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Admin Q&A: How Curation on Etsy works with the Merch Team

This week’s Q&A topic is “How Curation on Etsy works with the Merch Team” and the Q&A thread will be answered by admin from our Merchandising team. Please use this thread to ask questions of our Merchandising team. The Merchandising team will answer the top voted buyer related questions on Wednesday, 1/15/1 4 from 3:30pm-5:30pm EST. Voting will remain open until 3pm on Wednesday.

Here are some guidelines to get the most out of this thread:

While voting is enabled, members may vote for up to three questions they would like to see answered. Voting is open for roughly two days after the thread starts.

Only questions/posts about merchandising will be addressed in this Q&A. An open Q&A is scheduled for the week of January 20th and you’ll have an opportunity to discuss and vote on anything during that Q&A.

Since the goal is better communication, questions that are hostile or unproductive won't get answered. It's fine to be frustrated or emphatic, but please be respectful and constructive.

In case you missed it, here is a link to my article announcing the January topics for Q&A with Etsy admin:

www.etsy.com/teams/7716/announcements/discuss/13542195/

I look forward to seeing all your buyer related questions! -Bernadette

25 Highlighted Responses

Hi Everyone, Just to let you know, I am going to turn voting off at 3:15 so please get your votes in now! Thanks. -Bernadette
I just disabled voting. We'll pull the top posts and members of the Merch team will be with you shortly to discuss. Thanks for posting and voting!
My name is Emily Bidwell, and I am a senior Merchandising Specialist and manager. I have been merchandising for Etsy for five years, and prior to that I led Etsy's Customer Support Team from 2006-2009. Before Etsy, I worked for both a jewelry designer and did music merchandising for five years, and had a brief, but intense stint as a screen printer. I have a BA in Fine Arts, with a concentration in sculpture and photography.

I am super excited to chat with everyone today, because I believe that merchandising is a co-creation between the Etsy community and professional merchandisers. There is a lot of talent on Etsy, and together I believe we can impact sales for the entire marketplace, and give the world something to talk about.

Your suggestions throughout these questions are astute and insightful. I hope we can offer some clarity into how merchandising works, and thank you for adding so richly to our team efforts. :)
Hi there! My name is Mary Andrews and I've been working with Etsy since 2007. I opened my first Etsy shop in 2005 where I still make and sell jewelry. As an Etsy shop owner myself, I'm passionate about helping other independent businesses creatively leverage their brands. My role as a merchandising specialist involves a blend of seasonal and holiday campaign planning, trend tracking and forecasting, curation across many areas of Etsy, including shopping emails, and I also make recommendations and fulfill requests for media placements. When I'm not exploring the depths of Etsy for unseen treasures, you might find me nerding out over data or taking on a new DIY project.

Your questions for today’s Q&A have been great and I’m looking forward to chatting further.
Once an item is "curated" for Browse, finds, Front Page, blogs does anyone look beyond the photo? I ask as there have been numerous selections where the items don't adhere to the TOU's for various obvious reasons and this is the face that you are putting on the site.

www.etsy.com/teams/7722/discussions/discuss/13717341/?post_id=20506...
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Yes, every item that is curated by a member of Etsy staff goes through different measures of vetting checks before it's featured. We vet to make sure the item and shop are in good standing with site policies to ensure a positive shopping experience. I can't give specifics about the systems we use, for security reasons, but we have our own internal vetting process and are also in touch with the Marketplace Integrity Team. While every item passes through a series of vetting checks, we always appreciate your sharp eyes and reports if you see something you think violates our guidelines.
I understand the need to follow and promote trends in the marketplace, but there does appear to be an over emphasis on, for example, stacking rings, Chevrons, triangles, statement necklaces, friendship bracelets....leaving the great and wonderful range of Etsy sellers across the board, especially, vintage, supplies and art, almost floundering in the wilderness.

Are there any plans to broaden the scope of the items promoted, to better encompass the glorious range of styles and age groups present on Etsy?

www.etsy.com/teams/7722/discussions/discuss/13717341/?post_id=20506...

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Thank you for this question, Joan! As I understand it, you want to learn more about how Etsy promotes the breadth of products and categories throughout the site. Additionally, I might provide further insight as to why our merchandising strategy emphasizes trends:

The shops and products on Etsy are promoted through different marketing efforts, only one of which is considered a merchandised approach. Our digital marketing team works to draw traffic through internet searches to connect you with the right customer. The goal of merchandising is to engage shoppers, or in other words, to get them to click on images that lead them into the marketplace. In order to do this, we show shoppers themes and products we know that they are looking for. With this strategy, we find that we are able to deliver more traffic to more sellers, and it results in more overall sales. To get back to how this helps promote the variety found on Etsy, when we promote one product in an email, for example, we are driving traffic to search results that include every category.

One way of looking at this, is as if merchandised shopping is similar to the window dressing of a bricks and mortar shop. Once a person is enticed by something they see in the window, they enter the shop to browse for more. Many times, the person may purchase an item that is different from what they saw in the window.
By following trends Etsy is giving up its lead in OOAK handcrafted items. Will there be more effort put into curating those types of items and thus starting trends rather than just following them.

www.etsy.com/teams/7722/discussions/discuss/13717341/?post_id=20500...

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Hi AntwarePottery! Trends can be anything from a specific product to very broad themes. For example, a trend might be a color, so OOAK items are as eligible to be featured as any other type of product. To be clear, trends are items that our shoppers are looking for, so rather than following trends, we are showing shoppers items that we know they want to look at. Strategic merchandising is a reflection of the marketplace, not a reaction. One of our goals is to serve buyers, and to connect them with the items they are seeking.

