Etsy shop redesign – we discuss the pros and cons

Here’s our thoughts on the Etsy Shop Redesign.

Whether you like or loathe it, your Etsy shop is getting a new look on April 5, 2016. It has had a mixed reception from sellers, with one seller saying, “Read the Etsy forums about this issue–a few like it. Far more hate it.”.

Overall, we quite like the new look, however as with most things, there’s positives and negatives. Let’s take a look at some of them…

Pros:

  • The large cover photo at the top of your shop helps to strengthen your branding. The current 760 x 100 pixels banner is way too small, so we think this is a big improvement.
  • All the elements of your shop, like your policies, etc can be edited right from your shop homepage. You don’t have to leave the page at all, so this will save you time and it’s just a much nicer user experience.
  • With the launch of the Etsy shop design, you’ll also get 5 extra shop sections (a total of 15). Sellers were very excited by this news. We still don’t understand why Etsy puts a limit on this – on Zibbet it’s unlimited and your products can belong to multiple sections. It’s not hard from a technical standpoint, so there must be another reason why Etsy has limited this.

😍 Some positive thoughts from Etsy sellers…

“I just gave it a quick look-see and I think it’s pretty nice. I haven’t had a chance yet to play around with the settings, though. I like it–fresh, clean, updated, and organized.”

“Thank goodness I have the option to get rid of that little banner! Used to drive me crazy, I love that we can put a larger one there now.”

“Yes, hooray for the additional sections!! As a vintage shop with nearly 350 items this is extremely welcome! Thank you!”

Cons:

  • The new shop page is very very very long. It’s hard to believe that shoppers will scroll down the page to learn more about the seller, read their shop policies etc. I suspect Etsy will test this extensively once it goes live and if sales go down, they’ll redesign the page again. However, they must have already gathered data from their previous shop redesign tests, that suggest that it won’t impact sales. Either way, it’s going to be interesting and fun for the growth team at Etsy to analyze the data once this goes live.
  • The majority of Etsy’s 1.6 million sellers won’t make the changes necessary to be up-to-date with Etsy’s new redesign. For example, not every store will upload a big cover photo. Therefore, the browsing experience may feel disjointed and inconsistent from the shopper’s point of view as they go from shop to shop.
  • The new shop policies template has caused a great deal of confusion amongst sellers. It seems Etsy is looking for a way to standardize these shop policies so it’s easier for shoppers to understand. From what we understand, if you don’t use the new policies template, your items may be negatively impacted in Etsy’s search results. From Etsy: “Sellers who have written their own policies and switch to the new policies will receive a slightly higher boost in search”. You can learn more, here: If I don’t use the new policies template, how does that affect my search ranking?

😡 Some negative thoughts from Etsy sellers…

“The new design is so horrible!!!! I can’t understand why they implement a change that forces customers to scroll endlessly to get an idea of what the overall store is about!”

“Dislike the new design…it makes the shops look less personal and more like a mass-produced shop…the pages helped separate my work into different looks, ie ocean, forest, etc. and made browsing more interesting…I do not like the massive number of listings that you scroll through for the shop…I will probably cut back on the number of listings I post because the aesthetics are too impersonal”

“Looks like I’ll be leaving Etsy. We should be able to choose the way our shop is displayed. I really dislike the new layout.”

Final thoughts...

Change is hard for some, but as a seller on Etsy, you’ll need to get used to it. They’re constantly changing things to find ways to get incrementally better with each change. The goal for Etsy is to increase overall sales (sometimes at the detriment to some of their sellers). That is, after all, how they make money as a business.

As I said at the start… whether you like it or loathe it, the change is happening on April 5, 2016. You don’t have a choice in the matter! Nor should you… he says with a smile 😊. Any seller from Etsy or other online marketplaces ultimately trade off shop design autonomy and control for exposure in their marketplace. Etsy can and will keep making the changes needed to grow their business.

If you want to start building your brand, and have complete control of how it looks and feels, then you need to be building your own website. There are some great website builders out there, however if you’re an artist or crafter, you’ll want to check out Zibbet. With Zibbet, you’ll build a beautiful, fully customizable standalone website and your products will also automatically be listed in the Zibbet marketplace, giving you extra exposure.

If you have an Etsy shop, we recommend staying there as it’s generally good exposure. However, all your marketing efforts should be driving traffic to your own website. We’ve written about this previously on the blog: Why you shouldn’t be driving traffic to a marketplace store.

So, what do YOU think of the Etsy shop redesign? Let us know in the comments.

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