One of the fastest paths to more sales is to optimize your listings. An optimized listing makes it easy for buyers to find your item, and it entices them to click, and—ultimately—to buy.
The secret to a perfect listing: As Senior Managers of B2C Platform and Programs Devin Payne and Chris van Wagoner explained in their eBay Open session “The Perfect Listing,” it starts with putting yourself in the buyer’s shoes.
Devin and Chris likened the buyer experience to shopping for groceries. Imagine eBay is a grocery store. How do you make sure your product is displayed on the right aisle and shelf? Once a customer heads to the aisle where your product is located, what will make them look at your product instead of the dozens of other similar products? And, once they have your product in their hand, what’s going to entice them to buy it? These three steps will help you optimize your listings for more traffic and increased sales.
Use structured data to help your items get found.
The first step in optimizing your listing is to help buyers find the products you’re listing, and the best way to do this is through structured data. Structured data helps eBay put your product in the right “aisle” so a buyer can find it more easily. For example, when a buyer comes to eBay and shops for a tv, they can browse the category by factors such as screen size and brand, check out product reviews, and search for items that are brand new, nearly new, or pre-owned. Once they choose, they’ll be taken to the “aisle”—the browse page—with those products.
But, if you don’t tell eBay what your item is, we don’t know where to put it. A listing without product identification is the equivalent of an unlabeled brown box in a grocery store stockroom. If you haven’t used structured data to tell eBay where your items belongs a buyer shopping for that item might not see it.
eBay makes it easy to add this data. When you upload an item with a product identifier, eBay auto populates a lot of specifics for you and makes item-specific recommendations that you can apply with one click.
Use quality photos and choose the right price to get more clicks.
Back in the eBay “grocery store,” you’ve gotten the buyer to your “aisle” and they’re looking at a wall of products, many of which look similar. How do you get them to click on your listing instead of the dozens or hundreds of others?
Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Take a look at the pages your items will show up on and think about what would make you want to click on something. Look at the sellers around you. Do their items look more enticing than yours? Image is the number one thing that makes a buyer click or not, and a poor photo can make a buyer question how professional the transaction will be. Make sure your photos look as professional as possible. Use a white background, don’t use the flash, take photos from multiple angles without props, fill the frame, take high-resolution photos and edit your photo to sharpen and enhance.
Consider your price as well. Buyers are very price sensitive. Studies have shown that three-quarters of people will drive 5 to 10 minutes to save 5 to 10 dollars. Online, buyers don't have to drive across town, they just have to check another listing to compare. Use the pricing guidance tool in the Growth tab of the Seller Hub to see suggested prices and consider using Promotions Manager or strikethrough pricing to entice buyers with a deal.
Optimized titles also help. Longer titles (more than 75 characters) tend to receive more clicks, as do titles that include popular searched keywords related to that item. What doesn’t work: titles with acronyms, ALL CAPS, punctuation or asterisks, or spammy commands like “wow” or “look.”
Sweeten the deal to make the sale.
Structured data got the buyer to your “aisle.” Professional photos and the right title and price enticed them to look at your item. Now the buyer is deciding whether or not to put your product in their cart. It’s time to close the deal.
First, make sure you’re using structured fields to manage shipping price, returns, and handling times; it’s more difficult to manage references in multiple listings if your listings aren’t consistent and it’s important to make sure this info is accurate and up to date. You should also avoid any off-putting disclaimers (for example: I’m not responsible for any damage during shipping.) By highlighting that, you might lose the buyer.
Think about what you can offer to instill more confidence in your buyer, and assure them that this is the item they must have. Same-day handling is one feature that can build excitement and maintain good feelings in the buyer. Sixty-day returns can also entice buyers and increase their trust. Data has shown no significant increase in the number of returns from 30 days to 60, so if you already offer 30-day returns, consider increasing this to 60 days. Other ways to sweeten the deal for buyers include free shipping, eBay Guaranteed Delivery, and donating a portion of your sales to a good cause through eBay for Charity.
If your listing has beautiful photos and a great price, but you haven’t used product identifiers, buyers won’t make it to your listing. If you’ve used product identifiers and have great traffic, but your listing has issues, you won’t see sales. The bottom line: all three of these tactics have to work together to create the perfect listing.
For more, watch the eBay Open session “The Perfect Listing” with Senior Managers of B2C Platform and Programs Devin Payne and Chris van Wagoner.
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