Author: Andrew Pinner

EBay launches eBay Designer Collective – with Frooition Design!

Frooition are proud to announce the launch of the eBay Designer Collective.

eBay designer collective

Frooition worked closely with the eBay team to provide design for all of the brands in the eBay designer collective.

The eBay Designer Collective allows 16 fashion brands to offer full priced, current season, men & women’s clothing and accessories within an eBay shopping Hub.

The eBay Designer Collective includes fashion labels such as Calvin Klein, Nicole Miller, Rebecca Minkoff, True Religion and many more.

For the last few years eBay have been moving away from the traditional second hand, auction based, model they used to be known for towards an open marketplace where you can purchase quality new goods quickly and safely.

They understand that the better their customers and partners perform; the better the eBay ecosystem will perform.

Devin Wenig (President of eBay Marketplaces) said in Women’s Wear Daily:

 “We’re transaction-based; we only succeed if our partners succeed.”

Some may argue that selling these current lines on eBay is direct competition with the brands’ other channels; however we strongly believe that if a buyer goes on to eBay to buy an item, they are going to buy the item – if a retailer is not on eBay they won’t win the sale.

Devin also states:

“[eBay Designer Collective] fits with our philosophy – as partner and an enabler of brands and not a competitor”

Many brands are beginning to see eBay as another channel that they need to sell core products on rather than an outlet for damaged and old stock:

“The larger brands see this as an extension of their digital footprint,”

Marcelle Parrish, eBay’s head of fashion.

View the Fashion Collective: http://www.ebay.com/rpp/designer-collective

ebay-designer-collective-template-by-frooition
Calvin Klein eBay Designer Collective Listing. Designed by Frooition.com

Frooition were privileged to work directly with the eBay teams to create the listing templates that the hugely successful brands use within the eBay Designer Collective. The partnership between eBay and Frooition once again shows that eBay believe in the positive benefits of using intelligent design on listings.

New Frooition Rakuten Store Design Service

BlogImageToday, we are proud to announce a new line of design services for Rakuten Marketplaces.

We have developed new store design services for Buy.com (US) and Play.com (UK).

About the design services:

We create a great looking designs based on 1 or 2 column layouts.

Your design can be branded as a standalone store or as part of a multi-channel package, meaning you have consistent design on your eBay store, eCommerce store and Rakuten store.

Add additional modules to your store for extra functionality and navigation:

  • Shop by brand (includes 6 brand logos)
  • Imaged based category boxes (includes 6)
  • Custom product group page (category landing page)
  • Custom page links
  • Static Deal of the day/week/month box
  • Special offer box

A design specialist will take you through your design options to create a truly unique store for your business.

Examples

Buy.com

Buy.com makes it really easy to sell your items both in the US and Japan using a central shipping centre in Utah.

Buy.com is inexpensive to list products to, there is a membership fee of $33 per month and a commission on items sold but no listing fees.

Play.com

Play.com has over 16 Million Customers making it the 3rd biggest marketplace in the UK.

Play offers a full account management service to help get started and have a large support team to aid your selling.

Their selling commissions are based on a sliding scale with very competitive rates ad there are no listing fees so you only pay for sales made.

More information

For more information or a tailored quote see:

Buy.com Design (USA):  http://www.frooition.com/us/rakuten-stores.html

Play.com Design (UK):   http://www.frooition.com/uk/rakuten-stores.html

Seller Release 14.1 – eBay Seller Update (UK & US)

SellerRelease 2014

EBay have released their first seller release of 2014 they have outlined the changes that will be coming to eBay over the next year.

The changes are:

  • eBay Seller Standards
  • Holiday Returns
  • Category and item specific updates
  • New site experience
  • Picture standards Update

EBay Seller Standards

The biggest changes to eBay are all about Seller standards, the idea of the changes are to make it easier for buyers to determine who the best sellers are as well as showing sellers where they can improve.

  • The seller standard changes include:
  • A single combined score
  • Clearer thresholds for the combined score
  • Built in protection against a few buyers affecting a sellers business
  • A new seller dashboard to monitor performance

US read more: http://pages.ebay.com/sellerinformation/news/springupdate2014/sellerstandards.html

UK Read More:

http://sellerupdate.ebay.ie/spring2014/new-seller-standards

Holiday Returns

EBay are introducing extended returns periods for the holiday period. Any transactions completed between November and December will need to offer an extended returns policy if they wish to obtain the eBay Premium Service benefits.

