Some sellers may have seen this recent thread (started Friday November 12) which asks the question, "What happened to the Keep Shopping button?". If you haven't seen it, you might want to know what it's all about, because it's morally certain that Etsy hasn't communicated with you directly about the issues it covers.
With the two part rollout of the new checkout system at Etsy, half the buyers will see the old checkout, which had a handy "Keep Shopping" button. This button sent the buyer back into the seller's shop after adding an item to the shopping cart. Half will see the new, improved checkout, which doesn't offer an easy way to get back. Apparently Etsy removed the "keep shopping" button to make the page more visually streamlined.
The OP of the above thread describes it this way:
After I added something to my cart to buy, you used to be able to continue shopping, or you could check out right away. Now there is no option to continue shopping. The sellers name is a link, but a new buyer who isn't used to etsy wouldn't know how to get back to your shop if they wanted another item. Instead there is a big Pay now button.
What this means is that buyers using the new checkout without the "Keep Shopping" button may have problems figuring out how to get back to the store they were just shopping in. When they do figure it out, they have been purchasing (and paying for) items individually. This means that shipping discounts are not calculated, and sellers are later having to make PayPal refunds to their buyers for the discrepancy. And, of course, the sellers have to pay their Paypal percentages on those miscalculated shipping charges.
Just imagine what this is like for supply shops.
When the buyers don't figure it out, they just don't buy multiple items from the same shop, at least not without a lot of help.
SteampunkSupply says, in the above thread:
Over the weekend in my jewelry shop a terrific lady wanted to buy four necklaces for her grandchildren for Christmas. It took nearly twenty emails back and forth before we got it completed, and I just couldn't figure out what was going on. I just couldn't figure out why she kept checking out after only one item. Now I know, it was the "new and improved" checkout. Oh, and I had to manually refund shipping on each and every one too. Thanks etsy.
And, as usual, Etsy has introduced these changes as seasonal gift shopping goes into high gear.
In the same thread, aosleather says:
Etsy, this blatant disregard of the sellers who have put their faith in you to work in their interests is unfathomable. Testing, changing and mucking with things may seem harmless to you... "if we break it we can fix it" sort of thing, perhaps?
But everything you screw up can potentially wreak havoc in the livelihoods of the artisans and other merchants that have entrusted their beloved shop spaces to your stewardship. and to do this in the busiest shopping season of the year? WTF?
And what does Etsy have to say? On page 3 of the above thread, Admin lisajune offers a typically helpful canned response which seems to come from some sort of alien planet where sellers are not reporting that they're losing money and customers:
Thanks for all of your feedback on this!
We are testing the impact of removing the 'keep shopping' button from the cart. It's really great to hear how you have used it in the past.
This, predictably, got many responses, along the lines of "Are you kidding? What did you think the impact of removing the 'keep shopping' button would be? It makes it harder for buyers to keep shopping from my store!" "I'm losing business!" "You're idiots!"
My own favourite response to this was from ThePlayfulNeedle, who said "Testing the impact"? Is that Etsycorp for 'We screwed up and you know it, but we don't really give a damn!'?"
There was a second thread started on Saturday, November 13, which asked for a more satisfactory Etsy Admin response. OP BeachCoveJewelry said:
I think we as sellers deserve an explanation as to why there is no longer a keep shopping button. You did not even warn us that a change was coming. It has made it increasingly difficult to buy from stores and for customers to buy from our stores. It is a pain to get back to someones store to buy a second item. I can only imagine how this is affecting supply stores.
The forums are overflowing with complaints about the new checkout, changes to profiles, changes to the search function, pleas for site stability during this important holiday season, and requests for functionality that seem to have fallen on deaf ears for years. It's like a house with a beautiful facade, but a leaking roof, rusty plumbing, wires that are shorting out, a crumbling foundation and mold in the basement.On Nov. 14, on page 15 of the second thread, lisajune replies:
There appear to be many talented, hardworking individuals in the organization. I've read in the tech journals about the extraordinary accomplishments of the IT staff. And the marketing people must be geniuses to have built such a positive reputation for Etsy in the media, while sweeping the structural shortcomings under the rug. Finally, my hat is off to the poor forum admins and customer service staff who must bear the brunt of the fallout, and I hereby apologize for my own admin-baiting. :)
The unaddressed issues of 'Coralgate' are a bad omen. Public contempt for the business' customers, a lack of communication (on the structural problems, as well as the Coralgate issues), and the appearance of a total disconnect between Etsy's public profile and its actual agenda, as demonstrated by its actions, do not bode well for the long-term health of Etsy.
It's time for upper management to stop treating the company like a personal playground for themselves and their chums, and either run Etsy like a business or divest themselves before they cause any more harm. And if the objective is to 'Facebook' Etsy, the sellers here deserve to be told, so they can make their own business decisions.
An update for all who are concerned, I do believe we'll be replacing the link to 'keep shopping' from the shopping cart in the coming week.
Apologies for any consternation, you'll be able to return immediately to shopping from the shopping cart again soon.
On page 16 of this second thread, SanDesign copied this quote from lisajune, from another thread (not specifically cited):
Long story short, this was simply a minor test done to help us understand how we can design the site to maximize transaction experience. We will -- barring unforeseen circumstances -- be replacing the 'keep shopping' link to the shopping cart in the coming week.
And, finally, later in the first thread (Nov. 15 - page 93) HarrysGirls says:
Just had a "live" chat with "Sebastien". He said "This is part of our transition of the new checkout process" and "We are working on this particular issue and should be able to restore it this week". Unfortunately I neglected to ask why any sort of announcement isn't made regarding this or no admin person has taken part in the forum. When one does respond their words will certainly be chosen very carefully.So, to sum up, Etsy decided to make serious changes in their checkout just before Christmas. As far as Etsy is concerned, removing the "keep shopping" button was just "simply a minor test done to help us understand how we can design the site to maximize transaction experience." They didn't communicate this with sellers ahead of time and they didn't communicate with sellers when it rolled out. They then apologize for the "consternation" they caused and say they'll put things back the way they were.
I've been at Etsy a long time now, and I've seen this happen again and again: Etsy makes major, badly-tested (even seemingly untested) site changes just as holiday shopping is kicking into high gear without communicating with its customers, the sellers. This causes "consternation" among Etsians, apparently Etsy-ese for "those damned sellers are bitching again about something".
And again and again, there's a total lack of acknowledgment from Etsy Admin that Etsians are upset because Etsy's lack of professionalism is interfering with sellers' ability to run their businesses and earn a living.
There's a great moment in this Xtranormal video, Handmade Headquarters (sent to us via a member of the Auxiliary) when the red-headed Etsy boss on the left explains to the newly-hired Etsy Admin on the right that "Now and then we shake up the ant-farm and watch 'em go nuts. It's pretty sweet".
This is another shaken-ant-farm moment, I think.
Aaaand ... Etsy announces that the new checkout now has a 'keep shopping' button.
(There are also reports that sellers who do manage to sell multi item orders through the new checkout are getting incorrectly-totalled emails from Etsy -- see this thread.)