The last weeknotes (#286) introduced the Smorgasbord work we’d been working on and earlier this week the first release of the work was made public on the homepage, quickly followed by releases on most section pages:
The reaction has been broadly positive (see the comments on this forum thread) . Importantly, the data shows that the conversion rate from people landing on the homepage and interacting with items / work on the smorgasbord is also higher than what it replaced, so we’re happy we’re heading in the right direction. A few things we’ll be working to improve in the near future include the display of social media links and also gift guides.
Some things that confused people this week:
- The number of people looking at Folksy is a rolling figure and so updates regularly (we cache the figure but it is almost real time). If 200 people are looking right now, in 30 seconds a large percentage of these will have been replaced by others. Some people thought that 200 people were looking, and looking, and looking and that that number wasn’t very high. Well, yesterday we had 12,902 people visit (47% new; 53% returning) so the tens and hundreds of people looking at any one time add up to quite a lot every day.
- Being on the homepage is the only way you get sales. No, this is rubbish. Over 50% of people land on items pages direct from Google Search and whilst the homepage is significant for sales, it is principally there to help people start a journey through the site, to create a “product set” of things to choose from. That is what the Smorgasbord and the Pinterest Boards try to do – to inspire people about what kind of things they’d like to see.
- Appearing high in Google search results is all down to how well optimised Folksy is. This is mostly hunkum. Ranking highly is related to a lot of factors, not least is how competitive the market is for the type of thing you’re trying to sell. If you make kindle cases and describe them in a basic way then you’re going to have a harder job appearing high in search results for “kindle case” (results) than someone selling a “handpainted ladybird purse” (results). There’s a lot of misunderstanding about search results and we’ve realised that it probably deserves some elementary blog posts to help people understand what we do and what would be helpful for you to do. Another job!
What else? Sian has been working on a seller pack, content to help new sellers get started on Folksy. I have been planning a workshop for “Building a Micro-Global brand” which we intend to deliver later in the year (Sheffield, London and Bristol are the places we’ve penciled in to run them) as well as running some user testing on Folksy to help us improve the browsing experience. We’ve also had some good preliminary talks with PayPal about improving our payments gateway. That and trying to stay dry and keeping the kids occupied during half term.
Mostly listening to:
(Actually, this could be anything from Smooth FM, which has monopolised my ears this week)
Mostly watching: (let’s ignore the fact that I’m struggling to escape Britain’s Got Talent which the kids seem to have on shuffle) The Trip, series 1 (I missed series one and started on series two, so I’m going back to one and also my roots in the NW)
Mostly reading: Feet in the Clouds.
Mostly eating. Diabetes here we come.