Well, it's been weeks, and I'm still getting Digital Downloads for scrap-booking on my Etsy front page feed. I see the same shop's listings, even though I've tried to click away these listings and went through my favorites to un-heart these items. Yet, Etsy's spam continues.
In the picture above, you can see I'm still seeing Digital paper downloads from the same shop. This spam is not the fault of the shop, but I find it very annoying. Now, I'm being told this is similar to some of my favorites. Currently, I have 1,039 items in my favorites, very few are digital. Most of the digital items are photography and wall art. This daily push of Etsy to show me this one shop's listings is puzzling. Below is a screenshot of my favorites page.
While this is not my front page feed, this view shows how many listings (1,039) Etsy has to pick from to propagate my front page and how wrong Etsy gets it every day. If you look at the top two red arrows, they are pointing to the recommended products with two out of four slots being these same digital downloads. The red arrow below is pointing to the "Items I Love" which are my "favorites." This clearly illustrates that Etsy's algorithm has no clue what I like and want to see on my front page. Why do they not recommend a variety of items? What I see on Etsy is the same old stuff. Etsy is boring and redundant. No matter what I do to my favorites, I still see these listings. If they can't fix this new front page experience before the holiday shopping season, then will more shoppers feel alienated? Etsy needs to stop the spam now.
If you missed the original article, you can read it here.
Will Etsy fix its front page before the Holiday Selling Season?
These items show on a logged-in customer's "front page" and are are a mixture of what he or she has as personal favorites (hearts), favorites from people followed, newly listed items from people followed, and recommended listings that are similar to items in a person's favorites.
On the surface, this new approach appears to show shoppers items tailored to the individual customer, not some one-size-fits-all treasury. Having a front landing page for customers based on past interactions sounds like a great idea. However, I see spam. Spam is sometimes a necessary evil in retail. Having the customers exposed several times to the target product makes them more familiar and more likely to purchase. However, there is a tipping point. Too much repeat exposure and the customers feel spammed. Usually, spam = desperation, and desperation doesn't build consumer confidence. As a consumer, I feel Etsy is limited. There is nothing new to see if the same products are repeated. Customers will go find something "new" and that newness may not be on Etsy. Spam can lead to the death of a business.
The Spam I see on my Front Page Feed
To make this problem easier to understand, I will use my own feed to show the daily spam. Apparently, Etsy thinks I should buy digital downloads for scrapbooking projects. This is odd because as a consumer, I've never bought a digital download, ever. So, why do they keep showing me these listing? Below, I've posted screenshots of my Front Page Feed; highlighted in red are the repeat listings of recommended products that are digital downloads.
Yes, some of these types of items are in my favorites from when I created a treasury. So, I added a few digital downloads to my favorites. But, here's the problem. Currently, I have 991 items in my favorites. Do you know how many of them are digital scrapbook downloads that correspond to the above listings? Two. What about the other 900+ listings? Why are these items being promoted to me, spammed, on my front page when I have never purchased them and have very few of them in my favorites? That's over 900 opportunities Etsy is missing of other listings and other shops that I might want to see and may purchase from. Of those 13 slots on the front page, this one type of item frequently dominates the feed, being given more than one of the 13 slots. While they are good shops offering high quality downloads, I will never buy them.
Clearly, I am being spammed by Etsy. Maybe scrapbooking is hot in my demographic? I have no clue. But does Etsy offer a solution? A way to fix my feed so it will reflect more of what I want?
The only other option is to unfavorite the digital download listings. Will my spam go away? Not yet. Maybe it takes time for Etsy's system to recognize I no longer have these shops' listings in my favorites, but I still see them. Not only do I see these digital items on my front page, but they are shown to me on other places on the website like on my "favorites" page.
Only time will tell if Etsy's Front page will be adjusted to reflect a more consistent marking strategy. Spam is not the answer. Digital listings were a very small percent of my favorites, so they should not show up in this dominate way. I should not have to waste time unfavoriting items to get them out of my feed when there is a large selection and variety of items (over 900) I have liked for my front page feed to show me. Yet I'm spammed. Now, I'm afraid to like an item, giving it a heart and adding to my favorites because I wonder if it will become my new spam. I might be able to get rid of the digital listings, but they might be replaced with a new spam item. And what is deeply puzzling is I am not being shown items from shops that I have purchased from in the past. That's a huge "miss" on Etsy's part.
