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eBay Structured Data Brings Benefits to Sellers

eBay recently discussed efforts to use structured data to improve listings on the site. Its enhancements to searching and browsingare designed to enable shoppers to more effectively find what they want.

These latest updates should help make eBay a more effective presence for the sellers who populate the site with their listings. Greater potential discovery of listings improves the chances to convert buyers. eBay told EcommerceBytes more about how sellers can take advantage of the data improvements.

“All categories benefits from improved structure data usage, particularly when it comes to inclusion of listings when customers use filters in Search, or visit our Browse pages,” an eBay spokesperson said.

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“We are asking sellers to increase the accuracy and detail of their listing information by filling in all required item specifics. Using product identifiers in listings has also now become compulsory for many sellers across specified categories and geographies.”

“For item specifics,” the spokesperson continued, “sellers should fill out all item specifics in as much detail as possible so their items get filtered into the right eBay categories. Shoppers search through the left-hand filters, so if these fields are left empty, they’ll miss the seller’s items altogether. Adding item specifics also gives the shopper more details about a seller’s products, enabling them to make a more informed decision on whether to purchase.”

It isn’t just about item specifics in general – eBay has been mandating sellers add Product Identifiers in many categories. “With respect to product identifiers, sellers of new or manufacturer-refurbished products must now include product identifiers to complete listings in certain categories,” the spokesperson said. “Include the brand, manufacturer part number (MPN) and global trade numbers (GTINs). These include Universal Product Codes (UPCs) and international standard book numbers (ISBNs). These will increase visibility in eBay search results, including deals and promotions, as well as improve placement on search engines like Google.”

eBay has tied Product Identifiers to pricing information it provides to shoppers. The spokesperson explained, “Adding identifiers can also lend sellers more accurate pricing guidance when listing items as well as trending price alerts when listings are lower than trending prices. We suggest adding identifiers even if they’re not yet required for your category – doing so will earn you an early competitive edge.”

EcommerceBytes also learned how important eBay’s structured data is outside of eBay. “As structured data scales, it enables us to improve the precision of listings exposed based on filters the buyer has selected. Off eBay, structured data plays a key role in generating traffic from SEO.”

“As Devin (Wenig, eBay’s CEO) commented during our Q1 earnings call, we are making progress on building new product and search pages which are starting to drive healthy SEO traffic from search engines. While SEO traffic from non-structured data pages continues to decline, we have been able to offset much of that decline by shifting traffic to these new pages, which now represent 10 percent of total SEO traffic, with higher overall conversion rates.”

Comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog from April 14th.

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David A Utter

David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. He has covered technology topics from search to security to online business and has been quoted in places like ZDNet and BusinessWeek. He considers his appearance on NPR’s “All Things Considered” with long-time host Robert Siegel a delightful highlight. You can find him on Twitter @davidautter and on LinkedIn.


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