make the browse experience on Etsy more engaging and useful for buyers. We got a ton of feedback on our renovation, some positive and some negative. In the months since the launch, we’ve been consistently improving the Weddings experience, based on community feedback and our own observations. Today we’re checking back in to share some of what we’ve learned:

  • Members who begin their Etsy visit in the Weddings experience are significantly more likely to make a purchase compared to those who begin shopping from the old category experience.
  • Shoppers are spending 21% more time browsing the new Weddings pages than pages in the old Weddings category.
  • Just as many shops are selling wedding items since launch as they were prior to the Weddings change.
  • More people are browsing — visits to the new Weddings experience are 37% higher than the old category, without counting additional traffic from our homepage promotional banner.

We’re encouraged by these results for both shoppers and sellers, and we’ll continue to make improvements to Weddings to further grow them.

One of the biggest concerns we heard from Etsy sellers after the initial launch was about the visibility of their items within the new experience. While we’re seeing that just as many shops are selling wedding items since launch as they were prior to the Weddings change, visibility of items is a valid concern and we’ve addressed it. Where the initial pages were showing a few hundred items in each Weddings subcategory, we’re now showing up to 10,000 items per subcategory, and we’ve improved the setup to show this many items without significantly slowing down performance. Even if a member does view all the items in a particular subcategory, they now see a prompt to search and continue their shopping, rather than hitting a dead-end. We believe these are excellent and much-needed improvements, and we hugely appreciate the community members who pointed out how much these changes were needed.

Our goal with Weddings was to make our sellers’ businesses more accessible to shoppers who prefer browsing over searching. In the past, the only way to browse Etsy was through the categories, which have been neglected over the years and haven’t been performing up to our standards. In fact, only 6% of visits that include a purchase have viewed a category, whereas about 40% have used search. We’ve dedicated serious resources to improving search over the past year, and as a result have seen a significant rise in purchases from it, including increased awareness and sales for both vintage and supplies sellers. We’re doing the same for browse. We believe that by making improvements like we have with Weddings, we can turn more shoppers browsing Etsy into purchasers throughout the categories.

Please continue to let us know how the browse changes are working for you, both as a buyer and a seller. We are committed to making Etsy’s browse experience a first-class element of the site, and look forward to seeing more sales for sellers across the board as we head into the busy holiday season.