Generally, Etsy is considered a trend-setting marketplace, and this garners press. A great example is how we started promoting owl motifs more than five years ago when we started to see it trending in the community. Merchandising is a combination of presenting shopping content to buyers based on trend data, curation, and forecasting. Our team does a lot to find fresh shops and new products on the site, and to keep abreast of what could be the next big trend on Etsy.
Well, that *is* my question--How does curation on Etsy work with the Merch team? I feel like the Merch team should write up an answer to that question, then we can ask questions about that. Otherwise we're just stabbing in the dark with questions you might or might not answer.

www.etsy.com/teams/7722/discussions/discuss/13717341/?post_id=20502...


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Hi Jeni! It's nice to hear from you again since that last time we spoke at the Etsy offices. :) Merchandising is a field that uses data to target buyers and shoppers to influence a shopping behavior. At Etsy, what this means is that we look at analytics, ranking data, shopping behaviors and trend reports that help us understand what our shopping customers are looking for. Our goal is to engage customers so that they will find something on Etsy that they will Favorite, buy or share (socially), which will lead to more sales for more sellers overall.

One component of merchandising at Etsy is curation. Through curation, we can also offer our shopping customers an editorial point of view, trend forecasting and promotion of community-specific interests. Curation is more personalized, while strategic merchandising tackles product placement, demographics, and stats. We are happy to be using both to improve overall success.

Here are some of the top ways that merchandisers find products to feature on Etsy:
Trending Items page (found on the homepage), by checking our Feeds (where we are following people who favorite a lot of great things), and searching the site using search terms.

Although the Wikipedia definition is from a bricks and mortar point of view, it does a pretty good job of covering a lot of the basics of visual merchandising:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_merchandising
I find that unless you belong to one of the teams who makes all of these treasuries you will never be found on the front page, and do you know so many of those teams are not taking on any new members.
I don't think the treasuries that have tons of fav's should only be the ones that are featured, the reason that they have so many fav's is because people who belong on those teams have to comment and fav the items. This makes things scewed.
All treasuries should be looked at, I have seen a few beautiful treasuries that only had 2 views but covered so many different things, I knew it would never make the front page as they did not have a team to back them up. Very sad to think about that. Will this ever be changed?

www.etsy.com/teams/7722/discussions/discuss/13717341/?post_id=20500...

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Hi Donna and Darrell, thanks for this question!

I tend to search Treasuries by "Most Recent", which is how I can be sure that there are no sold items in the collection. Favorites are not a criteria that qualifies a collection for the homepage, but I can understand how "Hotness" might be an advantage. I've observed that people who work together tend to produce more Treasuries per day, which is also a likely factor in getting picked for the homepage.

The homepage is only one of the ways that people come to Etsy, and it is not necessarily the majority share of traffic. I encourage people to use Treasury collections with social media in mind, more than with the goals of reaching the homepage. When you share a collection of curated items outside of Etsy, and become a tastemaker, you not only potentially improve chances of broadening your customer base, you improve the general health of the Etsy marketplace for your neighbors as well.


Fine Art seldom makes it to the Front Page or into the Finds and yet it is the second largest category. Over and over, for more than a year, in admin discussions when this was brought up, we were told that that was being "worked on" but nothing has changed. If anything it shows up even less.
Are there any plans to promote Art and if there are, what are they?


www.etsy.com/teams/7722/discussions/discuss/13717341/?post_id=20506...

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Hi Carolyn! :)

Our digital marketing efforts do a lot to promote all categories such as Art. Additionally, our merchandising efforts promote the art category by driving traffic from Etsy Finds emails to broader shopping results, which includes all categories as well as the Art category. The Art category also has a stand-alone Browse page on the homepage which sets it apart from the dozens of other categories on Etsy. Our merchandising data shows that categories are promoted proportionally to their size, which means that the Art category, by item, is a top featured category on Etsy. More excitingly, we have promoted art and wall decor very heavily in the press. Etsy has largely become a go-to for people looking to decorate their homes and nurseries. The marketing strategy from a merchandising point of view is to fit art into a lifestyle context, rather than to isolate it as a niche interest. We have found this to be a largely successful approach, but we definitely hear your suggestion to create a fine art shopping experience for collectors. As a former fine artist, I can appreciate the value of this.

Side note: Please keep in mind that the items on the homepage are picked by community Treasury-makers, and not by Etsy. :)

Do you think that "traditional antique and vintage" sellers could get a look in sometimes? I feel that the front page doesn't show the range of diverse sellers here on Etsy.

www.etsy.com/teams/7722/discussions/discuss/13717341/?post_id=20506...

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Hi Rosie! :)

First, I'd love be able to further clarify Etsy's role with Treasury collections on the homepage. The items on the homepage are chosen by Community curators, and not by Etsy. Etsy chooses qualified collections, and we seek those with variety, but beyond that, we really can't control all aspects of the collection. The homepage item collection is an expression of community interests, and the trends or products that have captured the attention of those curators.

In terms of merchandised spaces, our data shows that Vintage is featured proportionally to it's category size, which means that it is a top promoted category by item. We feature a healthy mixture of vintage with new items in curated spaces, and search results from Etsy Finds and Browse include both. It is important to understand that it is the search results that shoppers are using to discover things on Etsy.

The Vintage category, as with all categories, is also promoted through digital marketing channels.

I'd love to know what trends they are in love with. I alway try to make a few on trend items, I'd like to know what they have eyes out for!

www.etsy.com/teams/7722/discussions/discuss/13717341/?post_id=20500...
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Hi Sarah! I've always been a believer that Etsy is an incredible launching pad from where the latest trends emerge. I'm continually in awe of and inspired by the new ideas that come from the artists, designers, curators and collectors right here. On that note, I'm personally really into items with a faceted component, I'm loving little touches of metallics, I'm digging large and bright script typographies, I'm always a sucker for neutral tones but am so ready for the vibrant hues of spring — and I'm always on the hunt to uncover the next clever way makers are reclaiming, recycling and repurposing something into a new gem.

