Etsy Announces Official Changes to Search - Pro's and Cons

How to sell on Etsy search changes

It's no secret that Etsy has been working on search relevancy for the past year. They have announced in many articles that they are always constantly testing things to improve the search experience for sellers and buyers.

I think we can all agree it has been a frustrating process. Because of the constant testing, we have more ups and down to our traffic and business - ugh! freaking frustrating!

But finally Etsy has officially announced some changed that will happen site wide for all sellers, so here is a list of Pro's for Etsy sellers:


1) Attributes Will Be Added To Your Listings

At the time of this writing, Etsy is slowly rolling it out to all shops so you should be seeing it soon. When you go to edit a listing, you will now see the option to add attributes to your product. 

etsy search changes

This is how the new attributes feature will look in your Etsy listing when editing. Each type of product category will have different attributes that best fit that product type.  

So essentially, you will have the opportunity to add these attributes to each of your product listings, and I recommend you do so immediately! Etsy has told us that these attributes will help with search relevancy.

"We'll use attributes to match your items to shoppers' search terms, giving you the opportunity to appear in more relevant results."

So it is super important that you work on all your listings as soon as you see the attributes feature "on" for your shop. Bulk editing tools like "" are working on updating their tool to so you are able to bulk edit these attributes even faster! Check out my video on how I currently use



2) Attributes May Be Treated Like "Tags".

It is in my professional opinion that these attributes will be treated similar to tags on Etsy. 

Here is what Etsy had to say about this:

"We'll build search filters based on item attributes, creating a better search experience for buyers by connecting them with more tailored results."

It's important to understand that this means that along the left hand side of the search, there will be filters where customers can pick and choose in order to find more relevant results. If they don't want to narrow down and just want to browse, they will still see your item. Using these attributes will only help you when a customer is looking for a product exactly like yours. Which leads me to my next point....


3) They May Bring In Higher Conversion Rates.

Are you asking how this is even possible? Well I think the answer is simple...

If Sally (the customer who is browsing for something to purchase) knows she needs a baby blanket for a gift, but needs a pink one and not a yellow one, she may use the filter feature and choose the color and them BAM! Hopefully she sees yours and makes the purchase! The idea behind this is that if you have a certain product, the right buyers will be viewing your item and not just people who are browsing. Conversion rates can be a tricky thing and when you are not converting at a 1-3%, there can be a number of reasons why this is. One of the reasons is that your product is not what the customers looking for. These attributes and the filtering feature will hopefully prevent this. Not sure if your listings are converting well? Then check out my blog post that walks you step-by-step on how to calculate your conversion rates.


4) Happier Customers With Details They Can't Miss.

We have all heard the complaint about customers not reading descriptions and missing important details in our listing. I believe this will help resolve some of those issues. Take a look at how your attributes appear in a listing: 

Etsy search changes listing

Etsy has told us this:

"We'll feature your item attributes prominently in your listings, making them easier for shoppers to scan for pertinent information like size, color, and material."

All the details are listing out in a bullet fashion so its easier to read. And with the amount of buyers growing who shop on mobile, take a look to see how these details appear on your mobile phone:

etsy shopping on mobile

It is front and center so very little will be missed. This makes it even more important to get your attributes filled out PROPERLY so the buyer can make an informed decision. 

So I also want to shed some light on the cons of adding these attributes to our listings.


1) No Browsing For Something That They May Like.

Adding these filters will allow the customer to obviously filter results based on what they "believe" they need. So if our customer filters her search by color, she could have missed out on a great design/product that isn't offering in that color, but she would have still probably liked! Ugh! While I do understand that they are trying to appease the customer in helping them find exactly what they are looking for, I fear that they will still use that feature of filtering and potentially miss out on awesome products like MINE!


2) You Offer Variations Of An Attribute.

On the other hand, what if I DO offer it in another color, but in the example photo, I show ONE of the options and in my variations I have the option to select multiple colors. Will Sally (the customer) miss out on getting my item because I'm forced to choose 1 or 2 attributes for color? Maybe. Or do I leave it blank and risk her filtering and missing out on my product completely? Hmmm... too many questions. Hopefully, when Etsy rolls this out, these questions get answered in a favorable manner for us sellers who offer custom options. Need more help on what types of variations you should offer? Then check out this blog post that will give you several examples of how to use variations in your listing.


3) Potentially Lower Views.

Adding these attributes give the customer the opportunity to filter their search results. Thus potentially killing the browsing that's currently happening. If customer stop browsing as much, it is not unlikely that you will start to see lower views. While I do prefer higher conversion rates compared to higher views, sometimes it does kill our entrepreneurial soul to see our views shift completely. 


To wrap this up, I can tell you that I am personally excited for these changes. However, I am also excited that we know more than we used to. Before it was just a guessing game of what will Etsy do next. Now that have officially announced it, we can stop holding our breath. Etsy has told us that they want to continue to keep us in the know as long as the changes that they are making become official.

If you are having trouble getting found in search regardless of this new feature, you may want to check out my SEO webinar that will walk you through the process step-by-step.



Oh and I also have a private Facebook group you can join and ask questions and my awesome members and I will answer :) JOIN THE GROUP

The Handmade Mastermind - how to sell on etsy