The little circle icon, “This item made it to the front page on Etsy” is proudly shown by many Etsy sellers as their fifth product photo.  It was a badge of honor, because statistically so few Etsy sellers ever saw their products make it to the front page of Etsy.  If your shop made it – this badge was your bragging rights!  Now, this badge might be going by the way of the dinosaur . . .

 

 

During the month of September 2014, Etsy.com has thrown away their time-tested front page strategy and blazed ahead with an innovative online retail concept – the “feed front page”.

 

The front page of any website is a HUGE element that serves both aesthetical andfunctional purposes.  Do you like the way the site looks and does it draw you into shopping?  Can you use the site to functionally navigate to all the areas you want to go to?

 

Etsy has utilized a front page that shows off products in a more curated-treasury type mannersince 2006 (see screen shot below).

 

 

Etsy’s front-page change is not a minor tweak. They’ve stuck with a similar front-page style that has been with them during their major growth phase over the past near-decade.  The new front-page concept is not something I am very familiar with from an online ecommerce perspective being utilized elsewhere.

 

 

I’m calling the new front-page a “feed-front” design.  Etsy takes the products and shops you have favorited on Etsy in the past and creates a personalized front-page unique for yourself.  It is a data feed in that it updates as new products are listed by your favorite sellers or you like new products while browsing.  It’s not a store-front . . . it’s a “feed-front”.

 

I’ve been following the reactions by the Etsy community in the forums for over a week now and my interpretation is that the feedback is mixed – although, I believe the voice of the nay is slightly louder right now.

 

Below, two Etsy admins sums up their goal for the new front page well in these responses in an Etsy forum thread from September 11, 2014:

 

 

Guess what Etsy community?  I believe them and here is why . . .

 

Ok, when the new front page design came out, I was shocked.  I clicked refresh.  I messaged my friend Timothy Adam of Handmadeology and asked him if he was seeing the same thing I was seeing.  He was.  I sighed.  I went on with my day.  Etsy changes features all the time, maybe this one wouldn’t stick I secretly hoped.

 

I thought, “This doesn’t look very good aesthetically.  How will it impact new customers on Etsy?  How is this going to impact sellers?  Hmm . . . I’ll give it a little bit of time before I finalize my interpretation of the new front page.”

 

So after a week, I think it is ok.  I can live with it.  I also trust Etsy to make the switch back to the old home page if it really does not increase sales to more sellers overall.

 

 

For every Etsy user that has randomly liked thousands of products and shops they could care less about . . . your feed unfortunately stinks!  Good luck finding a product you want to buy from your feed, but if you actually favorited shops and products that you like, you are going to start seeing stuff you like and new recommendations based on Etsy’s web analytics and algorithms.

 

So Etsy sellers, here is the deal. . . now, you have a choice to make:

 

  1. Keep wishing how you want the old front page to come back.
  2. Face the reality that Etsy has kept the new front page up for a week because it is accomplishing their goal of creating more sales (although maybe not for you specifically yet).
  3. Wait and see how things go before taking any actions.

 

Right now, I suggest you choose all three!  If Etsy went back to the old design, my heart would not be sad, but I also think the new feed will help generate more sales in the long-term and you don’t need to drastically change the way you run your business as a result of this change so far.

 

The holiday sales rush is about to be in full swing on Etsy and I’m working on a few sales technique that take advantage of the new front-page that I will be sharing on in future posts in this series.

 

Regards,

Jason Malinak

Etsy-preneurship 

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