|Wed Aug 28 2013 13:52:24|
Sellers Wary of Store Changes as Holidays Near
By: Julia Wilkinson
If eBay were a patient getting advice from a counselor, it might be, "It's not what you do so much as the way that you do it." While several sellers liked the different eBay Stores design types being rolled out to a random test group, others mainly had a problem with how they were handled. First, the changes are happening (or potentially happening) right on the cusp of the prime selling season, Back-to-School-through-the-holidays.
Second, some time ago eBay promised its sellers it would give them plenty of advance notice before any future changes. With random sellers reporting different-looking stores the weekend prior to the redesigns' official announcement, it's hard to say the changes did not take these sellers by surprise, not to mention the other sellers reading the bits and bobs of reports of different designs and features.
Some people were presented with a complete survey; some people just saw a pared-down version of their store. Others saw an Etsy-like layout that was graphic-oriented and with a space for a bold store logo, and potentially a banner as well.
The positive comments seemed mostly about the Etsy-like design; one eBayer wrote "Interesting layout and very professional looking. I like it." However, this same seller said, "I've never been a big fan of using the main store page with a random listing of stuff you have on offer as the landing page for the store." They added, "I think a custom page with maybe a couple of items you want to feature displayed at the top, a little bit about what you stock and maybe about you, with a scrolling gallery of your top 10-15 items below that is good since interested buyers can click on a category and be taken to that page."
Another didn't like the version of the Etsy-like store design with the banner/"billboard" up top; it "takes up too much space which should be used for showing people your stuff so they might actually buy it."
But many sellers just did not like another change, and one so close to the crucial prime Fall/holiday selling season: "I hate the new look. I'm going to call them today and find out where my "opt out" button is," complained one eBayer on a Powerseller discussion board. "Really, right before Christmas? And I don't want my store to look "cleaner", I want my store to be an individual reflecting me and my tastes, I want to be as unique as I can be."
And on my recent blog post about the store redesign "rumors," one commenter wrote, "While I think a store front update is a good idea, I thing both buyers and sellers need a break from these constant changes. There just seems to be no end to them."
Another store seller who is focused on the upcoming holiday season said, "I do not want to see any redesigns, including TESTS OF ALTERNATE DESIGNS run from September through December!!" He said "eBay never gets things right the first time," and "the holiday selling season is not the time for changing the interfaces buyers have been familiar with - that is unless the plan is to intentionally sabotage sellers 2013 holiday sales."
His suggestion: if eBay is considering storefront redesigns, "THEY should be soliciting input of ideas, and begin testing sometime in 2014!"
What do you think? Would different timing and plenty of advance notice have made the stores redesign much better received? Do you like any of the new designs, regardless of the timing? Post a comment here!
Update: See Thursday's Newsflash article about the Store redesign.