Etsy just released another of their much anticipated quarterly videos where they address the community and let us know how things are going and perhaps more importantly, where they’re going. This one is the Q4 Community Video released March 19th 2018.
Good news about the 4th Quarter 2017
Etsy had the best 4th quarter ever! $1 billion in merchandise sales in just one quarter. That’s an increase of $200 million or 18%. Since this is merchandise sales they’re talking about, this means it’s directly related to increased seller success. You might wonder if that’s just a result of more sellers on Etsy. Fortunately that’s not the driving factor. Later on in the video, they reveal search enhancements (more on that later) have grown sales for the average seller by 12.6% for 2017 vs 2016.
Etsy had 33 million buyers in 2017 vs 28 million in 2016. That’s an 18% increase, which happens to be exactly how much sales have increased in the 4th quarter year over year. It seems their marketing is paying off. They’re bringing more buyers to the platform spending $1 million per week on marketing. Etsy by their own research is the 7th largest e-commerce site in the US based on unique visitors. In my own research, I’m noticing more and more people know what Etsy is too. That’s fantastic as it’s one less thing to explain about what we do.
What’s in store for 2018?
“2018 is about guiding and supporting your journey regardless of what stage you’re at.”
Social Sales Events
Etsy’s social media tools are likely a nice marketing hack too. The more Etsy shops are shared on social media, the more people are becoming aware of Etsy. People love social media. They also love sales events. Etsy is continuing to promote sales events (the kind where you discount something to be included in it) and building tools to run promotions for new and repeat buyers. Etsy finds that sales events make buyers more adventurous in what they buy when it’s on sale. They also say that sales events are very effective in bringing buyers back to Etsy to make repeat purchases.
Search is going to be a recurring theme into the foreseeable future. It’s how we shop and interact with the site so it’s always a work in progress to perfect it. The challenge is to pair 33 millions shoppers with 50 million listings. Etsy has continued to roll out search enhancements and are encouraged that it’s getting better and driving more sales. As mentioned above, the average seller saw a 12.6% increase in sales from 2016 to 2017, which Etsy attributes to search improvements.
Their specific goal is to lean into Context Specific Ranking (CSR, ya know the laundry basket example). They really really want to show search results tailored for each specific shopper. The listings that particular shopper is most likely to purchase. We’ve already seen the effects of CSR and we’re going to see a lot more of it. Checking where your listing are showing up in search? Don’t bother. Whether or not you see yourself in search has no bearing on whether or not your customer does. Why are they doing this? Because shoppers that find what they want come back to buy more. Etsy wants to increase conversions from search. More shoppers turned buyers is good for everyone.
Etsy is working to “make sure you can make the most informed decisions about how to optimize your listings”. This is good news for anyone that prefers to avoid the gossip game. Some basic changes mentioned are less focus on titles, more focus on the listing as a whole, and tags were specifically mentioned. They’re going to be giving more guidance on enhancing shops for search in the coming months. I know where I’ll be looking for updates when they time comes, How Etsy Search Works.
Etsy will keep running tests on the marketplace and to keep up on what those are, check out the Buyer Marketplace Tests Page. These tests are providing buyer insights which they’re using for more search improvements and will be building out more resources to show how to improve your listings to get found and improve your search ranking for the shoppers most likely to buy from your shop.
Other Marketplace News
Etsy research found that 60% of online orders made off of Etsy have free shipping. Buyers across the internet expect to pay no or low shipping online. It’s recommended you experiment with free or low cost shipping with your listings if you haven’t already. Etsy will be building more shop tools that help with this too.
Etsy will be dropping their card reader program and partnering with Square for integration improvements. Specifically things like inventory management tools to make it easier to sell in person.
Pattern will see improvements such as putting shop reviews on your Pattern site.
The highly requested text box for personalized items is in progress, but you won’t see it soon because it’s a sweeping change that touches so many areas of the site.
Wholesale remains an important part of Etsy. They’re looking at what areas to specifically invest in.
Etsy continues creating opportunity for more sellers. Growth of Etsy translates to more sales even as trends and tastes change because there’s a constant flow of diverse shoppers on the site.