Sunday, March 13, 2011

You’re Asking the Wrong Questions Again, Rokali

Rokali speaks! In a rare Announcement just posted, Rob Kalin details (sort of) the latest, no-deadline, vague-as-usual Etsy project - Seller Analytics!

Read it and see if you can figure it out. It seems to be about improving search, it seems to be about re-vamping the listing template, it seems to be about, well, what?

Most interesting are Rokali’s numbers on traffic sources site-wide:

30% -- from a shop's homepage
30% -- from another listing page
22% -- from search results
9% -- from outside of (external referrer)
5% -- other pages on Etsy (Treasury lists, activity feed, blog posts, etc.)
4% -- from a category page

What’s that?!? 5% of the traffic to your store is the result of other pages on Etsy?
You mean the Dorque, Treasury lists, and activity feed are gobbling up all the time, energy and financial costs ---- and they only account for 5% of the traffic and views?

Wait a minute. What do ANY of the numbers mean? And what the hell do they have to do with actual sales?

Wait a minute. Since Etsy flipped over to a social site (without any prior notification to sellers) and is no longer a selling site, what the hell do these numbers mean?

You know what, Rokali? Take your numbers and call 1,500 Etsy sellers (randomly, not just your Etsy faves) and ask them what’s going on in their Etsy stores over the past 12 months.

Whatever your plans, whatever new tricks you have up your sleeves for the next 60 days, gather some real information about your sellers and their real experiences with traffic and sales. (Or actually NO traffic and NO sales.)

Whatever your plans, you can bet your Swimmy they have nothing to do with what sellers need to sell on Etsy.

While you swim around in seas of data, most of your sellers on Etsy are NOT selling. It’s about time you started paying attention to your paying customers.


KitCameo said...

I will tell you right now, with 100% certainty that both my shops get most of their ACTUAL SALES (not hits, because they don't do much) from Facebook links. This is a HUGE problem this week, because about a week ago Etsy did something to completely fuck up thumbnail viewing on their links for Facebook. It hasn't been corrected yet, and none of my Etsy links show thumbnails on Facebook anymore. Even their own Facebook page is having this problem.

Of all the things Etsy has messed up on that have made me consider dropping them completely, THIS may be the one that finally causes me to switch to ArtFire for good. It's no longer simply something I'd like to do, but something that may become crucial to my business.

QueenGinya said...

and while you are at it explain me me what I can do about the numbers and why your numbers have nothing to do with MY numbers from GA...or explain how people got to my shop for the views in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Etsy thumbnails seem to be working on Facebook for me.

sark said...

Yeah, I'd like to know how people got to my shop, where 30% of my sales originated...

Did the peck of the day lead them there?

Maybe, uh, change up the stale shit on the front page?

Seriously, the repeats are boring as fuck, and the only thing I could get from it is a hangover from playing a game... I mean really, that could seriously turn me into an alcoholic.

Maybe show the shoppers something new and interesting that they haven't seen. Because if you all are doing this shit not out of pettiness, lack of knowledge, total idiocy, or of course favoritism, well, that exclusive little clique of folks doesn't do jack shit for my sales or compelling me to open up my wallet and BUY something.

So, really, how the fuck did 30% of people get to my shop page? Because without meaningful analysis, this data doesn't mean shit.

Maybe try putting me on the front page every day, and then I'll be like "oh!"

These numbers are abysmal. And I get the distinct impression that fixing the FUCKING SEARCH so that it works the way it should on any other effective selling site (like let's say FUCKING EBAY) isn't a high priority?

The only thing you guys could think of is "she likes it, so I want it?" Because that's what circles are.

That's not how I do my shopping. I actually walk into the god damned store and just look at the merchandise. Or, if it's online: I use the fucking search.

All the pandora models on earth don't prove that the new shiny thing - intuitive suggestion - is *the only* way to shop, browse, or discover.

And the other old thing - payola, and thereby market saturation hasn't yet gotten me to shell out cash for anything wire-wrapped. It didn't work with skinny jeans, Britney, Christina, Gaga, Kelly Clarkson, or Bieber either.

I like what I like, and yeah, I know how to find it.

Either give google and facebook and twitter the fucking credit and admit that you suck at being a USEFUL platform for sellers to sell, or keep the bullshit numbers to yourself.

No data to explain the numbers makes them useless.

Anonymous said...

Kalin adds later:
Browsing by category is remarkably unpopular, and has been decreasing in popularity for a couple years now. The balance has been picked up by search, which is increasingly popular.