I took the liberty of asking other members of the Merchandising team to chime in and here's what some of them are into at the moment (one thing’s for sure, we can all agree on metallics):

*Emily:* I have a couple of favorite trends for 2014. I'll be looking out for crisp whites, pinks from blush to shocking, and the full suite of metallics. I love the current antiquities trends seen on the runways, that range from Byzantine textures to medieval jewels. They translate beautifully into wedding fashion and accessories, such as statement earrings and crowns. I'm also loving the rustic and woodsy Bath & Beauty trends, with small batch, botanical blends. Materials such as wood, porcelain, leather, canvas, raw crystals and geodes, concrete and galvanized steel will continue to catch my eye this year.

My favorite key themes for 2014 are:
Bright, modern and fresh with a hand-touched feel
Dreamy, romantic and mysterious with a sense of a distant time
Natural and rustic, inspired by life in the country

*Gillian:* I have a couple different trends I am really digging right now. I'm loving large and small scale botanic prints on everything from paper goods to punchy pieces of fashion. I am also loving unique portraiture, especially in small scale paintings and drawings. I'm still loving the nod to art deco in jewelry, especially in geometric shapes (yes to hexagons) and designs in stacking rings, bangles and necklaces (I'm also still loving brass as a tone). I'm also excited to continue to see metallics, especially mixed and matched--taking oxidized silver and pairing it with rose gold, silver, etc. I'm also looking forward to bright, light colors, especially white, in creating a really clean, fresh palette for Spring. Lastly, I love the mix of stellar vintage pieces with everyday finds in both fashion and home decor. Pairing basics with that killer vintage find is always my go to any season.

*Taylor:*
-sherbet-y pastels paired with tough metallics to bring us into spring.
-relaxed tailoring- fluid lines, laid back luxe, minimalist details.
-wild jewelry- whether it's with bold color, unique shapes or avant-garde style, the more out there, the better.

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To keep your finger on the pulse of what's trending with shoppers, you can check out the Trending Items feed: www.etsy.com/trending. The items shown are determined automatically by looking at a number of things, including purchases, views, and the number of times an item was added to Favorites. Results currently refresh daily, although the system frequently checks for and removes any listings that may have sold out during the day.

To get a further glimpse into what shoppers are looking for, I curate a monthly email series called "Hot This Month." It usually publishes the last day of each month and highlights specific trends shoppers were looking for during the given month. If you haven't already, you can sign up to receive the daily Finds emails here: www.etsy.com/emails/finds

We also release a Trend Watch series in the Seller Handbook section of the Etsy blog, which highlights seasonal trends and forecasts from industry tastemakers and holiday plans from those of us on the Merchandising team. Find the archives for this series here (www.etsy.com/blog/en/tags/SH-Trend-Watch/) and the very latest installment just released last week: www.etsy.com/blog/en/2014/trend-watch-winter-2014-with-elsie-larson...

I’d also love to know what trends you all are in love with right now or excited about for 2014!
Trending:

The trending category needs an overhaul.

One of my products made it into the trending category... not based on how many sales I made on that item, but because it was featured on the front page treasury for an hour.

During that hour, I didn't sell any of that item... but a few moments later, I was in the trending category.

I have since made quite a few sales on that item but it certainly wasn't a trending item and I think it's unfair that items that aren't actually trending, are being featured in that category.

So you must be basing the trending category on views of an item, and hearts of an item and not sales of an item and when that happens, all of the items that have been featured on the front page, the Etsy finds, Etsy blogs, automatically become trending even if they aren't!

Just because an item has 924832492348 hearts (favorites) doesn't mean people love the item... they might just think the photo is beautiful... maybe the model is gorgeous but the actual item sucks.... I have seen OOAK items that have 82372383283289 hearts but it's never been sold... and that proves my point.

This is why we continually see the same items over and over and over in the trending section whether that item is actually popular or not.

Why not put actual trending items in the trending section? Etsy knows what the best sellers on this site are... they know which items are being searched for (minus the trademarked characters, please!)... you can't force a trend... it's either popular or it isn't..buyers are buying it or they're not...

www.etsy.com/teams/7722/discussions/discuss/13717341/?post_id=20507...
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Thanks for your feedback on the Trending Items feed, Zoie. You are right, the algorithm used to populate the items in this feed take more into account other than purchases. The items shown are determined automatically by looking at a number of things, including purchases, views, and the number of times an item was added to Favorites.

Because there are so many unique, limited batch and one of a kind items on the site, the feed would exclude showing these types of items if it were based solely on number of purchases. It is our belief that many factors, including views and favorites, can contribute to the popularity or viral nature of any given item. Just as you mentioned, an item might be trending or popular for many reasons — the qualifiers take into account all activity on any given item, including that outside of Etsy. For example, if an item is going viral on a social site or in the media, you might see it pop up in this feed. Also to your point, an incredible or clever photo might bring heightened attention to your shop, which is a great reason to continually work on product photography.

