eBay announced in the latest Seller Release that they are testing a new “Shop by Product” experience for a small number of products. It’s essentially what sellers would term a “Buy Box” experience, but with some subtleties that are worth highlighting as, from the examples we’ve spotted, it’s not a case of a single item being promoted but a new way for buyers to narrow their selection.
eBay say that they know that buyers like to compare their options when they shop. The new ‘product-based’ shopping experience groups similar listings and displays them together. With this view, when you’re shopping on eBay you can easily compare available items and quickly decide which product you want to purchase.
What you need to know
- For a small number of products, starting in May, listing using the eBay catalogue will be required in order to provide buyers with streamlined, product-focused search results.
- The eBay catalogue is a library of product information that helps buyers and sellers reach a common understanding of what is for sale. It’s been built for you to use, so that you can quickly associate your listings with existing product details.
We are only too aware that Shop by Product is going to raise a lot of questions and consternation from sellers. Below we’ve done our best to set out how Shop by Product will work from the buyer perspective and give some insights as to what you can do to ensure your products are featured as often as possible.
eBay have announced this as a live test for a small number of products but have also said that they will extend Shop by Product to more categories later this year. eBay will update sellers with their plans around the new product-based shopping experience in their next Seller Release.
What are the wider implications of eBay Shop by Product
There is another reason that eBay will need to scale Shop by Product, not mentioned in the Seller Release. As eBay start to operate a distributed marketplace experience, for instance on Google Assistant or their ‘Shop the look’ eBay experience on Mashable, they will increasingly need to offer a single listing search result. The features on the page will then enable eBay to ask the buyer additional questions to narrow their selection. Whilst this could be done without the Shop by Product experience being displayed on the eBay desktop experience, they would still need the technology and input from sellers (catalogue, Item specifics, Product Identifiers, Item condition etc) in the background.
How does Shop by Product work?
Single listing View
The Shop by Product page will show a single featured listing. eBay aren’t revealing the secret sauce for ‘winning’ this position but what we can tell you is that you’ll need to be an above standard seller, remain in stock and your pricing and shipping need to be competitive. Plus of course you’ll need to have listed against the eBay catalogue with item specfics, condition, product identifiers etc all present and correct.
It’s not just about the featured listing
Immediately above the product image are a number of options to tweak your search. Pick any of the options from the drop downs and the featured listing will change to one that matches the new search criteria. Even if you don’t win the original featured listing, you might win when a buyer narrows their search.
Item condition and format
Immediately below the featured listing, buyers can tweak their search to display new, pre-owned, refurbished or auction listings. This again will change the featured listing displayed.
All matching listings
Below the eBay Shop by Product featured listing section, eBay include a display with additional matching listings (in this case an additional 7 listings) plus a link to all matching listings (a total of 87 listings in this example).
In this section narrowing your choice of condition and format will change the number of listings displayed (Choosing ‘New’ and ‘Buy It Now’ displayed 9 out of a total of 14 matching listings in this example).