Etsy Debuts Personalized, AI-Powered ‘Gift Mode’

For some people (including me!), gift-giving is as anxiety-inducing as speaking in public, but Etsy has a present for us. The marketplace’s new Gift Mode is an interactive hub, powered by AI and human curation, that’s designed to provide a one-stop experience for any gift-giving occasion.

“Gift Mode helps solve two of the most vexing problems for givers,” wrote Etsy CEO Josh Silverman in a blog post. “One, finding the perfect gift, something that feels creative and personal even if the giver doesn’t know a ton about the recipient. Two, relieving the stress around procrastination and the gift arriving on time.”

Gift-givers enter a few details about the person they’re shopping for and the occasion, and Gift Mode’s machine learning technology matches givers with unique items from Etsy sellers. The gifts are categorized by more than 200 recipient personas, from pet parent to adventurer. Givers also can create a “teaser” for the recipient, including a gift note, tracking information and a sneak peek of the item, or they can leave it a surprise until it arrives.

“Gift Mode makes it effortless to be thoughtful by harnessing the power of our expansive collection of 100 million+ items and bringing curation to scale,” Silverman wrote. “It serves up a bespoke collection of results for each persona, elevating exceptional gifting options from Etsy’s sea of choices.”


He added that the launch is the “first chapter” of Etsy’s investment in the gifting space, promising new features “to help people stay on top of their gifting needs, and make it so that even if they’re late they can still be thoughtful.” Additionally, Gift Mode will be heavily featured in Etsy’s marketing, including new TV advertising that will debut during the Super Bowl.

Etsy has been facing increased competition from other marketplaces, particularly those that cater to crafters and creators, such as the MakerPlace by Michaels marketplace that debuted in November 2023. Even before the Gift Mode debut, Etsy had been moving further into the gifting space to differentiate its offerings, introducing a wedding registry in May 2023 and a baby registry in August. Additionally, Etsy debuted image search on the iOS version of its app in November 2022.

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