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Transforming   Search in theDigital Marketplace  Dr. Jason Davis  Director of Search & Data  jdavis@etsy.com / @jasondavis
(the change)
6 months from inception tolaunch3 engineering teams3 product launches5 different functions1 startup acquisition4 months to...
About EtsyHistory of Etsy searchThe pitfalls of recencyRelevancy: strategy and goalsTakeaways: what we learned
By the Numbers1.5B pageviews/month$525MM sales in 201140MM unique visitors/month800k shops / 150 countries
The beginnings  June 2005  the birth of Etsy2005        2006      2007   2008   2009   2010   2011   2012
SELECT * FROM listings WHERE title LIKE %silver%ORDER BY creation_tsz;
Text                               December 2008                               Solr / Lucene2005   2006   2007   2008     ...
Text                                          December 2009                                          Jason starts at Etsy2...
Relevancy“For the next three Thursdays, we will change thedefault sorting method for all searches on Etsy,from recency to ...
The recency problem
Buyer experienceI was looking for a pink bonnet with bluepolka dots. I searched for "polka dotbonnet" but all I got were v...
Predictability
Visibility
Strategy
Better buyer  experienceImproved search   relevancy
Betteradvertising for  Search Ads
More searchinsight forShop Stats
Sequencing
Search AdsdevelopmentApril   May   June   July   August   September   October
Core system and architectureKeyword pricing & analysisAd buying experienceAd qualityIntegration with search
SearchimprovementsApril   May   June   July   August   September   October
Side by sidetesting
Tweaking &tuning
Experimentalanalysis
July 21, 2011                            Shop Stats with referralsApril   May   June   July           August     September...
“We plan to move search by relevancy   to the default search setting once we   feel this is the strongest site   experienc...
“As we continue to develop searchsorted by relevancy, our goal is tomake this the default site                            ...
“With more buyers coming to the site     over the holidays, we know it’s critical     that we improve the search experienc...
August 9, 2011                            Switch flipped to relevancyApril   May   June   July    August     September   Oc...
September 1, 2011                                     Surprise!April   May   June   July   August   September   October
September 20, 2011                               Search ads available for purchaseApril   May   June   July   August    Se...
September 28, 2011                                            Search ads go liveApril   May   June   July   August   Septe...
Takeaways
Make harddecisions
Understand   yourcustomers
Communicate   Set
Shipawesome  stuff
ResourcesCode as Craft bloghttp://codeascraft.etsy.com/Slides (including these)http://www.slideshare.net/etsyGithubhttp://...
Transforming Search in the Digital Marketplace
Transforming Search in the Digital Marketplace
Transforming Search in the Digital Marketplace
Transforming Search in the Digital Marketplace
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Transforming Search in the Digital Marketplace

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Late last summer, Etsy made a seemingly innocuous change to its search engine that had far reaching impact. Historically, when a user came to the marketplace and issued a search, the default sort order ranked items by listing date with most recently listed items first. While
users could easily switch to other sort options, e.g. sorted by price or sorted by relevancy, the default behavior was one sorted by recency. On August 9 of last year, Etsy changed the default sort order of the marketplace from recency to relevancy. While at a technical level this change involved only a single line of code and a few altered pixels on the site, it introduced a fundamental shift in the dynamics of the marketplace.

This talk provides some insight into the many months of development, planning, and goals around the change, and will cover aspects from business strategy to product development to marketing and communications. Specifically, we will outline risk posed to the business and marketplace. We will discuss product issues and changes to search made before and after the switch, including the launch of a keyword based search advertising product called Search Ads. Finally, we will overview how these changes and improvements were communicated to Etsy's sellers, leading up to a big Etsy milestone: surpassing $1 billion in total marketplace sales last October.

About Etsy

Etsy is the world's handmade marketplace. Etsy is headquartered in Brooklyn and has over 14 million members, 800,000 active shops, over $525 million in annual sales and 1.4 billion page views per month.