It sounds like you are interested in seeing what items are specifically selling well across Etsy. While there isn't an Etsy site feature or feed for item purchases, there are some great off site tools that use Etsy's API to show top sellers and the like. One of my long time favorites has been Craftcount (craftcount.com/).
I noticed you promote more the personalized jewelry than anything else! Is that all the buyers are buiying?

www.etsy.com/teams/7722/discussions/discuss/13717341/?post_id=20507...
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Great question, Modus Hats. Personalized jewelry and personalization in general are very popular themes in terms of shopper search behavior and purchasing. While not all purchases include a personalized element, Etsy is a well known marketplace for being able to find unique and custom items that can’t be found or made anywhere else. As mentioned in other responses throughout this thread, while it may seem like personalized jewelry is promoted heavily, each of the categories across the site is featured proportionally. The great thing about personalization is — it can be an attribute of every category, not just jewelry.

There are endless creative ways you can personalize your line of items (colors, letters, numbers, dates, signs, portraits, etc), so if doing so works for your collection of goods, it can be a great business strategy to include one or more of these options.
Casey Mc from caseymcpottery:

What about items that pose the possibility of a copyright infringement? Such as one that was discussed in this thread:

www.etsy.com/teams/7718/questions/discuss/13377213/

Are you including copyright infringements in your vetting process? A lot of us are very well aware of some of most obviously copyright protected items.

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Thanks Casey, I hope I can help clarify. Yes, Etsy takes copyright very seriously — you can read more about our policy for copyright and intellectual property here: www.etsy.com/help/article/482

Etsy is not a position to make the judgement on whether or not a shop owner does not have permission to use copyrighted material in their work. When given proper notice from any copyright holders of a violation, we do remove content in violation as outlined in the policy linked above.
Dorothy Domingo from dorothydomingo:

You are probably correct that many shoppers may eventually buy something different than what Etsy showed them in a promo and that's great for all involved, including the site. But that is an ancillary benefit. The listings and the sellers that get repeated inclusions in the Finds, FP and Browse landing pages are the ones who really benefit. Honestly, don't they benefit more than the rest of us?

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Hi Dorothy,

This is an understandable concern!

One of our team business goals is to deliver more sales to more sellers across the site. We take these goals very seriously. Through testing and experimentation, we formulate strategies that help us reach those goals.

We have found that merchandising works best when we engage shoppers with content that piques their interest. Shopping behavior shows us that once a person is on Etsy they go on their own path of discovery. Essentially, when we bring traffic to the site, sellers are more broadly benefiting.

Simply put, if a person does not see something they are looking for, or an engaging image that gets them to the site, then there is zero chance of a sale for anyone.

Please know that we are always experimenting, but any current merchandising strategies are based on what is most successful for everyone. :)
Nancy Campbell from SoulRole:

Aloha Mary,
I have wondered about this as well,and especially in Etsy Finds that are marketed Eco Friendly. Some of the items I have seen featured are so shockingly not eco friendly it did make me wonder how they were chosen,and if anyone actually read the details of the item.
Mahalo :)

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Thanks Nancy,
You make a good point. There are different standards for what defines eco-friendly and sustainability. The items featured in Etsy Finds are meant to be a jumping off point for broad concepts and are each vetted before being sent out. From there, shoppers are encouraged to browse the site and decide whether an item meets their own criteria and standards.
worksofwhimsy:

From the blog article:
So why does it seem like certain listings see more of the spotlight? “In merchandising, featuring trending products (often called “repeats”) is considered common practice — it converts more buyers throughout the marketplace.”

Can you explain how repeatedly featuring the same items "converts more buyers throughout the marketplace"? That makes no sense to me.

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Hi worksofwhimsy! Great question. Merchandising is intended for buyers. Most buyers visit the site or open emails less frequently than sellers, and many more are brand new visitors checking out Etsy for the first time. If Etsy specializes in top trends, such as personalized jewelry, then we want to be sure that shoppers see that. Trends may last for a season, a year or a month. There is no way to know, and only our shoppers can let us know what interests them. But most importantly! :) the reason that trend-based merchandising works, is because it stimulates engagement which is creating more sales for more sellers across the site.
Mimi Favre from FavreBijoux:

Is there an official process to be considered as a featured shop on the Etsy blog? Are the merch teams responsible for selecting these featured shops?

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Thanks for asking, Mimi! As referenced in this help article (www.etsy.com/help/article/155), any shop on Etsy is eligible to be featured in the Featured Shop series. We look for shops with a unique collection, a great story and a cohesive feeling shop as a whole. Given those criteria, filling out an About Page with your unique story and continually working to elevate product photography will increase chances of being considered. As far as process goes, any Etsy staff member may suggest a shop to be featured in the series. The merch team meets with key members of the editorial team to look at each of the suggestions, make final selections and program them into the series calendar.
Donna and Darrell Knish from BlackForestCottage:

That is so interesting, so do you mean that we should be sharing our fav treasuries within our facebook pages? Is there any other place via social media? Please talk to me like a 5 year old in this matter I'm old and really don't understand social media very well.

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Hey Donna and Darrell!

I'm David, the Social Media Coordinator here at Etsy. I understand how challenging social media can seem. At its core, though, social media is a way for people to connect with people. Of course, there are many different ways to do that, just as there are different ways to connect with people face to face.

Just as giving a hug and giving a present can be considered two different ways to connect in person, many of the popular social media platforms offer a different way to connect, as well. Instagram, for instance, is primarily a way to share through images, while Twitter can, for the most part, be seen as a way to tell powerful stories with words.

I know what you may be thinking: “What does this mean for me and my business?” Great question!

With social media, you have an ongoing opportunity to share your story, your passions, your dreams and inspirations. What you sell is important to you, and your unique perspective is an important contribution to the world. Sharing on social media allows you to always remind others of that, while also giving your audience (and potential audience) a way to trust and appreciate you. When that happens, their loyalty often extends beyond a single purchase. It can lead them to develop a deep, personal and lifelong investment in your success!

