Over the last few weeks we’ve received feedback from some authors expressing concern at the decision to switch the default sort order for category pages from newest items as a default page to best selling.
When we approach these types of changes we aim to balance the experience of customers with the long term best interests of the whole ecosystem including authors. We think very carefully about the changes we make, monitor the results and try to mitigate the negative experiences of authors as best we can.
What We’re Working Toward
This year, we’ve been conducting experiments aimed at improving the variety and discoverability of items that are displayed to customers on category pages. Our intention is to remove category filtering options on the first page of category results for all marketplaces and ensure that different kinds of items (new, established, trending, best selling, featured, etc) and curated items are displayed on the same category page, increasing the likelihood that customers will find what they are looking for more quickly than they do now.
New Sorting Design
To provide more balance in the discoverability of items, as an interim measure while the new category page layout is being tested and optimized on ThemeForest, we will be introducing a new pillbox design that will make the selectable options for filtering more prominent and visible to customers. We will continue to have best sellers as the default sort order.
The new sorting design launches today and will start with a two week A/B test to ensure that it does not negatively impact conversion. If all goes as we hope, it will then be rolled out to 100% of traffic on all marketplaces. It will eventually be replaced by the new category page design as and when it is ready.
We’ll continue to update you on the progress of the category page design rollout as we expand it to more categories and more marketplaces.
How can I increase the sales of my newer items that don’t have a track record yet?
Items that perform the best on Envato Market are those that supplement Envato’s marketing activities with their own. Optimizing your pages for SEO, building partnerships with affiliates, running your own marketing initiatives, etc. The best conversion method is to drive traffic directly to your item page.
Relying solely on the marketing efforts of Envato and the category page (which doesn’t see the most traffic) as your primary exposure is less likely to lead to the results you’re after.
My sales have dropped by X% is it all because of this experiment?
One of the challenges with any marketplace is that there are seasonality and environmental realities that impact impressions and sales. March is a traditionally high month for Envato while April is a lower month. Easter happened in March last year and happened in late April this year.
These are just a few of the more common events but other things that can impact traffic are at play as well (price, design, item description, item name, competition, etc.). Any of these things can factor into individual author performance so picking one thing as ‘the’ thing is unlikely to paint the full picture of what’s going on.
Aren’t authors going to stop publishing new items if they don’t get exposure on category pages?
The majority of traffic to Envato Market is not using category pages to find items. We’re hoping that the new sorting design will further improve the ability of customers to find the item they are after, whether that’s new, best selling, trending or best rated.
We highly encourage authors publishing new items to look for additional ways to improve the exposure of their items. Search engine optimization of item pages, item graphics, item page layout, affiliate partnerships, external marketing initiatives all can help new items be successful.
We’ll be around for the next seven days to answer your questions. Please remember our community guidelines as you post.