Published in: Technology
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Transforming Search in the Digital Marketplace

  1. 1. Transforming Search in theDigital Marketplace Dr. Jason Davis Director of Search & Data jdavis@etsy.com / @jasondavis
  2. 2. (the change)
  3. 3. 6 months from inception tolaunch3 engineering teams3 product launches5 different functions1 startup acquisition4 months to realize success
  4. 4. About EtsyHistory of Etsy searchThe pitfalls of recencyRelevancy: strategy and goalsTakeaways: what we learned
  5. 5. By the Numbers1.5B pageviews/month$525MM sales in 201140MM unique visitors/month800k shops / 150 countries
  6. 6. The beginnings June 2005 the birth of Etsy2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
  7. 7. SELECT * FROM listings WHERE title LIKE %silver%ORDER BY creation_tsz;
  8. 8. Text December 2008 Solr / Lucene2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
  9. 9. Text December 2009 Jason starts at Etsy2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
  10. 10. Relevancy“For the next three Thursdays, we will change thedefault sorting method for all searches on Etsy,from recency to relevancy.” Text January 20102005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
  11. 11. The recency problem
  12. 12. Buyer experienceI was looking for a pink bonnet with bluepolka dots. I searched for "polka dotbonnet" but all I got were vintage polkarecords. Then I wanted a classic rock albumand searched for "rock and roll" and gotnothing but circular stones.http://www.etsy.com/blog/news/2007/search-what-you-wanted-and-what-you-got/
  13. 13. Predictability
  14. 14. Visibility
  15. 15. Strategy
  16. 16. Better buyer experienceImproved search relevancy
  17. 17. Betteradvertising for Search Ads
  18. 18. More searchinsight forShop Stats
  19. 19. Sequencing
  20. 20. Search AdsdevelopmentApril May June July August September October
  21. 21. Core system and architectureKeyword pricing & analysisAd buying experienceAd qualityIntegration with search
  22. 22. SearchimprovementsApril May June July August September October
  23. 23. Side by sidetesting
  24. 24. Tweaking &tuning
  25. 25. Experimentalanalysis
  26. 26. July 21, 2011 Shop Stats with referralsApril May June July August September October
  27. 27. “We plan to move search by relevancy to the default search setting once we feel this is the strongest site experience.” Natalie on the Bloghttp://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2011/putting-your-shop-on-top-etsy%E2%80%99s-most-relevant- search/ July 28, 2011 Announcing the switch April May June July August September October
  28. 28. “As we continue to develop searchsorted by relevancy, our goal is tomake this the default site Frank in the Forumsexperience.”http://www.etsy.com/teams/7718/site-help/discuss/8755739/ July 28, 2011 Announcing the switch April May June July August September October
  29. 29. “With more buyers coming to the site over the holidays, we know it’s critical that we improve the search experience on Etsy. We want to make those changes well in advance of the holiday season to give you plenty of time to prepare, so we’ve begun communicating what changes you may need to make to your Notes from Chad listings”http://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2011/keeping-it-relevant-default-search-is-now-sort-by-relevancy/ August 1, 2011 A note from our CEO April May June July August September October
  30. 30. August 9, 2011 Switch flipped to relevancyApril May June July August September October
  31. 31. September 1, 2011 Surprise!April May June July August September October
  32. 32. September 20, 2011 Search ads available for purchaseApril May June July August September October
  33. 33. September 28, 2011 Search ads go liveApril May June July August September October
  34. 34. Takeaways
  35. 35. Make harddecisions
  36. 36. Understand yourcustomers
  37. 37. Communicate Set
  38. 38. Shipawesome stuff
  39. 39. ResourcesCode as Craft bloghttp://codeascraft.etsy.com/Slides (including these)http://www.slideshare.net/etsyGithubhttp://github.com/etsy/Join in the funhttp://www.etsy.com/careers/

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