Our team recently concluded a several month study of best practices for improving total site sales and shopper experience on ArtFire.We hosted a series of meetings with experienced e-commerce users to review the entire shopper/buyer and seller experience on the site.
We discussed our personal experiences, reviewed conversion data, researched key requirements and expectations of shoppers and merchants based on case studies from other marketplace and online sites. We made prioritized lists of industry best tools and methodology for online sellers, and noticed several key differences in philosophy among various successful competitor sites.
We concluded that our immediate focus had to be on providing a substantially better shopping experience and strengthening our relationship with every visitor to the site. The importance of connections between merchants and shoppers was underscored many times throughout this process and is now a top priority.
The new mobile responsive item pages launched February 27th and featured a better design and more neutral color palette. Most importantly these new pages included more options to keep shoppers engaged with over 100 items available per page. We added additional information and put a list of the merchants’ shop categories, and similar items that the shopper might be interested in, on each page. This redesign immediately increased the time spent on site and page views per visitor by 50% and resulted in a 2000% increase in the number of items served per shopper.
The new Favorites (heart) button is prominently displayed on every item throughout the site and allows the shopper to add items, shops and collections to their custom feed. Items can be added to lists right from the item page or sorted at a later time. Shops that are favorited by a shopper will soon feed new items to that shoppers custom feed. The key to the success of building this system is the ease in which shoppers can open a free account with ArtFire. When a heart is clicked for the first time the shopper is prompted for an email address and password then allowed to continue choosing items. Once this first contact is made we create a custom shopping experience each time that shopper returns, and we can continue that relationship with a custom email feed of the items that shopper prefers and likes, including newest items from her favorite merchants.
The new sold item page delivers a much better experience when items that were shared in a Collection or on a social media site have been sold. The shopper is now offered similar items from that merchant and an additional contact button to request a similar or custom order. These pages also now display more items and similar shops the shopper may be interested in visiting while on the site.
The new Sold Item page, (along with the recent new Active Item page) increases time spent on site, page views and number of items offered to each shopper. Shoppers can also favorite a shop or a sold item from this new page which allows your item to be displayed in lists longer and improves the likelihood that a shopper will return to your item or shop later. The new Sold Item page will index better and for longer on search engines as well.Collections and Lists
Collections are in the process of being converted to Lists as part of a larger overall project to increase interaction and connections between shoppers and merchants. Lists can be named and described just like Collections and include as many items as you’d like to add to each list. Soon you’ll be able to share and display your lists publicly or view them privately. Shoppers can comment on, and follow your lists. When a shopper follows your list, new items added to that list will contribute to that shopper’s custom feed. New feeds customized for each shopper are also part of this project.
When a shopper favorites your shop and items your items will more often be shown to that shopper along with trending lists and most loved shops and items across the site. Favorite counts from the old Favorite system have all transferred over to the new system so that popular shops and items are still ranked and included in your affinity score.
Improved Processing Speed
Many of the changes the site will undergo this year include serving substantially more items and much richer pages to shoppers. This requires us to continually optimize pages and improve our ability to handle large amounts of data. We’ve recently partnered with Amazon S3 to improve site speed and anticipate that we’ll add several additional servers this year to stay ahead of growth. Our indexing and search servers are under increasing load and will be upgraded again this week.
Soon you’ll see a change to suggestive search that will require even more computing resources but will make discovery of items much more intuitive. I’m pleased to report that through the recent changes our page load times have improved and will continue to do so.
I’m excited to share these improvements with you and look forward to crafting an even more effective and profitable marketplace with you this year. Sincerely, John Jacobs, CEO