Kit Glover talks eBay PBSE (Product Based Shopping Experience)

No primary category set

At the recent Linn Academy, Kit Glover, Senior Director EU Seller Experience at eBay, gave a broad stroke overview of the relatively new eBay Product Based Shopping Experience (eBay PBSE).

We know that sellers have a lot of strong opinions regarding eBay PBSE and the way it’s being rolled out (and subsequently delayed). But, eBay PBSE is coming so it’s worth listening to what eBay have to say.

The first half of the video is Linnworks specific and Chris Gates talks about how you can manage your listings within Linnworks. The second half starting 9 minutes 42 seconds in is Kit Glover talking about eBay PBSE from an eBay insider perspective.

What problems does eBay PBSE aim to solve?

Kit says that the main problem on eBay is the sheer volume of products and the inability to search and compare listings for the same item, but perhaps in a different item condition or sold on a different format. Not to mention generational products (e.g. different iPhones) or similar product from other manufacturers that could be substituted and perfectly acceptable to the buyer.

To solve these issues, eBay are compressing multiple listings into a single view which gives them the ability, for example, to add reviews left from multiple buyers on other seller’s and buying options. For eBay to compete with Amazon, and indeed the rest of the web, detailed information and reviews are absolutely key and eBay has no choice but to accelerate the PBSE program if they wish to remain a key ecommerce player.

eBay are also creating product pages and buyers can purchase direct from that product page without visiting your listing (which also means that buyers won’t even see, let alone read your description – more on this here).

How to list with eBay PBSE

Kit also explained the three ways to list against eBay’s Product Catalogue:

  1. There is an exact match in the catalogue to which you match your listing
  2. There is a match in the catalogue but it has incorrect or missing information in which case you request an edit
  3. There is no match in the catalogue in which case you request creation of a new entry

The second two options where you request edits or a new entry involve a delay, you can still complete your listing and eBay say they will take up to 24 hours (Kit says often faster) and once the update is completed eBay will launch your listing for you.

How initial categories for eBay PBSE are chosen

The other interesting titbit is how eBay is selecting categories to migrate to eBay PBSE. They are focussing on categories in which a high compression ratio is available. Where there are hundreds (or thousands) of listing for the same item (often in tech) the compression ratio when rolling them up into a single listing is high (e.g. many consumer electronics products). Categories (such as antiques) where there may only be a single listing for a product have a low compression ratio and so will be left until a much later date or perhaps never be included in eBay PBSE. Kit says eBay will try to go as far as possible including categories in eBay PBSE whilst respecting what’s unique about eBay.

Do you have the tools you need for eBay PBSE?

We’ve heard of many teething problems with PBSE, which is partly why eBay delayed the roll out of the next wave of products until after Christmas.

There are also issues where eBay are already rolling out new product pages for products which aren’t in the new catalogue. eBay have over the years had many catalogues and not all of them are up to date and certainly when eBay takes details from multiple sellers to create a product page, not all sellers will agree with the information supplied. We’ve had complaints of sub standard images and details which are simply incorrect. No one seems to have explained what happens when you request a catalogue edit – does it update all existing listings in which case the product you listed might not be the product the buyer purchases.

eBay have released a single click catalogue matching tool as well as the ability to complete a listing and leaving it pending for eBay to launch once your requested edits are approved. Is this enough for you or are there more tools that you need?


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