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digitalscience says

Before we start with this analysis, I’d like to point out the following: Items shown are purely for illustrative purposes to get my point across, not calling out any authors or particular files. We need to look at real sales data, to understand the issue.

Lets assume we are a buyer, and we’ve just discovered the Envato marketplace, so naturally we might find ourselves on the home page. Now the buyer at first glance should be drawn to the “New Items” section, if they’re looking for the latest stuff. They might scan through some of the new items – at this point it’s difficult to tell which items are good and which aren’t since they all have low sales. (See below)

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So they might choose the link at the bottom “View all items” – which brings them to the page below. Again this page is not extremely useful because everything shows low sales so it’s not clear what is good.

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Keep in mind the screen above is exactly the same items they’ve already seen from the home page previously, so of course they’re going to use the filter options. Now what options do we have for filtering

1) Date ( They’ve already seen new files with low sales, and no one wants to sort by the oldest files)
2) Author ( If they are new to the site and don’t know any authors, this a pointless filtering option)
3) Category ( This basically shows all the items in the first category starting alphabetical, again pointless)
4) Rating ( Semi useful, except there are so many 5 star files, it’s hard to figure out which really is the best)
5) Price (So they’re either going to see the most expensive files, or the the cheapest, again not really useful for finding good value for money files.

So the only useful option is to filter by Sales. They’ve already seen items with low sales count twice ( “home page” and “view all items” page ) so naturally they’re going to want to see the highest selling items. Which brings us to the page below:

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Now lets rewind and say the buyer is back on the home page and instead of clicking “View all items”, they decided they wanted to see the most popular items for the best files. They would see this page below:

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So to recap, those two links pretty much ended in the same destination. Now let’s rewind, and say the buyer was back on the home page, and let’s assume they were interested in an HTML template, so they click on “Site templates” on the new items section seen below which will show all new items for that category.

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They might scan through some of the items, but because they’re new items with low sales, again it’s not a good indication of what is good, so they might assume the links at the bottom “View all items” and “Popular items” are for that particular category, so similar to the previous scenario when they click on either link, they’ll just end up at the same destination as before which is this page

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Conclusion:
The only page new items have for exposure is the home page, and as I have shown here, it’s easy to see how a user can most likely end up on the same popular page from browsing new items. Also keep in mind new items have an extremely short exposure window (can be less than a day), where as popular items have 7 days to 3 months exposure on a single page which already has high traffic. So why does each category on the new items section always link back to the popular files of the whole marketplace?

Solution:
Each category already has it’s own popular files page, so “View all items” should link to all items of the particular category and “Popular Files” should link to popular files of the category. The user has already filtered that he wants to be in a particular category, so why should the sub links take him back outside of the category? This is confusing, misleading and just driving traffic to the same all time top selling files.

Once a buyer has selected to be in a category, all sub links should pertain to that category, so they can find the best files in that category.

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sightsignal says

Nice analysis… and your solution should be obvious to everyone, which probably means the devs didn’t notice those links aren’t going to a specific category as they should. I mean, it’s the first time I notice this so… maybe they forgot… stranger things have happened around here. If, on the other hand, this is by design then it’s just bad.

There’s something I don’t understand about the “new items” area. If there’s a buyer coming in for the first time to the marketplaces, why is there so much focus on such a big area filled with items with barely any sales? If anything, the featured items section should actually be bigger and have another line of thumbnails, to act as bait for first time buyers to stick around.

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digitalscience says

There’s something I don’t understand about the “new items” area. If there’s a buyer coming in for the first time to the marketplaces, why is there so much focus on such a big area filled with items with barely any sales? If anything, the featured items section should actually be bigger and have another line of thumbnails, to act as bait for first time buyers to stick around.

True, but this is another topic – the best solution would be a row of thumbnails showing new items which are selling well…... e.g. “Popular New Items” this could update on a daily basis…. Similar to how Top New Authors page works with a limited time period.

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BoxyStudio says

Another idea would be to have a page that’s somewhere in the middle…

So instead of the MOST popular files, how about an “Up and Comers” list, displaying product that have been added only in the last month or so, sorted by sales (or better yet, sorted smartly by calculating popularity based on a mixture of sales, rating, comment activity, etc.).

Another page that I’d love to see is a “Recently Updated” list of files that are the most popular recently updated files. Right now there’s absolutely no way to get your 3 year old theme noticed, even if you pack it full of great new features and release it as an update. Under the current model, you’d be better of deleting the old product and re-uploading a brand new one, which is not what customers want and frankly not what Envato ultimately wants. Updated files need some exposure. Something like “Popular Updated Files this Week” would be great.

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BoxyStudio says

“Popular New Items” this could update on a daily basis…

Yeah we’re thinking along the same lines. ;) Make the popular files narrower in time (daily would be amazing) and we’ll see different results each day.

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VF says

A suggestion:

What about adding a new page that shows all the items uploaded in the last week – regardless of number of uploads? Actually the number of items will be nearly same every week, so the buyers wont miss browsing new items and they can view them whenever they have convenient time in a week. Also this will help syncing the weekly popular item’s exposure.

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Carmen says

Hey digitalscience,

Great work taking the time to investigate this. We’re certainly looking at ways to promote a larger variety of authors and files with improvements to search and the home page. I’ll make sure to forward this feedback on to the right people. :)

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W3Themes says

A suggestion: What about adding a new page that shows all the items uploaded in the last week – regardless of number of uploads? Actually the number of items will be nearly same every week, so the buyers wont miss browsing new items and they can view them whenever they have convenient time in a week. Also this will help syncing the weekly popular item’s exposure.

+1 For item uploaded in last week. And also their should be a featured item in each category for a week.

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ninzio says

Really cool ideas guys +1 +1 +1

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huykhong says

Marketplace issues, +1 for your ideas

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