eBay is changing the way it does business – and the question is are online retailers ready to capitalise? Online retail expert Craig MacCallum gives his top 5 tips on how online retailers can capitalise on these changes.
What’s eBay’s new Product Based Shopping Experience (PBSE) all about? eBay is constantly focussed on improving the shopping experience for buyers so it is in the process of moving away from presenting listing-based search results; instead listings will be grouped by product and product aspects. The reason for this is that hundreds of listings are presented for the same or similar items which makes it difficult for shoppers to select the right item and compare prices. The new PBSE “Shop by Product” grouping will create a short list making it easier and faster for the customer to find and buy what they are looking for. It will also help to validate the authenticity of items for buyers.
Optiseller CEO, Craig MacCallum, comments: “We have already seen the new listing method introduced to a small number of product lines. However, from September 2018 this will be expanded to 12 categories and sellers will need to ensure their product categories match with eBay’s catalogue.”
Craig urges sellers to consider the following top five steps they need to take to prepare for the eBay changes:
1. Be proactive
eBay will continue slowly but surely rolling this out into 2019 , so you need to be sure that you’re ready, especially if you haven’t already started working on your data. Check the categories that are already live and those coming down the line, and then review your existing listings that will be affected, as well as think about what data you need for new listings.
2. Get the right Product Identifiers
These will be used to match products against the eBay catalogue so if you want your products to be included in the groups you must include the correct identifiers, such as MPN and GTIN (UPC, EAN, or ISBN) in the feed you send to eBay.
3. Consider more than just price
With more listings associated to a product in the catalogue, competition for the primary position will be greater. To be the top pick, make sure you focus on all the areas needed to deliver a great buying experience – stock quantity, delivery speed and cost; returns policy, feedback score, seller history to name but a few.
4. Separate out multi-variation listings
You will now need to match each variation of a multi-SKU listing with unique products in the eBay catalogue. Make sure you get the right brand, category and any other specific values.
5. Make sure your listing process is compliant
Whatever you list on eBay – whether you use a multichannel management tool or sell directly – don’t forget to check that your process matches the requirements. Don’t assume everything will work smoothly, make sure you talk to your team / listing partner.
Craig adds: “Focussing on the buyers’ experience is a great initiative, and clearly there is a lot of work online retailers need to do to align themselves with the new eBay strategy. Knowing where to start on your data is often the hard part. It certainly would be a good idea to use a tool such as Optiseller which helps sellers review their current state, and also guides them on the areas that need improving. These tools also take the manual effort and pain away by automatically identifying the correct GTINs and item specifics sellers will need to ensure that products are matched to the eBay catalogue.”