There are many tips and tricks that you can (and should) learn along the way to use social media effectively. However, these often change, and can vary from platform to platform. Still, whichever platforms you choose to focus on, here are some great tips to always keep in mind:

- Social media is an opportunity to share your best self. Take your time, and don’t rush. Like the images in your shop listings, a beautiful photograph on Instagram or Pinterest, for instance, can have a powerful, lasting effect.

- Be consistent, as practice always makes perfect, and observe what others are doing, too. Sometimes, it helps to see other interesting and creative approaches that you may not have considered before.

- Also, remember that social media is a two-way street. Engage with people you admire, spend time developing relationships and share inspiring content that you’d share with a friend. Social media shouldn’t be seen as just a place for ads. In fact, flooding your Facebook stream with spam can have an adverse effect in reaching people.

I know that you have a beautiful story to tell. Social media is a fun opportunity to tell it.

For more tips to help you create an awesome social media presence, check out these articles:

Etsy’s Guide to Facebook: www.etsy.com/blog/en/2011/etsys-guide-to-facebook/

Etsy’s Guide to Twitter: www.etsy.com/blog/en/2011/etsys-guide-to-twitter/

How to Effectively use Social Media to Market Your Business: www.etsy.com/blog/en/2010/how-to-effectively-use-social-media-to-ma...

Good Luck!
Thanks Erin,

In response to your question about our copyright policy, this is more of a question for our Legal Team, who I will happy to pass it along to. It sounds like a good idea to plan for an upcoming admin Q&A with our Legal experts!
worksofwhimsy:

So, trends bring buyers to the site and from there they somehow find other non-trendy stuff. Is that what you're saying? They have to dig pretty deep past all the curated areas to find any of that stuff though. How are you getting buyers to look beyond those curated areas? That's what I want to know. Also, have you abandoned trying to reach out to those buyers, like me, that are looking for (cont)

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Thanks for the follow up, worksofwhimsy. Yes, trending items show a higher success rate at bringing people to the site. When a person clicks on an engaging item or link in an email, they are delivered to general search results or a similar items landing page, and not curated landing pages. When we drive traffic to a Browse, the purpose here is to show the variety and breadth of what is offered on the site.

Curated experiences are meant to give people ideas of what to look for. Shoppers are eager to start their own discovery paths, and we find that that is what they do when we help them get started. :)
Thank you all so much for taking the time to formulate questions for the Merchandising Team. This has been a huge learning experience, and a lot of fun! We will continue to read your responses and gather feedback, and look forward to another Q&A down the road.

For further reading, here are "6 Tips for Catching the Eye of Curators Year-Round"
www.etsy.com/blog/en/2014/6-tips-for-catching-the-eye-of-curators-a...
Yes, thank you all for taking the time to ask questions and participate in today's discussion. It's been an engaging Q&A and we have a lot to take back to the rest of the team.

Good night!
toni from RCTees:

Great info here...thanks so much for your time!!

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Thanks! You all are awesome. :) I really look forward to more chats. In the meantime, I hope the biggest take-away from our discussion is this: When we show shoppers compelling images, and current shopping ideas, they are more likely to start their own searches for the things they love. Etsy's greatest strength is the variety and uniqueness of its shops, and our customers love this about shopping on Etsy. Thoughtful merchandising is only one step on a deeper path that leads to greater independent discovery.

667 Responses

Thank you for this info!
Once an item is "curated" for Browse, finds, Front Page, blogs does anyone look beyond the photo? I ask as there have been numerous selections where the items don't adhere to the TOU's for various obvious reasons and this is the face that you are putting on the site.
Absolutely agree with you.
Agreed. It's disheartening for Etsy not to follow their own rules and to constantly promote listings that are not even Etsy legal and in violation of the TOUs.
Yes. It makes Etsy and us sellers look bad too. :(

voting!
Voted!

eta: hopefully we get something real answers this week!
Remember though, there are not the same rules here that there used to be. I can remember where some of them that were featured but should not have been can now be featured lol. We have made many changes here at etsy.
Donna it does cut out some with the new guideline but not all. I realize that pretty much almost anything goes now. I always assumed that no one looked beyond the photo in making their decision whether to include something or not.
voted. (even with the new rules in place, this is still an important question.)
Voted, this is an issue that needs clarity
agreed. I don't like to see items on the front page with horrid reviews, that are obviously mass produced, with no About page or Manufacturer info. in place.

etsy staff should be checking featured items to make sure they're not featuring the items that are the worst representation of etsy.
Voted. This is of great concern to us all.
and I have seen plenty of items in browse with horrible photos. a good photo is not the top thing that gets an item in browse.
voted too
Voted also; this issue needs addressing.
Voted.
People new to Etsy get their first impressions from places such as front page and browse. You only get one chance to make a first impression - let's make it impressive for all the right reasons...
Voted, I agree. We need this answered!
Voted, this is really frustrating
Yep - tired of getting Etsy emails featuring celebrities as main photo for product photo & shop is only doing a knock-off, not the original designer.
I agree wholeheartedly.
I'd love to know what trends they are in love with. I alway try to make a few on trend items, I'd like to know what they have eyes out for!
I would like to hear this, too!
Dalmation Print
Abstract
Hanging Plants
Turkish and Moroccan Rugs
Stripes
Color: Radiant Orchid
me too, as I don't seem to ever hit the right item to be featured.......
They usually post the trends in the blog, or they do for treasuries at least! I can't find the link but there was a blog post for trending tags and trends to get the most out of treasuries. It was really neat to see all of them broken down. Wish I could find it now!
Do they still do that Missy? I haven't seen it for a long time and stopped looking.
This is a great post with lots of good information, thank you
You mean merchandising desk?
www.etsy.com/blog/en/?s=Merchandising+desk&submit=Search

Or merchandising guide?
www.etsy.com/blog/en/?s=Merchandising+Guide&submit=Search

The last one was October 2013 it seems, but it doesn't really help. Once someone is picked that's it until they quit selling or seasons change.

