Little-Known Etsy Features

on Sep 7th, 2011 | in Etsy Tips | 5 Comments

Big sites have a way of accumulating little secrets – features that were put in long ago, tips that have been forgotten, and vestigial quirks. Etsy is no exception. I’m covering three of these little secrets today that even die-hard Etsy sellers might not know about – item previews, Site Search and shipping tricks.

Etsy item previews

The Etsy forums have a feature that will allow you to post a small listing preview of an item embedded into a forum post. Hang around the forums long enough and you’re bound to see a few of these pop up.

How the heck do they do that? It’s simpler than it looks. Simply go to the page for the item you want to post, copy the URL from the address bar, and put it on a separate line in your forum post. Etsy will automatically convert it to a listing preview. Super cool!

Items can also be referenced in Etsy conversations such that they show up in the conversations view as associated with the message. This is done automatically if you click the Contact link from an item page to contact the seller. The message will include an appended link to the item that will make it show up in the conversation view on the other end.

Etsy site search

Most sellers have hooked up Etsy Web Analytics to their Etsy shop, which lets you use Google Analytics to track detailed statistics. Lesser known is that Google Analytics can track searches from within Etsy. This is the same sort of information the Top Keywords section in Etsy’s Shop Stats give you, without the limitation of only 12 results. This can be especially handy if your shop is dominated by one type of item and the keywords for your other items get buried.

Site Search in Google Analytics will also give you more detailed information about how people found your shop – what search page they were on, which category they searched in, and even whether they were using gallery or list view in the search results. Here’s how to set it up.

  • site-searchLog in to Google Analytics and click the Admin button in the upper right.
  • Click on the row that shows your account.
  • Go to the Profile Settings tab.
  • Under Site Search, switch to ‘Do Track Site Search’ and put in this information:
    • Query Parameter: ga_search_query
    • Check strip query parameters out of URL.
    • Do you use categories for site search? Yes.
    • Category Parameter: ga_search_type
    • Check strip category parameters out of URL.

The settings are only applied after saving them, so you won’t be able to see past searches. After a day or two, new Etsy searches will start to show up in GA under Content > Site Search > Search Terms.

Most interesting is some of the additional search information, but it’s harder to spot. In Google Analytics, pull up Content > Site Search > Destination Pages – this shows what pages people landed on in your shop. The destination pages will look like /listing/xxxxxx/item-name, but if you mouse over the URL there’s more information available.

The “ga” tags are appended by Etsy when someone clicks on a link from Etsy search results. They contain a wealth of information:

  • ga_order: The sort order that the customer was using on Etsy’s search results. Corresponds to the sort option on Etsy’s search results page:
    • most_relevant: Sort by > Relevancy (default)
    • date_desc: Sort by > Most Recent
    • price_desc: Sort by > Highest Price
    • price_asc: Sort by > Lowest Price
  • ga_ship_to: The customer’s country code, such as US or GB. Etsy will only show search results from shops that ship to the this country.
  • ga_view_type: The search result view that the customer was using, either gallery or list.
  • ga_page: The page # of search results that the customer found your item on. The page number is zero-based, so add one to figure out the search page number (if you’re in the first page of results, it will show ga_page=0). In the example above, the customer was on page 11 – now that’s dedication!
  • ga_facet: Facet is a fancy term for category in the search world. This will often only contain the broad category from the Etsy search box, such as handmade – but if the customer drills down the search results using the category selection on the left, it will have sub-categories such as handmade/holiday/christmas/ornaments.

Etsy shipping tricks

Etsy has negotiated with FedEx to offer discounted rates on FedEx shipping for Etsy sellers. Save 20% on FedEx Ground and 21% on overnight, two day and international FedEx options. This tip can make a real difference to your bottom line if you use FedEx to ship your orders.

From your Etsy account page, go to Shop Settings > Shipping & Payment and click on the “Save on shipping” link under the Shipping Profiles tab.

If you’re using the US Postal Service rather than FedEx, they offer Carrier Pickup. The postman will come to your door and pick up pre-stamped packages. Combine this with printable shipping labels on Paypal and Etsy shipping will take almost no time out of your day.

These little tips often fall by the wayside since they seem almost too trivial to share. I love finding out about neat Etsy tricks. Do you know any Etsy secrets?

Cover image by Bart van de Biezen on Flickr.
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5 Responses

  1. Cheri says:

    These are all great tips. — Thank you.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you so much for this article! Very helpful!

  3. Laura says:

    Thank you! Just tweaked my GA to start tracking site search. Now have to wait and see if my “words” work at all 😀

  4. Dana says:

    I can’t thank you enough for sharing these tips! I have been busting my brain trying to figure out how to add product pictures to my posts. You are a lifesaver!

  5. Cory says:

    Awesome information especially the Google analytics from within Etsy. I am going to set this up right now. Thanks so much!!

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