It's that time again!
eBay has announced their bucket of changes to take place over the next several months. I'm pretty pleased with the forward motion I see the site going in. Here's a break down of what's happening and what it means for your online business:
- Structured Data - this may sound like a scary word if you are old school in how you run your eBay business, but rest assured it isn't as bad as it sounds. Remember that eBay is a tech company at the very heart of things. In order for your items to be found by someone searching for products, they need to be able to present that item in the best way possible. Structured data allows eBay to get uniformity in the information it has to present to customers.
The cool thing is they are bringing in the use of ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Numbers) and other unique identifiers other than UPC or ISBNs. This is really good news! These will be able to be used starting in February 2017.
All products will need an identifier, something you should have in place for your own record keeping no matter what you sell. You will no longer be able to use Does Not Apply or NA. No panic! This will be easy to work out and of course I'll be putting more information out specific to this on my Youtube channel.
- Shipping and Returns - eBay is adding more ways for you to "save the sale" by being able to offer replacements or exchanges rather than refunds. I am a big proponent of a generous return policy and now eBay has made it even safer to offer this.
- Active Content - active content includes things such as videos, scrolling galleries and other third party widgets that many sellers have utilized in their listings over the years. The problem is these things are not viewable on mobile and therefore cause an inconsistent experience for buyers resulting in lower conversion (aka sales). It also increases the time it takes for a page to load which can cost you the sale. There are also security issues.
If you have a lot of active content in your listings don't worry! Your listings will still be available but the active content will not be viewable.
If you rely on videos in your listings, by all means develop and use your YouTube channel as a means to attract customers and keep making those videos!
- Seller Tools - Seller Hub will become THE tool for managing your business. If you have resisted switching over, it's time to do so! They have improved and made many changes this past year and continue to do so. There is a tremendous amount of data you can use to grow your business. This is a good thing for eBay to focus on just one tool and make it as good as it can possibly be!
Selling Manager and Selling Manager Pro will no longer be supported after Spring 2017.
Turbo Lister will no longer be supported after June 2017
- Seller Performance Standards - eBay is making it easier to understand and get back on track if your performance standards have taken a hit. What they are adding as of October 20, 2016 are:
Specific insight into the reason (reasons) why you fell below standard
Guidance on what you need to do to improve your performance
Time to improve without selling limits or restrictions, 90 days to correct any issues.
- Category Changes - as happens every eBay seller update, some category changes are being made. You can find a complete list of the upcoming changes HERE
- Features and Fees - great news is there are really no increase in fees this round of changes. The only thing to note is when it comes to setting a Reserve when listing in the auction format.
Reserves are frowned upon as they discourage bidding and buying. Really consider your purpose of using a reserve on an auction as a higher fixed price with best offer may be your better option.
- User Agreement - eBay has cleaned up some of the language in it's user agreement. It's never a bad idea to take a look and see how it affects you and your business. You can find the new agreement that takes effect August 20, 2016 HERE
What I see is a company who knows what it needs to grow, evolve and compete. The changes show eBay is listening to us, the sellers as well as the buyers. Improving the structure of data and consistency of the experience between mobile and desktop is vitally important as we head into greater and greater use by the younger, more techie generations.
Thank you Devin Wenig for your awesome leadership, the future is looking outstanding!