How Depop ranks search results and recommends listings

Depop is a global fashion marketplace, where buyers and sellers connect and exchange unique items. Depop uses a search algorithm and recommendation systems to offer you a personalised experience and help you to discover items that you’ll love. 


How does Depop’s search algorithm work?

When you search for an item on Depop, and sort the search results according to ‘Relevance’, our algorithm takes a number of factors into account to determine which listings to show to you, and in what order. These include:

  • The relevance of the listing to your search terms (i.e. the word or phrase you entered when searching). This involves matching your search terms to the listing description, brand, category, colour etc. of items for sale on Depop, and showing these listings to you.  For example, if you search for “Zara black bag”, we will show you listings from the brand Zara, in the bag category, with the colour listed as black. Relevancy has the biggest impact on the ranking of items in search results in response to your search query, with the most relevant items being shown first.  
  • The popularity of the listing, as inferred by how many views, likes and ‘add to bags’ an item has so far, with the more ‘popular’ listings being ranked more highly than others.
  • The seller’s location setting. We will primarily show you listings from the country you have selected in your preferences.
  • Your shopping habits, for example, which brands, styles, sizes and prices you like. These are inferred by our recommendation systems (more info on Depop’s recommendation systems below)
  • When the item was listed. Newer items are slightly favoured in the ranking than older ones, however, this has significantly less influence than other factors such as relevance. 
  • Information about the seller of each listings, for example, how many items they have sold and how many views their items have.
  • Whether an item has been boosted or not. Boosted listings which our algorithm views as relevant to your search query will rank more highly in search results than listings which have not been boosted. Learn more below under heading Impact of Boosted Listings on ranking of search results.

Sorting search results:

When you select to sort your search results by price or listing age, the algorithm only considers the following factors before sorting they results by the criteria you have selected:

  • The relevancy of the listing to your search terms
  • The seller’s location 


Impact of Boosted Listings on ranking of search results

Boosted Listings is Depop’s in-platform advertising service, which enables sellers to promote or ‘boost’ their listing in search results to reach a wider audience. Sellers who boost their listings are charged an 8% boosting fee on the total transaction amount (the cost of the item plus taxes and any shipping costs arising from the seller arranging their own shipping) if their item sells via a boosted tile, in addition to Depop selling fees and transaction fees. 

You will see boosted listings appear throughout search results in boosted tiles, which are tagged with a ‘boosted’ icon to help you to distinguish these from other listings. 

Our algorithm ranks boosted listings separately from organic listings by displaying the most relevant boosted listings to your search query in boosted tiles, which are tagged with a 'boosted' icon. For this reason, boosted listings may appear more highly in search results than organic listings, because the number of boosted listings that are relevant to your search query is likely to be much lower than the number of relevant organic listings. 

The same factors that determine the ranking of organic listings set out above also determine the order in which boosted listings are ranked, with relevance being the most important factor. Sorting your search results does not impact the order of boosted listing results.

Read more on Boosted Listings here

How do Depop’s recommendation systems work?

In order to create the best shopping experience possible, Depop uses recommendation systems to personalise the listings shown in search results and in the recommendation-based sections of the homepage, for example ‘Suggested for you’ and ‘Based on your likes and saves’. These recommendation systems show you listings that you may be more likely to purchase, considering the following factors:

  • Your previous shopping habits, for example which sort of listings you typically view, like, add to bag and buy
  • Information you provided when you signed up to Depop, for example the country you live in
  • Information you provide in the ‘Interests and sizes’ section of your account settings, such as your preferred styles, brands and sizes
  • The shopping habits of other Depop users who appear to have similar interests to you. For example, if Buyer A and Buyer B have similar interests and Buyer A likes listings 1, 2 and 3, Buyer B may also be shown listings 1, 2, and 3 

The relative weighting of these factors varies from user to user. For example, the more you purchase on Depop, the more that we will recommend items similar to those you  have bought in the past, rather than the preferences you chose when you signed up to Depop. On the other hand, if you are a new user,  we will primarily rely upon the preferences you entered at sign-up to recommend listings to you. 


Impact of Top Seller or verified status on search results

A seller's Top Seller or verified status does not have an impact on the ranking of their listings in search results or the recommendation-based sections of the homepage, and other than via Boosted Listings, Depop does not offer sellers a higher ranking in exchange for compensation or additional fees. 


How to influence the listings Depop recommends you

Our recommendation systems quickly learn your interests from the listings you view, like, add to bag and buy. As a result, one of the most effective ways to influence what you are recommended is to browse Depop, engaging with the listings that you might like to buy. You can also influence the listings recommended to you by entering your preferences in the ‘Interests and sizes’ section of your account settings, for example, which sizes you typically buy.

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