We've made a few recent changes to the site that I'd like to share with you.
New Sold Item Page
The most visible change this week was a redesign of the Sold Item page that now encourages more interaction by shoppers. This new 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. Whereas the old Sold Item page was more likely to result in a shopper clicking their back button and leaving the site as it only displayed a single item that’s not-for-sale.
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.
Incorrectly Categorized Items (commercial)
Moving forward I've instructed our staff to be far more strict with enforcement of proper categorization of items. With our renewed focus on a better overall shopping experience we'll continue to introduce improved reporting protocols. We have just introduced a better system for catching incorrectly classified items and moved thousands of items to the commercial section this week. The quality of our search results and relevancy of items displayed in categories will continue to be a focus as standards for merchants come more inline with industry standards. To that end we will soon ask our current merchants to update and verify contact information on profiles. Much of the information that was optional in the past will soon be required to be provided in order to sell on the site. This is an important step towards being able to better guarantee a quality experience on the site and reduce fraud.
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.
Messaging: Report SPAM or Abuse
We've received an increased level of abuse complaints with the internal messaging system which we're addressing with a few changes. Using the messaging system will now require at least a Shopper account with ArtFire and new measures are being added to detect abuse of this system. Shortly you will see a Report this Message option in the message center that will help alter ArtFire’s staff to problems and ultimately reduce unwanted solicitations.
In addition to these projects we've got a full list of improvements underway that will increase the success of merchants, strengthen connections and deliver an amazing shopping experience for buyers. Thank you for your continued participation and contribution to the success of the ArtFire marketplace and community!