New Etsy Layout – Seller Quick-Start Guide

The New Etsy Infographic

What started as a few screenshots for comparison got out-of-hand… we hope it helps you visualize the important opportunities the new Etsy layout offers up to you as an Etsy seller!

Click on the graphic to see it at full-size!

new etsy layout guide everythingetsy

Have you seen the new Etsy “browse pages” layout?

What about the new Home Page?

I happened upon a totally new home page today that then vanished! Poof! I’m guessing it was just a quick test of something they’ll be rolling out very soon. It is very different!

We created a little infographic to point out some new stuff and to help etsy sellers get used to the new layout. You can see that here.

I also prepared the following quick-start guide to helping you get the most mileage from the opportunities this new layout brings along with it.

1. Photography Rules

Great pics will get picked!

We’ve always talked about how important photography was to success selling on Etsy. Well, that just took on a whole new meaning.

The entire purpose behind this redesign is to get shoppers to browse more. AKA – more clicks on the site. Etsy has been watching this for awhile and they found that (no surprise here) people click on the pictures. So, to get more clicks and keep people browsing longer, Etsy redesigned to use more pictures.

But they can’t use just any ol’ picture. It has to be beautiful. It has to be engaging.

If you think your pictures are good enough, you’re wrong. Never, ever, ever stop working on getting better pictures.

Here are some resources to help you get great pictures.

2. Pay Attention to Categories and Sub-Categories

Do you ever scratch your head and wonder what people will buy? Well wonder no more because Etsy has done all the heavy lifting for you. The answer is plain to see.

ImageJust look at what categories Etsy has chosen for the new Browse Pages…

  • Art
  • Home & Living
  • Jewelry
  • Women
  • Men
  • Kids
  • Weddings
  • Supplies
  • Vintage
  • Accessories for iPhone
  • Halloween

The last two on the list are probably part of an in-house experiment. They show ‘Accessories for iPhone’ to one person and then something else to the next. Experiment or not, there must be a big market for that or it wouldn’t be there.

Which of those top-level categories fits your shop? Which could you make your shop fit within if you had to make some changes? Being outside of all major categories will usually mean more of an uphill battle for you. Try to be in one of these groups.

Then look deeper. Click on Kids for example (will open new window). The next browse page will take you to a more detailed grouping of more fine-tuned categories. Such as:

  • Costumes: Capes (it’s October 11 today)
  • Backpacks
  • Racks & Shelves
  • Hooded Bath Towels
  • Wall Decals
  • Tables

Some of these are going to randomly change, but some will be consistently present. You should try to find the place where your creations can have a happy love relationship with one of these sub-categories.

Use your shop sections to categorize your items into these same groups. So if you sell Hooded Bath Towels, that’s what you should name your shop section, even if you prefer a cuter name!

You should make sure that you include those words in your item description, titles, and tags as well.

This is SEO 101, not just for Google, but also for Etsy internally. If you know what the Etsy supercomputer is searching for, then you know how to raise your hand and say “I have that!”.

Here are some SEO resources to help you get an idea as to what works. The concepts are universal.

Etsy also has a brand-new guide to getting found in browse:

How to Get Found in Browse

3. Find The Median Price Instantly

We’d have to be naive to think that the Etsy algorithm doesn’t look at pricing. That would be foolish, right? When you get down to a browse page with actual items on it you’ll see a beautiful page full of wonderfully handmade and awesome vintage (now mixed together) items. And you’ll see the the prices, appropriately in green.

It only takes a second to scan the page looking only at the prices. You’ll usually notice a median level. A few low-end and a few high-end items will be there too, but an interesting majority will be in a similar middle range.

A quick look at the kids costumes, capes, page tells me that the “going rate” for a handmade cape is about $30.00 or so. Of the 60 items on the first page, about half of them were between $20 and $40 bucks.

This is great for sellers! You can quickly see how your pricing compares to the “average” number and use that information to tweak your own offering. Where do you want to be? High, low, or in the middle?

Here are a few resources to help you with pricing your items:

4. Try Different Photo Sizes


Here’s what I know… Etsy wants a variety of pictures on the page. That adds to the visual interest of the page and makes the site feel better and work better.

So as much as I’d love to think I’ve stumbled upon an awesome etsy hack and say “be sure to use large pictures (aka tall)”, I really don’t think that’s going to work by itself.

I don’t have much doubt that the taller images will convert better, but you can’t control which one of your images gets picked.

