This week we’ve released a few new features on Folksy, some based on improving our search engine optimisation and some things you can see. We release things regularly and in response to a variety of information around user research and data about behaviour. Our single aim is to increase sales. That aim should align with the community of people who use Folksy to sell their work; our key stakeholders. And we are a community. We listen and respond, and work together to support one another.
One feature we released yesterday was in response to information about how people use Folksy and I want to outline this as an example of how we work to support everyone.
Gift Guide Promotions
Some items resonate so strongly with people that they talk about them and share them. The Christmas Rolling Pins from Boon Homeware are a case in point; shared on social media, and viewed nearly 3,000 times in the last 48 hours – our most popular item by eyeballs alone.
Many people rely on the footfall of traffic from those new buyers coming to that product page to then browse around Folksy. This is more serendipitous; some search in categories, others go to the homepage and follow item and seller links and gift guides.
The point I’m trying to make is that, by and large, everyone benefits from everyone else – that is what marketplaces offer. So, in this case, Boon Homeware is giving other sellers on Folksy a net positive benefit because many people go on to look for other things.
Most people arrive on Folksy at the item page level from Google or social media. Item pages are the first sight they have of Folksy and of this community. We’ve worked hard to make sure this page performs well, but still many people ‘bounce’ from the item page – a bounce is when people look at one page and then exit. Items pages are our most significant landing page type, but they are also our highest bounce rate type. We want people to find it easier to browse and to reduce bounce from item pages, while respecting that the item on that page is the key object and the main relationship you want to encourage is to buy that item.
In order to raise sales across the community and reduce bounce rates and help people find things they will buy, we introduced a gift guides promotion on item pages. It’s subtle:
The promotion links through to the gift guides because these have one of the highest conversion rates across the site. Alongside this, we have increased the number and range of gift guides and aim to include as many sellers as possible within them. We will continue to work on more. Gift guides help people to convert into buyers and support existing ways to browse the site, such as categories and shops.
Our analytics show that many people land on an item page and then leave again, almost immediately. Our primary aim is for them to buy the item on that page, but if they don’t we need to find better ways to engage them and stop them leaving the site; by adding the gift guides promotion we hope to give people another clear way into the content and access to browsing generally.
This is a trial and we will be tracking it closely to see how it performs to improve conversion for the *whole community* of sellers, supporting one another to raise sales. If we can raise conversion globally, the community benefits in aggregate.
We have done this with good intentions, and we are listening to your feedback. So please do tell us if there amends you would like to see. Perhaps a link to recently listed items from gift guides too, or a more discreet promo on the product pages? We are open to your suggestions.
UPDATE 16 Dec 2014
We have stopped the testing on the item page gift guide feature and it is no longer visible on Folksy. The experiment was showing that there were *fewer* conversions with the badge (but only marginally) and because of this and the general negative feedback on the release, we have decided to ditch it.
Another means to navigate to gift guides has been deployed and is now viewable on the categories nav (on desktop) and the top of the page on mobile view. This was suggested by quite a few sellers and should be a more effective solution to enable buyers to find what they want as it is in the general categories / search area of the page and is persistent across the main ‘buying’ views on Folksy.