Shopping Cart Updates
The checkout process should be smoother now for buyers. Artfire has made some upgrades to their shopping cart, including making it easier to contact the seller, return to their shop, and remove items from carts and add them to your hotlist instead. Customers will also have added opportunities to include a shipping note.
Artfire has begun redesigning the MyArtFire control panel. The team is working on building a more elegant graphic interface with more consistent navigation and room for the expansion of new features in 2010.
Unlimited Listings For All Members
There is no longer a limit on the number of items sellers Basic members can list on ArtFire.
Rob Kalin, a.k.a. Rokali, returns as Etsy's CEO, replacing Maria Thomas. It seems like there will be a bunch of changes and improvements coming along with this. We already see more transparency and the community's questions being addressed. Some of the improvements we can expect to see are: a new tagline, new category structures, more exposure to supplies and vintage categories, no more gift guides, no more Weekend Deals, a new About page with more detail as to who is responsible for what, less admin-curated areas (including the front page) and a bunch of new seller tools which are being disclosed and refunded fees for returned items. Increased buyer privacy will also be visited, as well as ways to crack down on resellers.
This is exciting! Hopefully we will see some of these changes soon. I'm particulary interested in the new tools and hoping they include tools for discounts, coupon codes and gift certificates.
If you have any questions you'd like to see answered, Rob will be following this thread - http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6384197. You can also ask your questions on Twitter - include @rokali in your post and/or the #etsyq hashtag.
To follow Rob's responses, visit the Announcements section of the forums and look for his "Answering your Questions" series.
This feature is not new but I just learned about it so I figured there may still be a lot of people who haven't heard about. The Etsy Voter was launched around the summer of 2009. It is an interactive tool that allows people to vote on their favorite Etsy items. At the end of the voting period, you can see which items come out on top. Etsy is using the Voter to conduct mini polls and featuring some of the winners in the Storque. The Etsy Voter can be found here.
If you know of any other advances and/or changes, please share them with us.