eBay Abandons Prominent Search Feature
By Ina Steiner
eBay spokesperson Johnna Hoff confirmed the EcommerceBytes report that it had made a change to its search interface by removing "product cards" in search results.
"We see it as a benefit to sellers," Hoff said. "Research showed that in those categories (mostly media and electronics) buyers preferred a more direct path to search results and purchase. So we are removing the consolidated product card view and presenting items in the more standard, individual item-based view. We believe this change will positively impact sellers by making it simpler, faster and more direct for shoppers to find your individual listings."
The product cards had replaced individual listings from sellers, and pointed searchers to Product Pages that showed one page for each SKU with sellers' listings aggregated on the one page.
eBay is leaving the catalog and product pages in place, but the search experience in those categories with catalog is radically changing back to the "old" eBay style.
It seems likely that sellers will favor the change, thought there has been a lot of concern about listings being buried in search results. Sellers can no longer measure traffic to their listings due to a glitch in eBay's Traffic Reports that it says will take a couple of weeks to fix. Other sellers have reported that eBay's Listing Analytics tool is also broken.
Upon reading about the change to eBay's search interface for products in the eBay catalog, one EcommerceBytes reader wrote, "Translation: Product cards underperform regular search results pages. It took us three years to figure this out. We're changing it back. You're welcome."
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About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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