eBay goes MOBILE: How to Create Mobile Optimized eBay Listings
If you’ve been selling on eBay for the past five years you probably noticed the increased criticism eBay has drawn from its sellers community, you might even expressed more than once your frustration.
Many sellers complained that sales are going down and that eBay has abandoned the small sellers in favor of the big brands. This year eBay announced that it’s renewing its focus on the sellers, which is of course great news for all of us in the sellers community but it doesn’t mean that the job of selling on eBay is going to get easier.
One of the biggest opportunities for eBay sellers right now is mobile commerce, and eBay is arguably the #1 player in the mobile commerce space.
Let’s look at the the stats that support this claim:
- eBay has over 310 million downloads of its mobile shopping app
- Mobile sales represent ~$30 billion out of a total of $80 billion GMV (gross merchandise value)
- Over 55% of eBay transactions are touched by mobile
In the wake of mobile commerce, eBay has been working extensively to improve shoppers experience on mobile. This is evident in the 2016 seller spring update where eBay introduced a new mobile view item description with a cleaner look. The goal is to provide relevant listing information that allows shoppers to make fast, informed buying decisions.
eBay generates the new View Item description by determining which content in your full item description is most relevant.
If there is an information in your listing description that you want to highlight and isn’t captured in the auto-generated summaries, you can choose the specific listing information you want to show using more advanced HTML options.
Practical steps to optimize your mobile eBay listings
Step #1: Create responsive eBay listings
First, what is a responsive eBay listing?
Responsive listing is one that looks great on any device – desktop, tablet, smartphone and the likes.
In other words, the shopper experience on any device will be optimal, he will be able to read all the texts without zooming in, scroll through product images comfortably and read through relevant information.
So how will you create responsive listings?
eBay recommends using HTML and CSS and even provides pieces of code which you can use in your listing, this is all great for sellers who know how to code, but what about the rest of us?!
Most eBay sellers, including myself, are not designers nor coders, we have no idea how to play with all this html and css stuff. eBay is not solving the problem for the simple folks who just want an easy way to create compliant listings.
If you are looking for a design solution that helps you create mobile responsive listings you will probably run into Crazylister as it’s aimed at the majority of eBay sellers who look for an easy way to create eBay listings.
One of the killer features that CrazyLister introduced lately is the ability to make your eBay listing responsive in a click of a button, here’s how it looks within the app:
Once you switch the “make listing mobile friendly” toggle on, every listing you create in CrazyLister will be responsive and look perfect on desktop and mobile.
As far as I know this is the only solution to offer this type of feature.
As I mentioned before, there are other ways to create responsive listings if you know how to code html and css. But for the rest of us – it’s way easier to use a tool that does it for you.
Step #2: write concise listing descriptions
I’ve mentioned that eBay will show only part of the description which is most relevant, this is done by recognizing the most searched words and retrieving the relevant content from the description.
Keep your descriptions concise, write only relevant information and don’t go on and on about features that are not critical to your potential buyers.
Shoppers are easily destructed nowadays, they don’t have time to read wall of text, they want to understand quickly if the product you’re selling is what they look for and hit the ‘buy it now’ button. Otherwise they’ll move on to the next seller.
Step #3: use images to convey value proposition
This one relates to the previous point, you don’t have a lot of time to get a shopper to remember you, let alone make a purchase decision, in fact you have less than 8 seconds to do so.
It can be a slogan, an image of your store, or any other feature that stands out and conveys your unique value proposition.
I like this example as it shows the story of a family-run business, something we can all relate to and image builds trust with the shoppers:
Step #4: do not repeat standard policies
On mobile devices every pixel is important, you have to convey your message in the most efficient way given the small screen size you’re working with (a standard smartphone today uses 5-6 inch screens).
eBay has the shipping, payments and returns policies displayed on the top part of the mobile listing, so you don’t have to repeat that in your description (unless you have critical information to add).
A word about active content on mobile eBay listings
Another major change eBay is going to implement in June 2017 is the removal of active content from listing descriptions, this of course will apply to mobile eBay listings as well.
The aim is to improve shoppers experience by reducing the listings load time on eBay’s mobile app.
As of writing these lines CrazyLister is the only solution to make a public announcement that it successfully completed a new version 100% compliant with the eBay non-active content policy.
We know that eBay will ban active content in June 2017, it may seem like a lot of time and you might have a tendency to wait for the last minute, but even if you have just 50 listings with active content that need to be replaced, you won’t want to wait till two weeks before June and start hassling to find a coder who knows about active content, how to replace it and will give you a fair price to do the job (or as I mentioned, use a compliant do-it-yourself solution).
eBay is encouraging sellers to start addressing this issue today for a good reason, for sellers who uploaded 10,000 listings this is quite a challenge and it will take time to replace them all.
Do it now and save the headache later.
Bonus: a great tool to find top selling products
As an eBay seller one of my main concerns was always finding the next top seller that will lift my business. At the time I went over eBay categories manually and tried to find top selling items by looking at each listing and how many items sold from that listing. It was a tedious task that took a lot of time! Back then I wasn’t aware of Goofbid’s awesome eBay pulse tool which automates the process of finding hot selling items on eBay. Simply choose a category and the tool will find the top selling items in that category, no manual work required. This is a great way for eBay sellers out there to find products with great sales potential, highly recommended!
About the author:
Maxim Godin has grown an eBay business to $4.5 million in revenue, a two time eBay award winner for outstanding sales and co-author of eBay Sellers Journey to $100K a Month.