Is in any wonder category searches are unpopular? Etsy has gone out of its way to make them more and more convoluted and impossible, it's no wonder they became unpopluar.

beyond absurd said...

The thing that blows me away is this -

Etsy - in an apparent effort to become a social networking site with circles and teams - has failed. The REAL social networking was done in the forums. Which, in essence, don't exist anymore. So they've done nothing more than turn etsy into a high school of social cliques, eliminating the vast majority of shops from having ANY dialogue anymore.
AND, in their absurd effort to become the next facebook, they have totally ignored the real reason why people are on etsy - to SELL, and to buy.
Personally, I think Rokali is just extremely jealous of Mark Zuckerberg - the founder of Facebook.

blueditty said...

Stop questioning the banks, they know what they're doing.

Oh crap, did I say banks? I meant Venture Capital Fund Investors....they are never ever wrong.

Stifler's Mom said...

The Artfire Facebook Kiosk is awesome! Since people don't have to sign up for an account in order to buy, it's like they don't even have to leave Facebook to buy your stuff.

Hint: Make your Kiosk page the landing page, so buyers go there first instead of to your wall.

Deeply said...

I realize comments are moderated and all, I don't care if you post this comment but please, please blog about this issue. We really need to get the word out. has recently made all users’ real names and purchase history available on the web. They can be searched from google (I checked). They are also refusing to contact buyers to alert them to this change. They do allow names to be changed, but only with a two day waiting period. There is a thread on their forum about it here where they have refused to respond to serious concerns for customer privacy. Since Etsy is refusing to notify its’ members, please help me get the word out to them. Thank you.

Post Script:
Users are asked for their first and last name at registration, and told that they can include it on their profile if they choose. As of March 1st, however, all register members real names have been publicly posted on the site, connected to their buying history. Etsy has not notified shoppers that this has been done yet. If you know an Etsy shopper, please contact them and tell them about this exposure.

Knockout Punch said...

Who cares about his stats. They'll put up some crap program that doesn't show a shop's entry path, and that doesn't filter out the seller's IP, so all their own clicks will count and the numbers won't mean a damn thing.

What's making me close up shop is the privacy breach. Check out this forum, unrelated to Etsy in any way, where Etsy buyers are being outed with links to their real names and dildo purchases

If I were one of those buyers Etsy would be hearing from my lawyer.

Why would they think making buyers' names and purchases public was a brilliant idea? Rob Kalin is the dumbest fuck on the planet.

And knickey closed the discussion thread, as expected. They can't close threads on other forums. Those buyers are outed forever now.

Anonymous said...

Wait did someone mention fixing search? That shit SUCKS. Really. I was looking for a vintage wedding cake topper, and though I found a great one, I really had to dig. Most of the search results were totally irrelevant!

Violets new Vintage said...

Etsy has always been an incestuous site so the numbers don't surprise me. Now with all the forced ideas of teams and circles its worse than ever. An interesting thing I noticed is that if a google my real name (Betsy Berberian) right in the middle of the first page of the search I see:
'Betsy Berberians Circle on Etsy' this is the circle other peeps put me into, as I have opted OUT of the circles. Anyone who doesn't want to or cannot use their real name is now at a true disadvantage when it comes to searches and their shops.

The Funny One said...

Rokali's sloppy list of "stats" without any backup is just that - sloppy, irresponsible, and a great example how reckless Etsy is (all of 'em) putting shit in print.

Do you trust him or Etsy? I don't.

It's the same issue with the latest security breach - which is actually much more serious but hard to interpret because Etsy is screwing around with information that they encouraged you to ADD TO YOUR ACCOUNT! If you are using any of the new Etsy features including Real Names, sharing your Favorites and Purchases, loading up your address book, and adding Circles, you are giving away this information for Etsy to use or misuse without telling you what or why.

Do you trust Etsy to use this information in any way, shape, or form that is helping or protecting you, your reputation, and your business?

Hell no. Don't use the features, don't share private info with Etsy, and don't trust them as far as you can throw a Reseller Piano.

You have to ask - why is Etsy adding features that erode privacy when every other site is adding OPT OUT features? There is something seriously & oh too obviously wrong with Etsy.

Anonymous said...