Some have compared the visual appearance of the new Front Page to Pintrest. On Pintrest, you follow boards and their posts end up in your feed. I love my feed and follow people who post a variety of items from home decor to vintage to yummy foods--just like I follow on Etsy. But if someone I follow on Pintrest starts pinning and repinning the same items over and over do you know what I do? I unfollow them because that's spam. Etsy, knock off the spam. You will alienate customers.
With the Holiday shopping approaching, Etsy needs to get its Front Page Feed under control. Etsy, your front page has problems. Spam. And, Spam in general, is a problem as a site-wide issue.
On-line shoppers do not want to see spam and once that tipping point has been reached, they may move on to other sites to fill their holiday shopping needs.
Update: Did Etsy fix this problem? Read the update here.
Review: Salvation Army Got Greedy
5524 Virginia Beach Blvd, Virginia Beach
Such a disappointment. The Salvation Army thrift store on Virginia Beach Blvd is one of several thrift stores I visit. Over time, I noticed many disturbing trends including over-priced items, torn and stained clothing, and chipped ceramics priced the same as good ceramics. Needless-to-say, this thrift-store is not one of my first choices for shopping, which is sad considering the Salvation Army's positive mission. But when a store gets greedy and thinks it can hide behind a socially worthy cause and use the good name of it's organization to take advantage of customers, they hurt everyone involved.
Hidden Features: Click on the "Account" button to find where a seller can view / edit "Info and Appearance" and "Shop Policies." This is not really hidden, per say, but may be over-looked. User Help is in the settings menu under "Sell on Etsy Help Center."
Wish List: Shipping is missing at this time. Stats automatically come up for a week when I just want to see today. Still, I can click "today" in the drop-down; just one extra click, so maybe I'm nit-picking. Android "Back" button takes the user to a previous menu but will close out the app if clicked beyond the main menu (don't ask how many times I back-clicked-closed-app on myself: will take time to learn the feel of this app).
Glitch? In the account section, you can click on "You shop in the Etsy App" but I have no idea what this function is about because it took me to the App Store and a painfully glaring, bright orange and white background. I'd look again, but the loud contrasting colors are hard on the eye. A glitch of the app or my phone? I'm not sure, but I won't be clicking on that button again anytime soon.
Overall, I like the look and user interaction of the new Sell on Etys app; I have revised my rating of the Etsy app after I had to stop the notifications to avoid being woken at night. Now, as I stated, I get no notifications. So, I see no reason to use the app. However, I'm glad the Android version is now available. I hope they improve some of the glitches and rethink notifications being all or nothing.
According to the post on their website from the Etsy Mobile Team, they "highly encourage" their sellers to "migrate over to Sell on Etsy." If you're using the old app, you might want to check out the new version for Android (also on iPhones). Here is Etsy's Help Article for the new app. We can assume there will be adjustments along the way, but this is a very good Android roll out. Thank you Etsy for offering something specifically for sellers.
Now, about those new places? Where are we going? I'm hoping for a great year in my vintage Etsy store, jazzjodi, and I think with some of the changes I'm seeing at Etsy, my new places = success.
Go to your phone's "Play Store" to download the "Sell on Etsy" app. Let me know what you think of the new sellers app and leave a comment to share your experiences.
What Color is This Purse?
It's driving me nuts. It's brown. It's clearly brown, right? Well, depending on the lighting, it's a brown-sugar brown, milk chocolate brown, and even a red-ish caramel brown. I've done three photo-shoots to list this on my Etsy, trying to capture the correct color; still, I am left with confusion. And this purse is fantastic! What to do?
Photo-shoot One: the caramel purse
The purse was photographed in a wooded area in daylight that filtered through the canopy of large trees. I love these pictures, but the purse looks so bright. This was just the beginning of my struggle to photograph this beautiful purse. Continue Reading . . .
Miracle of the Snakeskin Purse
Sometimes, I come across a purse that's a total keeper. I just can't sell. But keeping the merchandise for yourself is no way to run a business. Then other times, the universe conspires to create a vintage miracle.
When I first saw this handbag in the thrift store, I fell in love. It was just so pretty and unique. And when I brought the purse home, I didn't want to sell it, but I already have a lot of vintage purses. I'm running a business here and can't keep all the inventory for myself. But the purse sat there, waiting to be processed. And it sat there... and sat there. I kept thinking, "I don't want to sell this purse." Then, the next week, I went vintage shopping across town and guess what? Continue Reading . . .
I'm a writer and lover of all things vintage. I'm on Instagram and everywhere as jazzjodi, and you can see my vintage finds at my Etsy shop jazzjodi.etsy.com