Cracking title that. A good filter which says “this is going to be a bit technical and so may not be for me”. Anyway I want to address something which some of you have raised in the last couple of months, namely the keywords on item pages, those words which describe your item, but when ‘clicked’ bring back *everything* on folksy with that keyword or tag. These things:
A few people have emailed to say how they don’t like it that shoppers can easily click away from their item to other things. I want to address this by arguing how the design and the architecture of the site supports buyers *and* sellers and that a collective solution is one that will benefit individual sellers too.
So, this is a typical example of the ‘complaint’:
Those random keywords distract buyers and encourage them to leave my shop! when people are in my shop i want them to stay there. My keywords should be in my shop only.
The keywords are actually generated by the items you use to describe your item and are designed to help the buyer navigate across items they are interested in across the whole site. So, if you produce handbags the keywords would help them find handbags from your shop too and navigate across the site. Now, you might not think this is good but actually it *does* support you because it means users can easily get to your item from someone else’s item. It makes the site easy to use and if the site is easy to use then people will use it and buy things. Our research has shown that it benefits everyone to have the site architected in this way – buyers and sellers.
But why not provide the keywords after check-out? That would keep people interested to have a look at something else.
We do a *lot* of research for many clients looking at exactly this issue and what we currently have supports the buyer. In the “research” phase of the buying process people filter a “product set”, a set of products they like (there are very few ‘spontaneous’ point-of-sale type purchases on a site like Folksy). This ‘filtering’ is done within categories or in keyword browsing and to do this effectively people need to be able to get around the keyword or category easily – that is through “horizontal browsing”. Now, you might not think that this strategy supports *you* but if we design the service to support buyers then they will buy. People only buy what they like and making it harder for them to find things will not make them buy your things – it will just make them leave the site altogether. So, you may see it as a distraction, we believe buyers see it as helpful and that site sales will benefit as a result.
A good analogy is with the supermarket shelf. Things are organised by brand but they are all put together – baked beans for example. By allowing customers to see all of the same things in one place and find them easily you increase the likelihood of a sale across all of those items.
So, does this make sense? I appreciate it may seem counterintuitive to give people links away from your page but Google have been doing well out of telling people to go away for a while now :D What do you think? One of the things we may be able to do going forward is prioritise the shop’s items amongst *all* the other items when clicking on a keyword. But it would be good to have your thoughts on this issue first. Leave comments here or on the forum – thanks :)