I Heart Etsy great for casual browsing, not for serious shopping

by Kathryn Swartz

Etsy, the web marketplace for all things handmade, still doesn’t have an official iPad app, but there’s a newcomer to the world of third-party offerings—I Heart Etsy. The app, which is optimized for the iPad’s Retina display, aims to offer a more pleasant browsing experience for users over simply viewing the site in mobile Safari. Although the app does have its pluses, overall I found the experience to be mediocre.

First, some pros: I like that the app doesn’t require you to connect your Etsy account. However, I recommend doing so, so that you can capitalize on “favoriting” items of which you’re fond. I also like that the app supports curated treasuries (although you can’t create your own) and the ability to save categories to your favorites list.

On the other hand, I don’t like that I Heart Etsy only supports landscape orientation. Because of the way items pop up, there doesn’t seem to be a reason for this restriction. The app also feels buggy. Items I add to my cart don’t actually appear in my cart in-app (despite the app telling me they’re there). This may be a glitch in the API, because the additions do appear on Etsy.com, but this doesn’t help users attempting to make purchases in-app.

More importantly, the search functionality of I Heart Etsy isn’t great. You can browse categories like on Etsy.com, but there’s no way to drill down items that have already been tagged into categories. Additionally, you can’t access seller stores directly, or view other items a seller may currently be offering.

I Heart Etsy is fine for casual browsing but I’ll be sticking to the real site for my actual shopping needs.

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