All you need to know about Etsy Gift Mode in 2024

Iliyan Oprev
February 5, 2024

January is just around the corner and we have the first big news coming from Etsy. Following the success of the Q4 campaigns, Etsy's CEO Josh Silverman announced big marketing plans about promoting Etsy as the ultimate gifting destination.

To go with this Etsy has unveiled their new product discovery experience that will add new layers to Etsy search and optimization throughout 2024

Etsy Gift Mode and all of the advertising plans Etsy has announced will bring a lot of new dynamics and fresh traffic. Overall this is good news and although you will see some complaining from other sellers, changes to major platforms are always received with mixed feelings. This is even better news because all of the updates to search and discovery are opportunities for stores that are well-prepared and able to adapt quickly and stand-out from the competition. The question now is how to make the most of Etsy Gift Mode in the coming months?

1. How does Etsy Gift Mode work?

The Gift Mode experience comes as a natural progression of the dedicated landing pages Etsy developed during the Q4 Holiday Season campaign. As we've already covered multiple times seasonal marketing and seasonal search happens all year long for a wide variety of occasions. And Etsy's team has decided to craft an entire experience to make gift-shopping easier.

In a nutshell, Etsy has released 200+ landing pages, aka gift guides (that's what they say, we are still counting) with gift ideas for different types of customer personas such as "The Music Lover," "The Video Gamer," "The Adventurer,", "The Pet Parent" and so on.

Etsy Gift Mode - Customer Personas

Each of the landing pages features several core gifting ideas with featured products - in this case we have the Customer Persona of "The Zen Seeker" and the first gifting idea are "Mindfulness Creative Kits".

Etsy Gift Mode - Gifting Ideas

There is a limited number of featured listings around every gifting idea and after that the customer gets a direct link to the search engine via the "Discover more like this" button:

Etsy Gift Mode - link to the search engine

Following this link takes us directly into an Etsy search around the particular keyword phrase:

Etsy Gift Mode - Etsy search

The core concept is fairly simple - finding the right gift can be a daunting task and customers often don't know what they are searching for. For this reason, Gift Mode serves as a new entry point into the search engine. This is very important to understand the new experience and its implications for search and discovery:

  • Gift Mode is an extra layer built on top of the search engine;
  • Instead of having the customer type in a search phrase in the search bar, the Gift Mode links to the search engine do it for them;
  • We follow the same logic of the search engine with the important caveat that since this is not a customer-generated search, there is no "exact" customer intent here;
  • And since these Gift Mode searches are not "exact", we are also looking to optimize broadly relevant products.

2. How to make the most of Etsy Gift Mode?

The best (and the worst) thing about Etsy Gift Mode is that Etsy will be funneling an increasing portion of traffic into predictable search terms.

You know how your shop has hundreds of weird-sounding search phrases with just 1 search hit? Well, now Etsy will be bringing a lot of the traffic together around a few featured searches.

There are 200+ gift guide pages with multiple featured searches on them so "few" is understating the complexity here. But this still represents a limited and manageable amount of search phrases. To illustrate this, these are the big "gates" into the search engine and now we know where exactly they are located. And this is where we want to place our products.

Last quarter we've already seen the kind of boosts these featured searches can provide for well-ranking listings. This is the kind of boost an otherwise underperforming product receives when we rank it for one of these featured searches:

Etsy Featured Search - listing performance

And in Q4 we had only 10-15 gift guides to optimize for, plus they were temporary as we can see above. Now we have 200+ that are very well geared for different customer personas and they will be developed over the year. Working around these personas Etsy has developed may even have a positive impact on conversion rates.

In a nutshell, right now SEO has an additional objective - optimizing as many products as possible for the search terms that are featured across these 200+ gift guides. And for the new ones that Etsy will be releasing throughout the year around key gifting events like Mother's Day, Father's Day, etc.

Tests that we've been running since Gift Mode launched two weeks ago, show us that optimizing high quality-score listings allows us to even rank directly on the gift guide page.

The main complaint that Etsy sellers are voicing right now is that although we have 200+ gift guides, it's difficult to find featured searches that are precisely relevant for some products. We expect Etsy to keep developing Gift Mode throughout most of this year and we will see this fixed over the coming months.

But for now to solve this we need to work around a new SEO concept - what we call "broad relevancy". These Gift Mode searches are not customer-generated so there is no "exact" customer intent here - customers are just browsing around to find inspiration. So we want to optimize broadly relevant products to show up in search and attract them to our stores.

One of the key SEO objectives right now is to map all of these gift guides and to find broadly relevant products that are likely to fit into the featured searches.

To illustrate this - remember the "Mindfulness Creative Kits" search phrase? Guess what, the customer is not necessarily looking for "Mindfulness Creative Kits".

So now a key SEO task is finding a good enough candidate that could fit into this search. Customers ended up here on their hunt for inspiration so they only expect close-enough matches. And the Bad Bitch Energy Affirmation Jar is as good a result as any, right?

Etsy Gift Mode - Bad Bitch Energy Jar

At this point, it's all about SEO.

3. Etsy's Super Bowl ad is coming this weekend

The Gift Mode experience is part of a bigger marketing campaign just as we saw in Q4 with the TV Ads Etsy was running in selected markets.

This time, they've secured a spot in one of the biggest advertising events of the year - the Super Bowl ad spots are one of the most coveted ways to grow visibility in the world of marketing. It's much more than the immediate impact of airing during the game. Some of the best Super Bowl ads take on a life of their own that lasts years after they first ran.

You can already watch Etsy's 2024 Super Bowl ad here.

On top of that Etsy has attracted Drew Barrymore as "Chief Gifting Officer" so they are going full-on with celebrity marketing to attract fresh new traffic and interest in the platform.

One key thing to consider is that we can expect a lot of extra traffic after the Super Bowl ad airs. You can boost your Etsy Ads budget to capture as much of this traffic as possible in the next 2 weeks. This is the first Super Bowl for everyone on Etsy so we still have to see how it will develop but it's a reasonably good strategy to bet on being a first-mover and give this a try.

Etsy's ambition with Gift Mode is to make a strong claim to be recognized as the best platform - for anything, really. Right now, Etsy is a great platform, the 4th biggest marketplace, it's creative and unique but we are still not "the best" at anything. This seems to be a really insightful move and in addition, they are mobilizing big-ticket and celebrity marketing. We will see how it will develop over the next weeks and months but so far it looks promising.  

On the SEO end, we have very clear objectives and SEO has never been more dynamic and involved than this. There is a whole new layer of SEO to target and we are well-positioned to move in there first and to create new boost opportunities before competitor stores catch up.

We have a year of opportunities ahead of us and everything is coming together to help top sellers shine brighter than ever before.

If you become part of the our Etsy growth program we can help you shine as part of the 0.01% on Etsy.

Every challenge hides an opportunity and we are here to give you the edge and make 2024 your best year yet!

Iliyan Oprev
Founder & Managing Partner

Are you looking to grow to $10,000 / month on Etsy?

Take advantage of our rolling discount model for growing Etsy businesses.


Tell us about your Etsy Store


Years on Etsy


Etsy stores supported


Etsy revenue generated