(voted for this)
I understand the need to follow and promote trends in the marketplace, but there does appear to be an over emphasis on, for example, stacking rings, Chevrons, triangles, statement necklaces, friendship bracelets....leaving the great and wonderful range of Etsy sellers across the board, especially, vintage, supplies and art, almost floundering in the wilderness.

Are there any plans to broaden the scope of the items promoted, to better encompass the glorious range of styles and age groups present on Etsy?.
This.
Yes, this - its perplexing and disheartening to witness the same items and shops being promoted time and again
This is a very good question
Absolutely...there is a much wider range of items on Etsy just waiting to be discovered and shared!
Yes, surely vintage and supplies sellers should appear on the FP much more frequently. After all our offerings map into some trends too...
I would love to see a broader range of items featured. There are so many awesome items that appeal to different tastes and styles.
This is spot on.
yes! a thousand times yes!
Showcasing woodworking and crochet shops would be wonderful!
Yes yes yes! Couldn't agree more.
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Inactive Etsy Member 3:43pm Jan 13, 2014 EST
This! The front page of Etsy is beautiful, yet after awhile, it's just same same same ...yawn. So much talent and variety of sellers, but the front falls flat.
I agree. Why not at least try more variety as a test and see if it brings in more views, favorites and sales for more shops?
You never see original paintings, stained glass, sculptures wall hangings and more along this area. Be nice to see.
great question!
absolutely!!!!
This is very important. Great Question.
I forgot to add, voted!
yes, if I see chevron panties one more time...oh baby!
Agree and voted!
Good question.......voted !!
Yes! Thank you. And my voice to the vote.
Yes, I'd be interested in the answer to this too.
Agree - for a whole week I keep seeing the same things. Some of them were already sold, yet still on the front page of Etsy.
Agree. Same items come up over and over. Vintage (and not vintage clothing only) needs some more exposure!
Glad someone managed to verbalise my concerns in a far more appropriate way than I can manage XD
Voting for - wondering where vintage went...
Bingo!
yes, yes please
yes, this is something I am interested in as there are so many other categories and items being created on etsy. Also if you go into some of the recent shops or look at recent magazines there are so many other trends out there, that I believe etsy has not discovered.
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Inactive Etsy Member 4:37pm Jan 14, 2014 EST
It would be interesting to know (and understand) WHO exactly creates these trends which are the base of the promotions, what are the relevance criteria, is there a public poll that backs them up? I too believe that Etsy has an outstanding database, however the items promoted (everywhere) are mostly unspecific and sometimes quite irrelevant. The best of Etsy's shops are...indeed in the wilderness
Yes, trending vintage, take the lead instead of following all the time
I would love to see front pages that aren't all white backgrounds. :)
voting to hear more about this
YES! The Front page is NOT representative of ETSY 95% of the time. I think sellers should be able to choose front pages occassionally. Mix it up a bit!
Yes! Merchandising Team: Why are fine artists almost always excluded? You know many of us have a following outside this site, awards, exhibits, etc and could add credibility plus counter the reseller negative press to some degree by also being the face of Etsy. I have been a seller year for 4 years and have not once been in the Finds yet have been around to see so many repeated non art shops.
I hate to contradict myself, or maybe someone at Etsy has read this thread, but right NOW, there are two vintage items and a supply item, on the FP!
Looks great,
Step in the right direction!!
Voting. I've had this discussion with Marketing and I'm afraid we're not going to like the answer, but it's worth having the discussion out in the open. While art and photography do get exposure on the front page in treasuries, I haven't seen either in an etsy email in many months. Lots and lots of graphic art, typography, etc, but that is a very different thing.
Yes, great question and voting for this one.
Yes! I would love to see much more variety.
Voting for this topic. The scope of question this topic rised has a very actual sounding.
Why should anyone be promoted on the FP say 800 times?
true....yes variety would be great
yes, this.
By following trends Etsy is giving up its lead in OOAK handcrafted items. Will there be more effort put into curating those types of items and thus starting trends rather than just following them.
I believe this is a very good question and I agree with this.
I totally agree with this! As a collection of craftspersons, artists and artisans, it seems Etsy should be part of STARTING trends, not just slavishly following them...promote confidence in folks being original and not just part of the herd. Trends can become antithetical to the whole vision of the art side of Etsy!!
Yes! Be a trend setter.
"starting trends rather than just following them" << love this!
You had the point!
I find that unless you belong to one of the teams who makes all of these treasuries you will never be found on the front page, and do you know so many of those teams are not taking on any new members.
I don't think the treasuries that have tons of fav's should only be the ones that are featured, the reason that they have so many fav's is because people who belong on those teams have to comment and fav the items. This makes things scewed.
All treasuries should be looked at, I have seen a few beautiful treasuries that only had 2 views but covered so many different things, I knew it would never make the front page as they did not have a team to back them up. Very sad to think about that. Will this ever be changed?
This isn't quite accurate. Frequently front page treasuries don't have huge amoutns of hits, that doesn't contribute to their likelihood of being on the front page, it's just a competition that some seem to enjoy on the treasury pages (see bottom lh column).

