We've received very positive feedback with the new item pages from sellers and shoppers, and have additional improvements and buyer tools on the way. Our goal is to substantially increase page views and time on site with improvements to the overall shopping experience. Our pages now display more items for sale and give shoppers a much better experience on the site. These changes by themselves are not enough though. We also need to bring substantially more shoppers to the site and though we have invested in mobile responsive design and outside advertising we need to do much more. That means the way we serve pages and interact with users will continue to change and be optimized.
The primary reasons marketplaces are chosen over a stand alone website is the expectation of more traffic and sales. To this point in our company's history we have operated under a particular methodology that members items and storefronts were their space and even when we paid to bring in traffic we were careful not to make changes that would allow a shopper to stray beyond that particular sellers items or store. That methodology is not necessarily the prevailing best practice anymore and subscribing to it has put ArtFire behind competitively and financially to this point.
Shortly we’ll be rolling out Adsense advertising as well as Amazon Associates advertising on most item pages in line with other major marketplace principals. When we serve an item page to a shopper it will include more of each seller's similar items; more items in that seller's shop and will now also serve 3rd party ads and suggest similar items on ArtFire to encourage the shopper to stay and continue shopping. Ads are opened in new tabs and data indicates that if the shopper is enjoying the shopping experience the extra tab is quickly closed and shopping resumed.
The majority of the shopper traffic comes to the site from a product search on a search engine which in most cases we pay for. Last year our average page views are just 2.4 before optimizing for mobile which is very low and unacceptable for a marketplace. With our new item page design we have doubled those views and expect to see this metric climb. Our priority is to increase this number and offer a better overall experience which helps everyone of our sellers. Every item on the site is effected by unique visits, time on site and page views and the better these metrics are the more successful we all are. We understand that this may not be the most popular change but it is necessary to keep the site moving forward and deliver on your expectations. Products viewed on a custom domain will be the exception to this change.
Thank you for your support of ArtFire and your continued investment in the community. We will share with you the new products and site upgrades as we get ready to roll them out over the next few months and expect to report improving site sales to you this year.
This post was edited by ArtFirePresident On: