Last week the eBay Radio Party & Conference held their 12th anniversary and spoke about how they aim to change from subjective feedback to objective feedback – a major shift change and one that could potentially spell the end of feedback comments.
The conference featured 3 full days of presentations and workshops by leading eBay and ecommerce experts plus seller-to-seller networking with over 200 US eBay sellers in attendance.
Making the 7,200 mile round trip to report on the annual event were the guys from 3P Logistics. Based in the UK, 3P Logistics provide outsourced order fulfilment services to wide range of ecommerce sellers including many eBay top rated & power sellers.
John Scully – Business Development at 3P Logistics told us “With senior speakers from eBay seller experience, Terapeak, Pinterest etc. in attendance, we felt it important to meet such policy makers first hand to listen to closely and digest any new developments that may ultimately impact eBay sellers here in the UK. After all, most new initiatives are originated and piloted in the USA before reaching our shores some 6-12 months later. If you’re an eBay business seller in the UK then we can safely say that eBay are now listening to their sellers with a number of key changes outlined this year to make the seller experience a whole lot better.”
eBay changes coming this year
The main speaker on behalf of eBay was Jordan Sweetnan VP eBay seller experience. He outlined his remit to represent the voice of sellers, to invest in sellers and to engage with sellers as partners.
He briefed the 300 strong audience on a number of key changes to roll out throughout 2015 across the following areas:
Feedback / Standards / Returns
Jordan said that eBay want to move from subjective to more objective feedback and standards. eBay also want to reward sellers for doing the right thing by buyers and also introduce programs and policies that reflect retail standard differences by verticals (A hoorah eBay for everyone who’s products are delivered by pallet for example).
This is fantastic news – so many sellers are fed up with “Slow delivery” when a buyer selects economy and the item is delivered within a few days or “Not the right size” when it’s a standard high street garment. Objective feedback already exists in part, for instance we have an auto five star Detailed Seller Rating for offering free postage and packaging and in the US they even have an auto five star when tracking shows delivery was within the promised timescale.
Feedback could change beyond all recognition and many wouldn’t be disappointed to see the end of feedback comments to be replaced by a simple “Would you buy from this seller again” style question. If we don’t get that, rating sellers against measurable standards would be very welcome rather than arbitrary customer opinions, which we all know vary from one buyer to the next.
Objective feedback is a big deal and I can’t wait to see it happen.
eBay are going to go big on structured data. Their challenges according to Jordan are an incomplete product catalogue and inconsistencies around the globe.
From you the seller they want three things – the Brand, the Manufacturers part number, and the GTIN. This will enable eBay to give better visibility and conversion by showing buyers the products they want, make it easier to give trust to buyers and enforce standards and ultimately better SEO and at the same time give inventory insights and tools to help sellers perform even better in the future.
eBay want to make sure the tools are in place to grow your business no matter how large it becomes – we’re all familiar with the problems TurboLister runs into when you have more than a few thousand listings!
Seller tools / insights
eBay also want to reimagine the entire selling experience, stream line everything and put all the reports and tools you need in one place. As well as inventory insights to help you manage stock and know what to source, they want to give detailed defect reports, provide inventory management tools and make the capabilities available through the API which will enable third party software to tap in.
eBay want to focus on three main areas for buyers which will involve:-
Compete on a great buyer experience
No just binary Top Rated / Not Top Rated
Beat the competition on price
Other services also impact value – quality, item condition, shipping speed etc
Accurate and complete data – category, attributes, product ID, pictures etc
Jordan finished up emphasising that the buyer experience, conversion and listing quality are all based on the foundation of structured data. Mobile buyers spend less time on listing descriptions and so eBay need to use images and leverage structured data to make sure they see and buy the products that they’re looking for. Structured data (Brand, model number, GTIN, Item Specifics….) will be the key part of your eBay business to focus on to ensure you’re ready for changes eBay introduce over the next year to 18 months.
The eBay Mission
Throughout his 60 minutes address to conference Sweetnan re-emphasised the eBay mission: “To create a simple, fair, predictable outcome for sellers without sacrificing the buyer experience” .
This would be achieved by creating a simple solution that works for 99% of eBay sellers as opposed to a complex solution that works for 100%
Summing up the eBay Radio Party experience
Ian Walker MD 3P Logistics summed up their trip to the eBay Radio party saying: “The opportunity to network with a broad range of influential industry speakers gave us a real insight into the pace of change and how this is likely to impact sellers in the UK. I can safely say that the eBay family is as strong as ever in the USA with a real sense of community amongst the sellers we met at the conference. What did take me a little by surprise was the overriding desire to regain market share form Amazon and the changes outlined are party to this aim. I am often told by sellers that the DSR (Detailed Seller Ratings) aspect of eBay is hugely unfair and on the basis of what I have seen and heard over the last 3 days I would expect some redress of balance in this area in the coming months.
To get from behind the desk and meet real people from the International eBay community in a place like Las Vegas was a fantastic experience and will live long in the memory”.
Our thanks from Tamebay to Ian and the 3P Logistics team for their reporting from the event!