In this series of 2 posts we share the highlights and takeaways from the eBay UK Business Roadshow tour. This post focuses on eBay listing optimisation.
All the signs point toward a difficult year for retail. 2023 for many online retailers will be about security: securing good product, securing decent margins, securing cash flow. In a nutshell, securing the business for 2024.
So it’s a great time of the year for seeing what the big marketplaces are going to to be focusing on to help sellers consolidate their business and buyers to get good prices for good products. We recently attended the eBay Business Roadshow in Bristol to find out what eBay is advising its sellers – our customers – to focus on this year, to attract and retain buyers – our crucially important customers’ customers.
First of all, a few ‘eBay by the numbers’ for context:
eBay’s roadshow was a full day of excellent sessions to help all kinds of small businesses, from those thinking about or already embarked on a ‘side hustle’ eBay project, sellers who have turned that side project into their full time business, to those who are now looking to further scale their business. In this post we’ll focus on eBay’s advice around listing optimisation, one of the 5 Volo Levers of Growth affecting every ecommerce business, which also has an important bearing on profitability. Spending time getting your listings as good as they can be, in descending order of sales popularity, is time well spent.
First of all, the basics. What does listing optimisation mean and what does it include? eBay call out 6 key facets:
The first 3 words of your title are the most important, so make sure you have the brand names first to align with your buyer’s search expectations. Don’t forget also that you’ve got 80 characters to play with, so use them. Not sure exactly what buyers are searching for, the wording they’re using? Use Terapeak, a free tool within Seller Centre, to see what titles are performing well and adapt yours accordingly.
eBay say 5 is the minimum number of images you should have for each of your listing, and you can use up to 12 images. You should also aim for 1600 pixel image size, or 500 on the longest side of the image as the bare minimum. Remember also the white or transparent background for your images, since that’s key to getting picked up in Google, a huge source of traffic to eBay. Make sure the images show, where possible, all the sides, angles and details – including even blemishes – on your listing. You want your buyers to purchase with eyes wide open, to drive down your return rate. After all, 43% of consumers say better product images would make them less likely to return an item. If you deal in colour variations with your listings, give each colour an image too, for the same reason.
Item Specific are crucial to your visibility when customers are searching for your product and filtering their requirements. If your Item Specifics fields are empty or your entries don’t map to the field values in eBay, people won’t find your products. Item Specifics are either required (like brand, size and colour), recommended (key words and search terms that improve the search experience for buyers), or additional, which as the name suggests provides more information that could help sway the buyer in your favour. eBay occasionally turn ‘recommended’ Item Specifics into ‘required’ ones, and so to give your listings the best chance of being seen you need to keep a look out for the ‘Required soon’ flag which warns of a change in Item Specifics status.
Listings that have stagnated are obviously not doing well in search but they also affect the performance of rest of your listings too. eBay gave a number of examples on the roadshow of sellers who had fixed their stagnant listings and saw a rise in their overall business. A stagnant listing hasn’t sold in 90 days or more. Delist them, optimise them, then re-list them. The gain on search outweighs the lost sales history, eBay says.
Terapeak is an important source of market intel to help you maximise your success. Powerful too, since eBay reports that sellers who use Terapeak see up to a 13% increase in sales. Accessed from a tab within Seller Centre, Terapeak enables you to do a bunch of research that gives you the insight and confidence to make good decisions:
We’ll conclude with perhaps the most important slide of the whole roadshow. On top of the listing optimisation tips above, what fulfilment and delivery offerings can you wrap around your products for the ‘perfect’ listing?
These 7 fulfilment factors can translate into some key benefits for you. Buyers are 9% more likely to buy from you, you’re eligible for a 10% discount on final value fees as an eBay Premium Service provider, and you should be entitled to a trust-driving 5-star Detailed Seller Rating.
To talk with us about about eBay’s focus for 2023, and your focus for 2023, please send us a note here.