Optimisation, optimisation, optimisation! It seems that we cannot say the word “optimisation” enough when we talk about eBay these days. But just in case you didn’t get the memo, optimising your eBay listings should be your number one priority in 2022 if you want to stay relevant and continue to enjoy healthy sales on the online marketplace.
Regular readers of this blog will know that we’ve been inundated recently with messages from sellers telling us that their eBay sales have fallen off of a cliff. However, as we’ve dug a little deeper, we’ve also discovered many other eBay sellers enjoying a significant spike in their sales. The main difference between these two groups of sellers is their attitude to employing an ongoing optimisation strategy.
But what does an eBay listing optimisation strategy look like? We’ve compiled seven optimisation strategies to ensure your listings perform to their full potential in the New Year.
7 eBay listing optimisation strategies
- Read and implement eBay’s Seller Updates: Tough love time. There isn’t any “secret sauce” or “black hat” strategy to improve your eBay listings’ performance. eBay actually takes great care to share its listing optimisation best practices via its regular seller updates. These updates are essential reading and should always be acted upon if you want your listings to stay visible. Unfortunately, too many sellers take an “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” approach to their listing optimisation strategy. The problem with this “strategy” is when it finally fails; it fails catastrophically.
- Create perfect listings: eBay describes the perfect listing as having four key elements. These elements are: Title, Item Specifics, Quality Photos, and Price. Adopting the following best practices in these four key areas will help improve your visibility on eBay search:
- Title: eBay recommends that sellers front-load their titles with relevant keywords and organise them in a readable, logical order.
- Item specifics: When sellers select item specifics for their listings, they should select as many recommended item specifics as possible, choosing from the options eBay provides.
- Quality photos: eBay highlights how high-quality pictures encourage your customers’ confidence. It’s also important to remember that the optimum number of images will vary depending on which category you are selling in.
- Price: It’s a no-brainer, but if you don’t price your products competitively, you’ve got no chance of being competitively positioned and found via eBay search.
- Conversion enhancers: Of course, the perfect listing goes beyond the critical elements of title, item specifics, quality photos and price. Sellers should also consider the following options:
- Detailed descriptions: Your product description should include every detail a potential customer needs to know to make a buying decision. It should also highlight any potential defeats a product has (essential if you sell pre-loved or refurbished items). Remember, the more information you supply at the point of sale, the fewer customer service emails you will have to answer regarding issues that could easily be explained with a simple Q&A in the description. Detailed descriptions should also go some way to reducing returns and other customer service issues.
- Professional listing templates: A professional eBay listing template will help you better manage your content. It will not only ensure your listings look great regardless of the device it is viewed on, but it will help you make bulk updates to your listings, including promotional activities, important shipping and returns policies, and detailed company information.
- Dynamic cross-promotion: The last thing you want a potential customer to do after landing on your listing is to bounce back to eBay search, where they can then be directed to a competitor’s listings. Dynamic cross-promotion allows you to highlight alternative products if their first choice isn’t suitable.
- Professional branding: Professional eBay branding creates the opportunity to separate your business from less professional organisations and private sellers on the marketplace. It also helps create a seamless brand experience for sellers who wish to grow their business off eBay.
- Expedited shipping: In an age where consumers are increasingly used to next day and same-day delivery services offered by Amazon and other online retail sites, anything a seller can do to improve their delivery speed will almost certainly benefit their sales numbers. eBay sellers looking to compete should consider utilising a managed warehousing and fulfilment service like Orange Connex.
- Video: Video is a great conversion enhancer. Our clients tell us that they see an uptick of anywhere between 15 and 30% when they include video in their listings. Video doesn’t need to be complicated. However, if you have a deep inventory of a particular product, it may be worth investing in premium quality video production techniques such as 360 Spin Videos.
- eBay Promoted Listings: Yes, eBay Promoted Listings will mean that you have to pay a little more to get your listings seen by the buying public. This is particularly true if you sell in highly competitive categories. This pay-to-play strategy aligns eBay with many other eCommerce marketing channels – but it’s not all bad news. At this early stage, the cost per click for eBay Promoted Listings is still relatively low. If you’ve ever experimented with paid search on Google, you’ll understand the good value eBay promoted listings currently represent when compared with other paid channels.
- Get social: If you sell in highly visual categories such as home and garden or fashion and are not building an audience on social media, you are missing an incredible opportunity to engage with an audience off of eBay. If you invest in high-quality images and video for your eBay listings, you should find it incredibly easy to transition to social channels like Instagram, TikTok or Pinterest. With some targeted follows and the careful use of hashtags, it’s incredible how quickly you can build a social following.
- Don’t let the scale of the job put you off: If you have hundreds or thousands of SKUs, the sheer scale of optimising your listings might be a little overwhelming. However, if you break it down into manageable numbers, you’ll start seeing a positive return on your investment. Focus first on your most popular products and set yourself a goal of working through the rest of your listings proactively. You might find it helpful to block off a regular period in your diary to dedicate to optimisation. Even if you can only find the time to optimise a handful of listings at a time, you will start seeing an increase in engagement and sales.
- Book a free eBay listing health check: OK, these seven tips might seem a little overwhelming. If you don’t know where to start, why not book an eBay listing health check with one of our eCommerce experts. To book your free 15-minute consultation, click here, and we’ll call you back at the scheduled time.