US read more: http://pages.ebay.com/sellerinformation/news/springupdate2014/holidayreturns.html

Category and Item Specific Updates

EBay have made updates to certain categories find out what has changed:

US: http://pages.ebay.com/sellerinformation/news/springupdate2014/categoryupdates.html

UK: http://sellerupdate.ebay.ie/spring2014/category-item-specific-changes

New Site Experience (UK)

EBay have announced to UK sellers the option to use new look stores from summer 14.

The new stores use a larger width header (billboard) and accommodate the new square store logos. The stores have larger product photos, follow buttons, social media buttons as well as introducing collections to buyers.

The new look stores are optional for sellers that don’t have a customized store.  Sellers with a customized store (including Frooition design customers) don’t need to do anything.

Sellers who do opt in to the new store layout can opt back out at anytime.

UK Read More: http://sellerupdate.ebay.ie/spring2014/new-look-shops

Picture standards now apply to Good ‘Til Cancelled listings (UK)

EBay have added to the picture standards policy (announced in March 2013) to include good ’til cancelled listings from May 2014.

UK Read more: http://sellerupdate.ebay.ie/spring2014/new-picture-standards

For the full story please refer to eBay’s news releases :

UK: http://sellerupdate.ebay.ie/spring2014/index

US: http://pages.ebay.com/sellerinformation/news/springupdate2014/overview.html

Top eBay design features and trends

topeBay

As a certified eBay provider specializing in design we have provided services for a lot of eBay sellers. Over the many years we have been crafting eBay designs we have seen many styles, trends and features come and go.

We used to see clients asking for very bright designs with lots of small product images and clients showing that they sold “a bit of everything”. The designs followed a more strict layout as the average desktop screen size was smaller than today.

There was a consensus that the more “stuff” you showed the more likely you were to make a sale; stores appeared crowded, jammed with promotional areas, and there were a lot of actions to click on.  There was a real ethos of more is more!

Trends and fashions have now changed, clients have specialized and there is a much bigger focus on an individual product type; this may be because there are now so many more of us shopping on eBay that it becomes worthwhile to focus on a particular product base.

OldvsNewDesign

It is no longer uncommon for us to design for a seller that only has a few products in their range; this means the whole store design can be tailored to one product range, making it more obvious to a customer what your business does.

There has also been more a move with the design imagery to show lifestyle imagery rather than flat product images.  For example: you aren’t selling a football, you are selling the experience of playing football with your family in the sun!

Our clients have moved towards useful functionality and away from flashy gimmicks, the easier and faster a customer can find a product; the more likely you are to convert a sale.

We have seen a lot more focus on navigation; customers are linking to custom pages to explain terms and conditions and displaying user friendly category structures.

Not all trends have been purely been fashionable crazes, advances in technology and other 3rd party technologies have shaped and influenced eBay design.

Video in listings

We often have sellers looking for the ability to integrate video (particularly YouTube) into their listings to create a richer experience. This became popular partly due to the increase in broadband/3g speeds, the ease of use of YouTube and the increasing quality of smart phone video capabilities.

No longer do you need to buy an expensive digital camcorder and a computer powerful enough to edit your product videos; you can simply snap a 2 minute video and upload directly to the web ready to add to your listings.

The Frooition eBay design management software allows sellers to easily add a YouTube video into listings using the YouTube embed code.

Clean, flat single column design  

There is a definite trend towards a clean, white store and listing with flat, understated design. Many TopSeller and signature customers opt for a single column layout with simplified header navigation.

The single column layout showcases products logically and encourages customers to scroll without being distracted. With internet speeds increasing it is also possible to use bigger beautiful images that utilize the extra width of a 1 column layout and really make an impact.

The clean white design trend means anything with color really stands out from the page, on an eCommerce site this is usually going to be images of your product or the call to action – making it easier and faster for a customer to navigate your store.

There has also been a move towards flatter design with larger buttons and clearer text.  This is partly fashion based but also has the benefit of faster load times and easier navigation – especially for mobile users.

For examples see:

Fading interactive imagery

One of the most popular features of our TopSeller and Signature eBay design services is the fading interactive imagery.  The motion of the fading imagery draws customer’s attention to read your important points or to take in exactly what you sell.

The ability to show several images in one place means you can cram in more information without lengthening the page or overcrowding. Because you are in control of the fading imagery you can use it to tell a story, whether it shows all the elements of an outfit from head to toe or explains how your product works. The fading imagery can almost be used as an online slideshow to really explain what your business is all about.

