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. I led all of these meetings personally and over several months, went through each and every page on our site with this group.
Among this group were my parents, John and Kay Jacobs who helped me launch several online businesses that eventually grew to become the largest Jewelry, Bead and Findings suppliers on eBay. 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. Throughout this process I was careful to respect the principles in which we were founded.
We concluded that there are many areas for improvement and we began prioritizing projects and allocating resources. It was clear 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. In the next 30 and 90 days you will see updates to the site that match what we are now doing on the new item pages.
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. To support these changes we've added three more servers began a partnership with Amazon S3 to reduce page load times and allow us to grow more quickly.
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.
In addition to working on the shopping experience for buyers we're also rolling out Product Properties as a new section on the Item Listing/Edit page that allows sellers to list more specific details about each item. These details will be displayed to shoppers on the item page in the existing section labeled "product attributes". Product properties lays the groundwork necessary for variants of items as well as meaningful faceted search options for buyers.
We will release more information shortly about several additional upcoming projects we're working on include a redesign of Main Category pages, search result pages, sold item pages, vacation pages and a complete Collections redesign.
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.
John Jacobs, CEO