I think the best plan is to be able to raise your hand and say “I have that size” no matter which size the etsy supercomputer is looking for. So that means, for each item, upload a variety of sizes. Have a tall, a square, a wide, and a couple standard 4×6 sizes in both landscape and portrait orientation.

Here are a few free tools you can use for photo cropping and editing online:

What’s Your Opinion of the New Etsy Layout?

Let’s talk about it in the comments and don’t forget you can include a link to your Etsy shop with your comment by putting your shop name in the box provided!


  1. says

    I think it looks great!
    so far the only thing that I do not like is apparently the browse pages are curated by Etsy staff {browse and browse page #2 in your infographic}.
    So it seems like we will still have much of the same problems as the front page, namely a lot of the same sellers being featured over and over and over….

  2. says

    Really? You read that it was curated by real people! That sounds hard to manage fairly with hundreds of thousands of shops. I wonder how that’s going to work?

    **UPDATE: I thought maybe we missed something really important so did more digging. Only the first page, which is more like a “visual navigation menu” than an actual shopping page is curated by people. The second level pages (any page with actual items and prices) is done by the system. I’m glad to verify this because human selection would throw things like keywords, categories, tags, etc. out the window.

    I found verification of this here:

    Here’s the words I was looking for:

    The main shopping sections and subsections of browse pages, accessed using the links at the top of each landing page, are populated by our system with relevant items from all across the marketplace.

  3. says

    I agree with Diana… seems like the same old featured sellers will be featured. And it seems that unless you have very good photography skills or a professional photographer you are pretty much screwed on getting your items infront of customers – I love making the items I sell… but photography is not really my craft.

  4. Jessica says

    I think the new look is more visually appealing, and it does give more sellers a chance to be “featured” since there is a “front page” for every category. However, this system does reward those who have superior photography. Those of us who cannot afford to have our items professionally photographed probably won’t be featured on the handpicked page (which is where I think a lot of shoppers will click). I like to think that my photos are pretty good, but I’m not a photographer — and is it fair that I shouldn’t be featured as often as those who might be able to afford a great camera or editing software? But those are the downsides to an online business!
    Overall the change seems to be a more comprehensive way for shoppers to find something when they aren’t sure what it is they are looking for, and as an etsy shopper as well, I think that is valuable.

  5. says

    oops, sorry, I did mean the 1st “page” and the 1st browse “page” are curated by Etsy staff {as shown on the infographic as “browse page #1” and “browse page #2”}
    the rest of the search pages are still going to be ‘relevancy’ based… sorry if that was not clear enough in my comment.
    {but my original concern still stands, curated by Etsy staff does not seem … fair {? for lack of a better word}
    since the whims of Etsy staff may not reflect all buyers and sellers equally… IMO

  6. says

    I agree that anything that’s good for shoppers is good for all sellers on Etsy because it just builds the community as a whole.

    But I really hate for you guys to be frustrated about the photography. It’s not as hard as you might think. Kim uses a pretty inexpensive digital camera and gets great pictures! Natural light has a lot to do with it. And trying different background surfaces.

    The photo editing sites linked to in the post are really very full-featured. The days when you needed expensive stuff to get great pictures are gone!

    There really isn’t a “handpicked page” to worry about. The second browse page is just a menu to get people to decide exactly what they want to look at. After that it shows a computer generated page that should be a relatively level playing field and all sellers should be able to get found there.

    I think it’s great to see the handpicked top-level browse page because it’s inspiring and puts people in the mood to buy. Clicking on those pictures could very well lead a shopper right to you!

  7. says

    Thanks for the update Diana.

    I think I see where we’re on different “pages” ! Ha!

    Some categories have two levels deep of “menu” type pages. Those aren’t pages with any prices or any items for sale. They are just designed to get shoppers quickly to the right category of stuff.

    The infographic shows a top-level browse page which is curated, but that’s really not even the right word. They just pick an awesome picture to represent a category. The picture links to the category, not the item or the shop unless you click on the tiny link.

    The second browse page in the graphic “Browse Page #2” is not a curated page. That’s a computer generated page. It has actual items for sale and shows the prices.

    If you see the prices and a whole bunch of items (about 60) then the page you’re looking at is based on relevancy and other criteria.

    It just so happens that the category we chose for the infographic only had one top-level page and then went straight to a page with actual item/shop links on it.

    I hope I’m not confusing the issue.


    BTW – for anyone who wonders who the heck I am, I’m Kim’s husband, do all the tech/design/seo stuff for the site and shops and write some of the business content for EverythingEtsy and

  8. says

    I think it’s great! Pictures are where it’s at! I think it’s perfect timing and the switch to the pinterest-like screen I think will bring more sales…

  9. says

    I agree that the new format is pretty. My issue is that we are now forced to pigeonhole our items, or at least market to a very narrow set. I’ll sew for anyone – men, women and children. I’ll also sew items for gifts and for your home, sometimes for holidays & sometimes for everyday use. If I narrow my focus to fit into one particular group, then I’m limiting my potential sales. :(

    I’m open to suggestions as to how to handle that issue!

  10. says

    I think it is really important to take great photos, it is just something that you have to practice with, or try using a free photo editor like Picasa to get better results. Remember people can’t touch your things for real, or know the quality of your things, so it is up to you to capture and present your item in the best possible way.

  11. Laura says

    Thank you for making these changes very clear. I noticed a lot of talk in the forums and that just made it harder to understand. People don’t take change well. Although I’ve been online for awhile I feel like I’m just now starting to “get” it so I feel like a newbie still. I’m planning to use this as a new starting point for my shop.

  12. says

    I have to agree with Karin, are we going to be limited to what we want to make in order to fit into the category chosen by etsy?
    Tim, thank you for explaining, I was made aware of this change on the forums, but it was not very clear, now I understand what it is all about.

  13. says

    This is all very interesting. I agree with the pigeon hole effect the new browse categories system creates. I make jewelry, and none of the options available on the front browse page directly apply to my pieces. However, I am not going to tweak my listings to make them fall into these categories. I have done that before and I find that these categories get flooded and your pieces become lost quickly.

    I think it’s important to remember that Etsy is a business. 99% of the changes they make are to benefit sales, in return making themselves more money. Change is never easy to adapt to, however it’s necessary and we all need to try and hang in there and make the best of it.

    As far as photography goes, it really doesn’t take much to get a quality picture. I use my i-phone and a homemade white box for my photos. I use Photoshop for my editing, but those other programs work great too. It takes a little practice and its definitely time consuming, but once you begin to see results, you will start to enjoy it. Reach out to people and ask questions when you are frustrated. I know I will answer anyone who asks! Not to say that my pictures are flawless, but I have been featured and am proud of my images considering I’m a jeweler, not a photographer :)

    DogPawDesigns, your photography is beautiful and I could easily see it making it to the front pages. I do however agree with you that the same sellers are always being featured. That gets pretty frustrating. Again, on the same note as before. It’s usually because what they are selling is trendy and is selling well…. making Etsy money.

    These are just my thoughts! May be wrong, may be right, either way, keep up the good work everyone!

  14. says

    Thank you so much for posting this info, it helps to see it from this perspective and broken down in such a sensible way.

    I’ve been a seller for over a year and a half and I admit I’m having trouble adjusting to these new search parameters. This has been my worst month on Etsy and I can’t figure out what else to do to work my way onto the browse pages. I’ve adjusted titles and keywords to match the browse categories, yet my shop suddenly seems invisible.

  15. says

    I just want to add that I’ve been polling my regular customers lately on this new feature and have found that the vast majority aren’t even using browse. Almost everyone still looks for what they want by searching from the main search bar, or they go directly to a shop they already know. If people do go to Etsy’s home page and look around it’s only once in awhile.

    In light of this I wouldn’t worry too much about fitting within the browse categories. It’s something to think about, as it will probably help draw in new customers who just happen to find you by browsing, but I’d say it’s more important to focus on things that will get you found and noticed in search (photos, keywords, etc).

    Just thought I’d share in case others were a bit concerned like I have been…

  16. says

    I discovered the new way of searching this morning, when I clicked on “vintage”. Love the way it looks, clean, not just straight lines of photos. But, since I sell mostly vintage, I clicked on a couple of categories, to see how they get categorized from there. I was very much pleased to actually see one of my items that I had re-listed a while earlier. I thought, ok, they put on here the latest things that have been listed or re-listed, but no, because the other item that I re-listed almost immediately following the one that appeared, was not there. That is when I went in search of “how Etsy is picking which items to appear”. Came across your blog here. This whole thing has totally opened my eyes! I think I can now, maybe, figure out how to improve my search looks on my items!

  17. says

    Thank you so much for the great post, it was really helpful this morning as I noticed last night that Etsy featured our “Juliet” Woo Woo Tag in the Valentine’s Day browse category on the home page! I was so very excited as this is almost my fourth year on Etsy between my first shop and now 9 months into my new shop – Woo Woo Workshop and to be featured feels pretty special…

    thanks for being such a great resource for all of us!

    much love,
    Melissa :)

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