Etsy announced the Pinterest-inspired redesign in late April, along with a new feature for creating wedding registries. The category is divided into logical wedding-related subcategories, such as Dresses, Decor, and Rings.
An official blog post indicated that Etsy staff will continually update the category to highlight trends:
“Featured items will change frequently to represent trends in the Etsy marketplace and beyond, and this week you’ll see some of our favorite wedding bloggers and influencers curate a variety of wedding styles, all with items from Etsy.”
The implication that staff members would have a hand in curation did not go over well in the community. The blog post has sparked a week-long forum discussion with about 3,000 participating sellers.
Some sellers observed that the same shops were featured repeatedly in the Wedding category, while others were ignored. Sellers worried Etsy’s staff curators would not feature their items.
“Why isn't [sic] any of the items in the categories rotating,” yourhappilyeverafter asked. “It has been the same shops and items for the last few hours. Is every seller going to get a chance to be featured? If not a majority of us will be invisible.”
An Etsy administrator responded that featured items were based on SEO and search relevancy, not on Etsy staff preferences. However, sellers continued to write that their previously thriving businesses were now losing sales and views, while seemingly unrelated items were featured.
“My views are down 90% and my sales are non exisitent [sic],” wrote a seller who asked not to be named. “I have been in the wedding business for 30 years—this is BIG TIME WEDDING SEASON, where are the buyers? Why can they not find me suddenly? This is not just a coincidence.”
Several sellers copied and pasted email correspondence with Etsy Support over their failing shops. According to an email shared by Shalom Schultz, Etsy staff blame puzzled buyers for decreased sales:
“We're very aware of the buyer confusion that erupted when we released the new design for the category. Many buyers seemed to forget that they could still utilize the search box to find items, and upon reaching the ‘No more items to display’ message within subcategories, they assumed that they'd seen all there was to see.”
According to an Etsy admin statement, the network has no plans to remove the new weddings category. As a result, some community members predict WeddingGate will end with Etsy left alone at the altar.
“I am looking at other venues,” Michelle Woodford wrote. “Not one convo this week from a bride. Unbelievable.”
Photo by Etsy