This treasury -89 views, no team, is up now:
www.etsy.com/treasury/MTA2MjI5NDF8MjcyMjk3MDE1OQ/of-the-earth
So what IS the secret to treasuries getting on the front page? I really do think it's mostly about team treasuries. I think Etsy have a go-to roster that they use. I see so many really beautiful treasuries in my activity feed (and I used to make some pretty good ones too). It's a shame there isn't more variety and exposure. This may all be a moot point if the home page is changing anyway.
the treasury team thing is a bit out of hand. especially since there are several sellers who belong to multiple treasury-making teams. their appearance on the FP has become exponential. (and that is NOT an exaggeration.) please consider putting some sort of limit on treasuries again.
Thank you for these comments. Makes me want to just NOT sell. I am too far down the road to play at this nonsense with a bunch of damned kids. I have good taste. I have beautiful things. I make beautiful things. I can describe and do backflips on customer service, and all along there is this nonsense? No, this is what I sensed with etsy at the beginning.
Treasury teams sometimes have rules that you can only use member's items and none from other shops. Unfortunately this makes for treasuries that look similar again & again from the same teams since many limit membership to a small group. That being said, there are also treasuries that are not team based showing up on the front page, especially lately.
I don't purposely check the front page treasuries, but do see them when signing into and out of three shops (and that's another subject that wants discussion). I think something may be a little off when I see (accidentally, mind you) the same kind of item from the same shop on the front page, not once a day, but several times a day, every day for at least a week.
I have noticed that as well where certain shops items are almost consistently on the fp. Congrats to them, but there are still other shops that have just as wonderful items that are never on the fp.
Please put a limit on how many times a shop can appear on the FP.
And maybe how many times a particular treasury maker / group can be posted on the FP.
For the most part ..teams are on front page and tend to represent a few of the small select where a limit of 50 members are allowed...and many times within a 24 hour period you can find more than one item from the same shop in multiple treasuries featured. I've seen same shop with same item..maybe in different colors featured multiple times within the week on Front Page...
If you are curious about FP appearances, go to craftcult dot com and check out the appearance numbers on the treasury Professor Tiny linked on this post. Check this out on FP treasuries on any given day...it's an eye opener.
Just came back and checked again, the gorgeous lilac one now appears to be a non-team treasury (checking the tags).

www.etsy.com/treasury/OTQwNzM1M3wyNzI1NTIyMDg0/youre-seriously-the-...

There is a certain amount of repeating "only team treasuries on the FP" until it becomes true going on here, I think.
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Inactive Etsy Member 8:15pm Jan 13, 2014 EST
Its not true. I was just in the Browse/front page as a feature image then a treasury all in 10 days. Im not a part of treasury team. I dont even know anyone on one. O dont make many either. I didn't try for the front page I just do my thing and list/run my store. Woke up one day and I was there.
Kelly, how do you account for those with FP appearances over 500? Over 1000? It just happens?

Professor Tiny, I believe some teams don't use tags. If you are in an exclusive team of 50, there's not much need for it.
If you are in an exclusive team of 50, though, how are you going to rack up all these comments which supposedly attract attention for the front page? The one up at 4:00 which I mentioned had about 4 comments preceding the "congrats to all" which indicates it is on the front page.

They feature some team treasuries, and some individual treasuries. Admin, if you are reading, a compilation of an average 24 treasuries over a 24 hour period might be helpful in demonstrating how this works, instead of just asserting.
Oh, I these ethereal FP treasuries! Very hard for a regular shop to get now on the FP. I tried applying to these FP making treasury teams and they just don't accept new members, so what are we left with? How can my treasury be featured? Or treasury I am featured in?
Professor Tiny, it's not the amount of comments, it's who is in the treasury.
It's fairly straightforward, and to some extent comes under the heading of "Life is not always fair". Suppose you are very attractive person who takes exceptional photos of yourself having fun wearing your vintage finds. One of these items is going to make it to the front page, and then be seen and put in treasuries again, because it is very attractive.

Liz is correct .........................
ProfessorTiny, oh how I wish you were right!
And yes, I have put items from that shop in my own treasuries. If I were fair myself, I would put an item from a different new shop in each treasury, no matter whether or not I liked the photo.
Professor Tiny, I am weary of the "life is not fair" response here. This is about equality.
I agree so much with your statement lookbackvintage, I believe that admin has certain teams that they go to and take their treasuries and use those on a consistent basis. That would account for the repetition of certain stores being represented. I'm not saying anything bad about those stores as they have very nice items, but so do others that get over looked.
Possibly an Admin will explain why it is all, in fact, fair...I would be interested to see them try. It's just reality as I have found it and I do not expect it to be any different here. Plus, sometimes the not fairness works in my favor (as in, luck). I believe that is probably true for most.
ProfessorTiny, I haven't had any luck with the FP for the past few years..... I guess these FP shops in the closed teams are lucky.... but I can't get in. Why they don't accept new members?
So based on this original post from BlackForestCottage, my questions would be

1) How does Etsy choose which treasuries make the Front Page, and

2) Is there a way to mix it up a little and NOT feature the same shops, the same items, the same teams constantly.
I agree about the treasuries and teams. There seem to be a few teams that get FP spots more than any of the others. The whole team treasury thing is kind of crazy game where you have to make them and favourite treasuries on your team etc.
I personally would like to see a limit to the # of treasuries an etsy member can make per day or week or month or something.