Improved navigation

Sellers are realising that the faster a customer gets to the correct product the more likely they are to buy, this means that you need to get a customer to a product in as little clicks as possible but also through specific enough terms that only the correct product is returned.

There are a few ways to combat this challenge including: Graphical category boxes, drop down searches and brand search boxes.

These allow buyers to click on a picture of a category or the name of a brand and go straight to that category or brand without the risk of misspelling the keyword.

In the case of the drop-down searches these can be built to be specific to the sellers product; for example we often create drop down searches that narrow car parts down into make model and part – meaning a customer can see the exact parts that fit their vehicle.

Mobile compatible listings

EBay are constantly releasing data about how important mobile is for eBay sellers, currently 30% of all eBay sales are “touched” by mobile so it is vital that your listings work on mobile devices. Old flash based templates do not work on all mobile devices so you may be jeopardizing your sales with if you use flash in a template. The majority of none-mobile templates will initially appear small on a mobile device and require the user to pinch and zoom the listing, they will then need to swipe around to read the description – these are all barriers to a sale.

With this in mind, Frooition have developed a new service for mobile eBay templates. The templates have been optimized to display correctly on all mobile devices, the load times are even smaller and the text and buttons are all optimized specifically for mobile.

Find out more about mobile templates here.

We have collected all of our most popular features together and added them to our eBay Top Seller design service.

The importance of letting customers know your shipping information and policies

It’s always important to let customers know how long it will take for their purchase to arrive, and this is especially due for the next few weeks in the run up to Christmas. It’s also true that on marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon if you’re not meeting your customer’s expectations then this will ultimately be reflected in your feedback.

It’s not just about feedback though, it’s more about reassuring your customers that if they purchase from you then their item will arrive when they need it, and that if it’s a Christmas present it will be delivered in time to be unwrapped on Christmas morning.

Many retailers actually shut up shop days before Christmas simply to avoid disappointing customers. The findings of a study by Royal Mail suggests that two thirds of retailers are failing to take advantage of the extra sales on offer by accepting orders until 23rd December and posting them out using guaranteed next day services to ensure delivery by Christmas. Worryingly, approximately one in six retailers are calling time on their Christmas delivery operation fully five days before final posting date.

David Smith, Managing Director of IMRG advises “Smaller retailers and those in their infancy would do well to pay heed to the research findings which identify the importance of their sales and delivery capabilities, and the value of getting it right. This hugely busy and valuable time of year is certainly not the time to shut up shop early”

Shutting up shop early for Christmas is the easy way out, but getting your customers buying right up to Christmas is the way to maximise your profits and don’t forget shoppers who are late to the high street will undoubtedly turn to online retailers for those must have presents when the shops have sold out. If you can reassure your customers that you can delivery then they’re not likely to worry about paying a couple of extra pounds to ensure delivery before Christmas.

“It’s not just about feedback though, it’s more about reassuring your customers that if they purchase from you then their item will arrive when they need it, and that if it’s a Christmas present it will be delivered in time to be unwrapped on Christmas morning.”

 

So what should you do as a retailer to make sure you attract sales right up to the last possible minute of Christmas shopping? Firstly you should make sure that all of your items have an express shipping option available. This should be a next day service such as Royal Mail Special Delivery, Parcelforce24 or any other 24 hour courier. In your shipping policies you should clearly state your cut off times for Christmas deliveries, make sure that you highlight that customers can purchase right up to your last day of trading, especially if they can purchase on 23rd December and you can deliver on Christmas Eve.

Don’t forget to include your final cut off times, once your customer has paid you need to make sure they have time to pay and you have time to process, pick and pack their order before your courier or Royal Mail collect from you.

The most important thing that you can do is to make sure customer understand handling times. If you’ve added a one or two day handling time to your order this is the one time of year that it needs to be highlighted to customers. There’s nothing worse than leaving your online shop open to accept orders, offer a 24 hour delivery service but have a two day handling time meaning that items won’t even ship before Christmas.

The next few weeks should be the most profitable weeks of the year for many sellers. Make the most of it and make sure your customers know exactly what day they can order up to for Christmas. Offer express shipping, cut your handling times to the minimum and highlight exactly what your shipping times are and exactly when your cut off date and time is to ensure items will be received for Christmas.

Help notify your customers with a custom Frooition center image for your store!: