The Jam

2020 Fearless Etsy Predictions

Not only do we have some fearless Etsy predictions for you, our podcast has gotten a facelift and we’re SUPER excited about it! Get ready for new episodes to hit your inbox bi-monthly! And if you’re not subscribed to The Jam and blog, make sure you are so you don’t miss any of it😊

Twice a month, we’ve got awesome content heading your way! The team is back at it and we can’t wait to have you onboard as we head into a new year of The Jam.

So what’s different on The Jam?

Well, several things! Along with a new look we’ve got a sleek new name, and slimmed-down shorter episodes packed with loads of content! And this time around, you get to see two new faces with Richie & Gordon! Jade and Lisa will be joining the guys for each episode helping them bring a fun new dynamic to the already awesome info they’re known for.

Our first episode in a nutshell.

In this episode, we’re all chatting about the big changes Etsy might have in store for 2020! Will they abandon their big push for free shipping? Are they going to launch an Etsy prime day? Will they overhaul their search algorithm? I mean, it could be any of these things and so much more! Be sure to click below to hear team Marmalead’s fearless predictions about what Etsy has in store for 2020 in this episode of The Jam!

In Today’s Episode: 

We’re chatting about some fun and fearless predictions that Etsy might have in store for 2020! Richie and Gordon put their heads together and came up with three things Etsy might be implementing this year and the direction they could be heading. We’ll also chat about how you can prepare for these three things as an Etsy seller. Maybe even before they happen! The good news is, even if you go ahead and implement these predictions and they don’t come true, there’s no downside! They will only help you improve what you’re already doing.  The bottom line is that we want you to find Etsy shop success in all you do and these ideas can help you reach that goal.

Quarterly Reports & 3 Categories

When Etsy does their quarterly reports, they like to break things into 3 different categories: 

  • Best In Class Search & Discovery
  • Human Connection
  • Being A Trusted Brand

They tend to layer things underneath these three core pillars. So, we took that and did the same thing with our predictions. We’ve got a prediction for each category.

First up: Best In  Class Search & Discovery

Etsy acquired Black Bird Technology about three to four years ago now. Since then, Etsy has been slowly adding more AI stuff into their search algorithm, trying to get smarter with what they’re putting in front of shoppers. 

Now, image-based recognition isn’t quite to the point where you can put a photo in front of the computer and it can tell you exactly what’s in that picture. But if you have enough descriptive words, it can start to categorize things, like people and cars, etc. So, one of the things we think Etsy will do in 2020 is to lean more into this sort of technology. 

But what does this mean?!

Well, we believe they’re likely going to take an image (like the main image from your listing) and put it through some computer-based learning algorithm. The algorithm will then look at that photo and see what kinds of objects in can recognize in that photo. So for example, let’s say it’s an image of a candle holder and the image-based learning recognition sees and recognizes this. If you’re using “candle holder” as one of the keywords in your tags or title, that could give you a bump in search! If they can verify that the keywords you’re giving them are present in the picture you’re using in your cover photo, that could theoretically give you a bump in search.

Etsy wants to make sure that what customers are searching for, they’re finding. If a customer searches for a candle holder, but their search results bring back a unicorn cake topper, that would be confusing for the customer and wouldn’t be a good shopping experience for them. Etsy wants to prevent this from happening. If they can verify your images are tagged correctly, they will. Which is why we wouldn’t be surprised to see them really leaning into the image recognition space more and more as a way of verifying the keywords you’ve already picked for your listing. 

Keep it clear and simple

Just make sure you don’t go crazy with trying to add a bunch of different stuff to one photo. Keep the main photo all about the one product you’re trying to sell. Photo recognition is going to simply go through your image and pick out all the different things it sees there.

Second up: Human Connections

We’ve seen a lot of changes recently in line with the human connection category. For example, Etsy recently overhauled the entire messages portion of their shopping experience. Now you’ll find a text message style of communicating where it used to be more email-based. 

Personalized Chat

Have you ever been on a website where the little chat bubble pops up and lets you know there’s someone there to help you? We think Etsy is going to go in this direction as well, for a lot of reasons. Etsy often talks about human connections being one of their selling points and advantages. They also sometimes call this their “right to win.” Etsy really wants to own “special”. This is how they want to compete with Amazon and everyone else. 

With this new messaging overhaul, we think Etsy is really going for that boutique feel. So, when you shop at different Etsy shops, you’re not just buying from Etsy. You’re buying from the individual who owns that particular shop. They want to foster customers becoming what they call “habitual” buyers of the same shops. 

As a seller, you can really lean into where Etsy’s trying to go with this. If you walk into a brick and mortar store and the store owner greets you and recognizes you, that’s definitely building a relationship with you as a customer. As opposed to if you walk into Walmart and the greeter at the door says hi but has zero idea who you are.

So something you can do as a seller is this: if you have a customer that’s coming back to have a conversation with you and they’ve bought from you before, mention that! Communicate in a personal way with your customers and let them know if you remember them. This is something that’s unexpected in the digital space. Most people aren’t looking to personally connect with a human when they’re shopping online. So when this happens, that’s absolutely going to give you an advantage! Your customers will remember this. If they had a positive experience with you, it’s only going to make them want to come back to your shop again.

Behind The Scenes

We’ve said this before, but it’s worth mentioning again. Give your customers those behind the scenes images of your shop! Make sure you’ve got a great profile picture and your about section is up to date. All of this will help your customers connect with you so that when you are chatting with them there will have already been an opportunity to connect with you before that conversation even begins. 

Third Up: Being A Trusted Brand

This is something that’s really important to Etsy. We’ve already touched on trust briefly and how that plays into the human connection side of things. But this goes beyond that. One of the things that Etsy has done in this space recently is to REALLY amp up how prominent reviews are featured on listing pages. 

It used to be that it was listing, photo, price, title, description. Now it’s more photo, title, price, reviews. The description has been pushed over to the right-hand side of the screen (at least on desktop) and you can’t read the entire thing unless you click on the “view more” button. Etsy doesn’t use the description for keywords. It’s only used for describing the product and answering questions. Of course, it’s still important to have this in place because you want to answer customers’ questions. But, for how Etsy has placed it, they have put way more focus on reviews.

Reviews by product

They also used to not show reviews by product. For example, if you were in someone’s shop and you clicked a listing, you’d see reviews for the shop as a whole with many different product reviews together. Now, they prioritize showing reviews for the product you’re currently looking at first. This is how they’re really leaning on building that trust as a brand. They’re saying, “Look how many other people loved this particular listing! The reviews here are strong!” When you compare these product reviews with product reviews on Amazon (where you’ll usually find three to three and a half stars), on Etsy it’s almost consistently four and a half stars. 

We believe Etsy is really looking at this and seeing that this sets their sellers apart and makes them special. Etsy is seeing its sellers are more consistent, and they’re delivering top quality products in a timely manner. Etsy sees this and wants this to set them apart from other places online where customers may be shopping. 

So our big fearless trusted brand prediction is that Etsy’s going to lean even MORE into this review space. They may introduce the ability for sellers to pin or favorite a review so that review sticks to the top. The other thing that wouldn’t surprise us is if Etsy started putting these reviews in more places around their website (like on the home page and some of the category pages) using them more as testimonials and less as reviews. It’s going to be important that as a seller, you have customers leaving you those really positive reviews. 

But how do you actually get these golden reviews? 

We recommend you ask for a positive review as part of your sales process. Most shoppers don’t naturally think to leave any kind of review unless they’ve had a negative experience. If you’re not asking for positive reviews from your happy customers, you’re stacking the deck against yourself. Happy customers will probably be excited to leave a great review for you, but you need to remind them just how important this is for you and how much it means to you.

We wanna know what you want!

To finish it all up, we want to make sure you know that this is YOUR Jam! We want to “jam” all about the things YOU want to hear about! So, if you have something on your mind that you’ve been dying to hear our team tackle, make sure to drop your comments below and let us know what it is! We want to make this podcast about our listeners and what they want. You are our community and we’re so excited to walk your Etsy SEO journey with you!

Happy selling, everyone!


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6 replies on “2020 Fearless Etsy Predictions”

I’ve had great success asking for reviews. In fact, my review to sales ratio is much higher than average. Here’s what I do:

With each shipment, I tuck in a square piece of heavy weight cardstock (about the size of an index card) with my brand name & logo across the top.

I write “Dear So-and-so,” by hand below the logo in a space I’ve provided.

Then this is printed on the card:

“As a small shop owner I value your feedback!”

“If you’re happy with my service & product, would you be willing to leave a positive review? For your trouble I’ll send you a 20% off coupon code for your next purchase! Yay!”

“And if you’re not happy, would you be willing to let me know so that I can make it right?”

“Thanks for having awesome taste!”

Then I hand sign my name.

Below that I have this printed near the bottom of the card:

“To leave a review go to Etsy and click “You”
Then select Purchases & Reviews. Best friends for life!!”

Then in tiny print along the bottom I’ve written this:

“Hurry back! I miss you already!”

Great improvements on the Jam guys! Helpful information given in a concise way. Love it!

Question: what about backgrounds with photo recognition? Do you think they need to be plain or could they be, for example, rustic wood?

Hi Tracey! 🙂 If Etsy were to move forward with photo recognition, less complicated backgrounds would make it easier for an algorithm to determine what the object is in the foreground. However, I’ve seen some impressive advances in this area over the last couple years so a solid rustic wood background probably wouldn’t pose that much of a challenge to AI looking for an object. I’d to try to keep backgrounds simple but not worry about going with an all-white backdrop. The background still serves to set the tone for products and when done consistently helps with shop branding. Hope that helps!

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