I am not so bothered by the same teams. It is the same stores and even more so same items (i.e. knickers) which make repeated appearances on front page while there are many other stores with beautiful pictures and other creators with beautiful unique finds in their treasuries.
Yes Lauren, that is my questions,
1) can they mix up how they choose what is going to the fp
2) does etsy have go to teams in which they just choose from to post onto the fp
that's the thing, antwarepottery...many of the same people are on a lot of these teams. that's why you keep seeing certain items over and over again. i honestly don't know how they have the time to make so many treasuries for so many teams, and still have time to create. i would get burnt out. oh, wait...enhantsy is like excalibur in the hands of treasury teams.
Agreed and voted! Would love to see this topic addressed!
The FP has been an issue since I've been here, and I've seen no improvement made over the years. Some of the same shops that were "over featured" 4 years ago are still getting prime time exposure, often on a daily basis.... sometimes even several times a day. As a result the FP appears very stale and monotonous, like there's only a few sellers here. Now the Browse Pages seem to be following suit
I have been studying treasuries recently and I see that there are some treasury creators who achieve up to 6000 views and remain 'hot' for days. I'm curious as to how they do this because I created a treasury and then joined about 6 teams (!) and got my treasury as plumped up as I could.....but I still only got 79 views! I'm guessing the treasury pros use Twitter and Facebook to promote.....
.....their treasuries. I used to do SEO and would have gone down that path once upon a time, but I just haven't got the energy for all that! Plus it does create an artificial popularity which doesn't do much for Etsy as a whole.
Hope I didn't break any rules with this post.....
I completely agree with Susan here- there are so many misconceptions concerning treasuries and teams. Most of them are completely inaccurate. I've tried so hard to put an inside perspective into this issue when it comes up.
Definitely this. Voted!
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Inactive Etsy Member 10:25am Jan 14, 2014 EST
I dont know... I was just stating I made it there and I have nothing to do with teams, an admin buddy, pull at Etsy or the like. I just woke up one day and there I was. This was my first appearance so Im not included in the 'its the same shops over and over'. I dont even look at the FP enough to concern myself who is there all the time.
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Inactive Etsy Member 10:26am Jan 14, 2014 EST
I just mind my business. :D
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Inactive Etsy Member 10:29am Jan 14, 2014 EST
They do pick items not on those teams. It may be fewer but it does happen, I am proof.
voting for this question
I find giving a limited number of shops (and teams) daily/weekly valuable home pages advertising on the FP with undisclosed eligibility terms to be full on unethical as is intentionally limiting fair market competition - plus it excludes all the sellers from being featured who do not want to spend so many hours a day on treasury team requirements as opposed to working on their art/product quality.
My same thoughts Rene Berry, I think we were in a lot of those same threads. It seems like a lost cause to me.

I do agree with a cap, everything else here is capped why not treasuries? At one point in Etsy history not everyone could make treasuries and you had to wait for a chance to even make one treasury.
I'm much interested in this topic too.

If there could be a criteria pointed or an example...Well, i know if the receipt is to be declared it will work no more.
Well, anyway.
I wish I'd see a treasury I curated on FP some day. Really, it has become an obcession. Does it depend from the number of treasuries? Or do I have to make at least one every day? Am I banned from that my treasury is chosen
...for the Front? Is there some shops I have to include to be on the Front? These questions are turning every day in my head. :) And I'm serious, it is important for me to know.
I studied the front page treasuries for 30 straight days last year and Admin seemed to pick treasuries with the least comments and that were created 3 to 4 days prior. That was consistent at that time. I checked about 6 to 7 treasuries that made the front page per day for 30 days. The high hearts and comments treasuries rarely made it there. I think that may actually hurt the chances.
i used to be on a whole bunch of treasury teams and curated many treasuries each month and so used to get on the fp. I got tired of making treasuries and so left all my teams but now no longer get on the fp. It's all good though because I am way happier now lol.
Just so no one gets confused, you mean curation related questions instead of buyer related questions, I think. :)
Yes, it does need a little clarifying.
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Inactive Etsy Member 7:43pm Jan 13, 2014 EST
This.
Could this be a Freudian slip maybe due to the prior Q&A about buyers behavior not being properly addressed?
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Inactive Etsy Member 12:56am Jan 14, 2014 EST
LOL! I was wondering this as well.
Do you think that "traditional antique and vintage" sellers could get a look in sometimes? I feel that the front page doesn't show the range of diverse sellers here on Etsy.

this gets my vote, considering the number of vintage sellers on etsy we're not represented on the FP very often. Thanks for raising this.
Agreed. This one gets my vote too.
my vote as well
Yes. It would be nice to at least be recognized occasionally. I'm guessing we are a substantial part of the traffic.
This has been my problem with Etsy from the day I opened shop. They have a very narrow focus. The items that they pick are trendy, urban and appeal to a certain age group.
There are so many fabulous items both handmade and vintage that never make it to the front page. They don't fit the narrow demographic that Etsy admin represents.
I agree, such a wealth of items for sale here. I am confused why all three types of sellers would not be represented equally?
This would be an excellent move on etsy's part to promote vintage and fairly represent the vintage shops. The many shops that bring authentic vintage items to the online market place are here on etsy.
Considering the popularity of vintage and upcycled vintage it would be nice to see Etsy give it more publicity. Think about what one sees when perusing a large magazine rack...a good portion is dedicated to vintage. I think promoting vintage more could be very advantageous to Etsy.
Strongly agree. Vintage is not fairly represented on the FP, and now authentic vintage sellers have to compete with the increasing amount of knock-off vintage that is seemingly being allowed on the site.
I agree with everyone above. Vintage is huge on Etsy and deserves appropriate promotion!
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Inactive Etsy Member 12:58am Jan 14, 2014 EST
I actually see vintage quite often on the front page. Maybe I'm just looking at the right time? I look every time I come here.
I would love to see vintage represented on the FP more often. Vintage is a huge draw to Etsy, but is underserved on the promotion end.
I would love to see more vintage as well. Vote for this as well
Especially in the Finds Emails - what happened to vintage?
I'd love to know this as well.
Completely support the idea of featuring vintage a bit more often. Maybe a V-Day once a month and invite treasury makers to Visit Vintage?

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