Introducing Trending and Recommendations on Envato Market

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Note: This post hasn't been updated in over 2 years.

In May, our CEO, Collis, posted the Marketplaces Roadmap 2014, explaining the eight broad areas we’ve been focussing our work on this year. One of those themes is “Finding What You Want“.

Today, we’re excited to announce two new features:  smarter recommendations on your post purchase page after buying something and a new ‘Trending’ filter on all search results pages across all 8 marketplaces.

Staying On Trend

We’ve often had authors tell us that they find it difficult to get their item noticed amongst the many others that are available on Envato Market. When competing with items that have been available for a long time and sold many thousands of licenses, it can be difficult for buyers to locate newer items that might better suit their needs. To help users find undiscovered or fast-rising content, we’ve begun measuring Trends in item popularity across all our sites, so that we can highlight upwards-trending items in search results, as well as allow users to search specifically for trending items.

Trending in Action

How does it work?

We measure the level of “excitement” that we think the community shows for each item within a specified period of time – as buyers interact with an item, by viewing it, purchasing it or rating it highly, we accumulate these interactions into a level of measured excitement that tracks changes over time. We’re able to calculate the “trending-ness” of an item by looking at how excitement levels have increased or decreased recently, and translating this into a score which we can use to compare items with each other. Items which have seen a rapid growth in excitement in a short period of time will be displayed with a “Trending” indicator when seen in search and can be filtered within search results.

Who does it help?

Just like with the improved recommendations, we think that tracking trending items will help both buyers and authors across Envato Market. Buyers will be able to quickly identify newer items that are gaining popularity while they’re still on the upwards rise, and authors will have their efforts in producing quality items recognised more quickly as community engagement takes off. We believe that this will result in a renewed freshness for item results on all of our sites, a better calibre of items being discovered – and therefore more sales.

Smarter Recommendations

For a while now, we’ve been trialing a page that gets displayed to users after they’ve made a purchase on Envato Market. This page not only provides users with a link to download their item files, but it also suggests a number of other, relevant items, that (we hope) might complement the buyer’s latest purchase. Since we began the trial, we’ve been showing featured items that we have curated by hand to ensure that recommended items are all of a high quality, but perhaps not best reflecting the breadth of items available across Envato Market. We have developed a brand new Recommendations Engine that uses data from all of our sites to suggest relevant items based on the user’s latest purchase.

How does it work?

The engine works by recognising patterns within the data we gather from the Market, and translates these dynamically into suggestions for every item, which are updated daily as new information becomes available. For example, if a particular theme is commonly purchased by users who also buy one of a number of photos or audio tracks which complement the theme, we’re more likely to suggest those relevant items to buyers who have purchased the theme. This isn’t the only data we take into consideration however, we also consider things like purchase history, ratings and bookmarks, and furthermore, we’re constantly adjusting the weights given to each in order to ensure the most relevant results.

Who does it help?

We think this new feature will help everyone within the community – our buyers, who are able to discover interesting and relevant items that suit their needs, and our authors, whose items will now be promoted to much wider audiences without any additional work on their behalf. This change also addresses the issue of certain featured items receiving a disproportionate amount of click-through traffic, ensuring a fairer environment for all authors, as recommendations are distributed more evenly while maximising relevance.

We’re really looking forward to hearing your thoughts about these new features, and we hope to deliver plenty more within the second half of this year. We’re excited about the improvements we’ve got planned, and very pleased that we’re finally able to share some of them with you today! Feedback is always welcome, and we’ll do our best to address any concerns that might be raised. It’s all part of our continued mission to make Envato Market the best place to buy and sell creative content online.

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Giancarlo Salamanca

Giancarlo is a back-end Ruby developer for Envato Market, working within the Search and Discovery team.

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