Sign up for a new email account for your shop. Give it the same name as your shop ( or whatever). Put the name to use as either the same name (etsycupcakeshop_ or something like M.Smith. Use that email for all things for your shop.
My real name is not shown. I used my first initial and my very common maiden name.
As for the "statistics", search hasn't worked right in over a year so people have given up using it. Etsy has refused to fix this, fix the tagging problems, stop offenders etc. Who the hell wants to wade thru their search to find something when the first 50 pages are crap not related to what you are looking for?
As Queen Ginya said, the GA in my shop doesn't related to what the "big announcement" said either.

BeYourselfAsshole said...

My customers do NOT SELL opn Etsy. Etsy sellers are too broke to buy shit.

2. Circles are for jerks
3. Privacy is CRUCIAL, ASSHOLES!
D.) There are peoople on starff that need to be fired for incompetence and they can start right at the top.
Does he want to BE like Suckerman or just fuck Suckerman?? Either way. Rokali is NOT his own man if he can't sedice what the hell his stand is and why. I would hate to have to deal with a wimpy personality like his in person.

for the hell of it said...

I have to second the request for more to be written about the ongoing privacy issues.

The bottom feeders are already looking up buyers for their own amusement.

This is one of a few forum threads with links that furnish proof that the abuses have begun:

Blue Kitty Miniatures said...

I was quite pleasantly surprised that the percentage figures actually added up to 100.

Georgina Poggie said...

He did the same thing they did about the advanced search.

They look at a site feature, say not traffic comes from it and nobody uses it, and assume that means nobody wants to use it.

Not that maybe nobody uses it because it is poorly designed!

They say the use of the categories is declining. Duh, could that possibly be because they're poorly designed, difficult to navigate, and stuffed to the gills?

It's beyond time to ditch Etsy. Fuck them and fuck this little red headed leprechaun con man POS.

Miasma said...

That's funny... 4% from all their fail shit.

You know what though, ladies? If you're still here asking Rob Kalin to start running a responsible, respectable business, you're asking the wrong questions. It's beyond time to keep even giving half a fuck about Etsy. This blog should exist to mock them only; it's pretty apparent calling out for change is hopeless.

What these numbers prove is that the 'community' part of Etsy means nothing. People get traffic by promoting their own shops. Well, guess what: that means you're ONLY paying for Etsy's software. And is it actually good? Uh... no.

Ditch Etsy, get a Big Cartel shop. Promote that and forget about their swirling toilet bowl.

getsyworsebythehour said...

..where to start. The forums are chock full of complaints, requests, pleas for help and frustration at the utter lack of sales and traffic since all of the changes have taken place.
Sales (or lack thereof) for the months of February and March are virtually non-existent for many sellers. The hundreds of thousands of clicks that etsy is reporting is from the sellers trying to find their way around the new format to get to their own shop. Facebook links and thumbnails no longer work for many sellers; etsy is claiming 'it's not at their end.' However, this problem started when they began 'tinkering' with the social platform adjustments. Incidentally, how is it that it only takes minutes to shut down a thread or a store, but when a problem persists that is clearly prohibiting sales, it will take up to a week or even more to remedy? Further, now the front page is crooked and overlapped, uneven and the sellers are depending on these pseudo programmers (hacks) to clean this all up? The latest news is that it (could) take until the end of the year for more 'changes' to be instituted and cleaned up the way it's supposed to is beyond frustrating, bordering on egregious what they have done to their sellers.
The numbers reported for sales cannot be accurate if you read the forums with any regularity. Smoke and mirrors...and silencing the voices that are trying to ask for help is the mission statement.

Diane said...

Most people don't use search because the search doesn't work. There is so much mis-tagging, and people having to use tags for colors like Aqua so they show up in treasuries. Kalin wants to make it seem like search doesn't matter because it's not being used, but it doesn't matter because Etsy has never had a good search.

Honestly, I shop on Zibbet. I can find stuff I want, funny how that's important to me as a shopper.

The Funny One said...

You have a point, Miasma, true Etsy is beyond repair but how do you get would-be sellers to stop forking over money for nothing? That's the real problem.

We all know that once Rokali puts his streams of consciousness into print, his error-ridden stats become the basis for lots of new tweaks, including the removal of Categories. He broke them, now he can remove them.

It's just another wacky interpretation & continued destruction of handmade. Rokali/Etsy smashed that definition to bits, why not blow the whole place out of the water?

The long-term damage to the real handmade product category, its reputation and its dollar value has already been done. Even without Etsy (one can hope!) the damage will never be repaired.

The only way to stop it is to turn off the spigot. Every never listed never paid 20 cents adds up, quickly.