4530 posts Love & Light
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digitalscience says

This has been discussed time and time again, but I really think we need to look at the relationship between sales and exposure.. and whether or not certain files should be getting more exposure over other files. For as we all know, exposure on this site is crucial to sales. To fully understand the exposure issue, we need to look at a case study. Since we are not allowed to post links to files, there is a particular file which would help illustrate the issue, and I’m assuming since this file is created by the creator of this marketplace, I’m sure Collis won’t mind or be offended, if we use his file to illustrate the issue to help improve the marketplace.

So let’s look at one of his files, Black & White template it was designed back in 2008, and is currently the highest selling PSD theme, as a result it is frequently on the popular PSD page. Now in fairness, and I’m sure Collis will agree, this file is outdated, and also considering it’s only 3 pages, with 2 colour variants, it’s not exactly at the same level as newly added PSD themes which have up to 20+ pages. It’s also fairly simple, not having many of the newer social media functionality, blogs, widgets etc. In fairness, I would have to say, considering the quality level since 2008, a file like this wouldn’t even be approved today.

Yet this file consistently sells, and remains on the popular file page throughout the years, considering that space on the popular files page is highly beneficial real estate for high sales to any file. Using this case study, we can apply the same conclusion to most older files with high sales, that tend to stay on popular files pages, regardless of quality levels compared to newer files or if it complies to current web standards.

To rectify this problem, we need some sort of additional exposure mechanism for newer files, because the volume of new files submitted weekly has exceeded the current structure that this site allows for appropriate exposure to ensure longer term sales. As a result large volumes of good files are slipping through this site, and get lost in the abyss.. while occasionally something really outstanding gets enough sales to stick around for a while on popular files pages, amongst files with very high sales from years back.

I think Envato should carefully look at this exposure flaw, and make necessarily improvements to make sure the content, and what files get more exposure remains relevant to current design trends. Otherwise this site is not optimally showcasing to it’s customers relevant content, which only discourages new authors to submit work here, since it becomes increasingly harder to sell newer work.

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graphic_dev says

Very well put!

Some sort algorithm could be used to try to give a better view of popular files. As digitalscience said, a lot of popular files are still selling well because of this advantage inherited from the past when there was less competition. The algorithm could take many things into consideration, for example:

- Demo views/exposure
- Conversion Rate
- Rating
- etc

Easier said than done obviously, but this needs to looked at…

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ThemeVillage says

The example you’re using is selling not because the exposure. It’s selling because it’s featured in the free learn HTML & CSS Tutorial series by Jeffrey Way, where he uses this particular PSD File. Market your files, and they will sell. Don’t expect Envato or anyone else to do that for you. I don’t mean to be rude, I’m just saying that the example in this case isn’t valid for your point.

That said, I’m all for a nice algorithm, that is carefully tested and crafted, which would help not only authors who deserve it, but also Envato with the sales.

Something similar is already visible here ( http://themeforest.net/category/wordpress?utf8=%E2%9C%93&sort_by=average_rating&categories=wordpress ), which may not look like much, but it actually is a pretty dynamic page, as it is entirely rating based.

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bloooming says

Something interesting, not only for authors, but also for buyers, would be a ‘popular NEW items’ page.

The current ‘popular items’ page contains mostly files buyers already know, or already purchased. I wouldn’t necessarily remove it, but add another page with popular items that were uploaded during the last month or so, plus a history navigation for last months favorites.

This way buyers can see whats new and hot without having to sift through the same list over and over again.

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purethemes says

\\

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Parallelus says

I agree with what you are saying. I always have a good laugh at some of the themes that have found a footing in the top sellers list and just “hover” there almost endlessly. Someone compared one of my themes to a best selling item (not to be named) and I thanked them, but in the back of my mind I could only think, “Is my theme that ugly?”

I seriously don’t get the best seller list a lot of times. When you’ve got your number one item with only 4 stars but the next 10+ with 5 stars, it’s probably safe to say there are some popularity metrics in play. People will like things just because other people like them or the perception is that others like them.


Something interesting, not only for authors, but also for buyers, would be a ‘popular NEW items’ page.

Something like an “Up and Coming” list or “Movers and Shakers”. You see this a lot with sites like Digg where time is factored in smaller increments. That’s an interesting idea.

I don’t see any solution in sight. For one thing, half the top selling items look like each other or variations of top sellers from 6 months ago. I think that says a lot.

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dekciw says

Something interesting, not only for authors, but also for buyers, would be a ‘popular NEW items’ page.

The current ‘popular items’ page contains mostly files buyers already know, or already purchased. I wouldn’t necessarily remove it, but add another page with popular items that were uploaded during the last month or so, plus a history navigation for last months favorites.

This way buyers can see whats new and hot without having to sift through the same list over and over again.

^ this

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Parallelus says

Don’t you know there isn’t time to improve ThemeForest. They’re busy putting together a new team to build the next big thing, “MacroLancer” for people who only want really big projects done. :P

Seriously though, how many more big new businesses is Envato going to start before the search is improved or one of the many other things we’ve heard was “coming soon” for years now. How’s it coming with those forums instead of item comments? Almost done? The recent news about the 3 months of hard work by Envato’s brand new team for yet another “marketplace” sort of left a bitter taste in my mouth.

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doru says

\\

spongebob: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8r559C51uE

ah yes, new file exposure.

tricky business. maybe the new user interface specialist will come up with some awesome idea to balance exposure.

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GravityDept says

On the flip side…

Not every author’s business model is pumping out new items. I prefer to support and enhance one lean and powerful item. Just one — and it’s an all-time best seller in its category.

The age of an item has no bearing on its freshness or applicability, nor do recency or frequency of updates. The only valid measure is quality and that is subjective. Old items can stay popular because they’re continually reinvented and improved.

Promoting new items for “newnesses” sake isn’t a worthy cause.

Creating a “popular new items” listing is also just delaying the issue. It won’t be long before people start complaining about how hard it is to get exposure there either. What Envato really needs is faceted navigation. For example:

“Category: WordPress” + “4 stars or higher” + “Is Responsive” + “Updated in last 6 months” + “Order by Sales”

Authors need to focus on items, and not on the 24 hours of home page exposure. There are nearly 3 million items on the marketplaces. Envato cannot give you more than 15 minutes of fame. If your entire marketing strategy relies on that, you’re destined to fail.

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