eBay has a new tool to help sellers compete in the new product-based shopping experience it’s rolling out (PBSE, as eBay calls its Amazon-like catalog approach). However, it’s only available to select sellers through a limited number of eBay partners.
Called the Marketplace Insights API, it’s designed to provide sellers with key data about specific products to understand the competition for those products.
“With product-based commerce, it is critical for sellers to understand the competitive forces at play for their inventory in a given marketplace. The Marketplace Insights API, which is currently in a private beta release, provides sellers with data about demand, availability, and trending pricing for a specific product on a given eBay marketplace. This helps sellers make decisions about where and how to sell their inventory on eBay to maximize exposure on product pages and to, ultimately, drive better conversion rates.
“The Marketplace Insights API is in Beta and is available to a limited group of eBay partners at this time. We’ll provide updates on broader availability in the future. Stay tuned.”
eBay discussed the new API in a blog post on the eBay Tech blog, where it explained that with the new product-based shopping experience, similar listings are grouped by product and product aspects. “With the new experience, buyers get a short list of products with pricing and relevant rating information to help narrow the search,” it explained.
Some sellers are concerned that their listings will have reduced visibility on product pages, which feature between one and four buy boxes. eBay continued:
“Once buyers select specific products, they can select product aspects, such as color. Then, they simply choose the buy box corresponding to the relevant listing details, such as item condition or listing type, to get the best deal.”
That may add to sellers’ fears about visibility, since under that scenario, eBay is not showing all matching listings to buyers, but instead is selecting what it believes are the single or few best-matching products.
eBay will continue to roll out the PBSE (product based shopping experience) throughout the next 18 months, it said. Under a section of the blog post titled “Seller integration options that are simple and scalable,” it states:
“eBay refers to a seller’s act of associating their inventory with specific products from the eBay catalog as product adoption. Product adoption is required for listings and offers to qualify for inclusion in the product-based shopping experience. While seller participation is not mandatory, by adopting products in the catalog, sellers’ items will be part of a retail-standard experience that will enable buyers to easily find what they want and need.
“Throughout 2018 and 2019, we will extend this approach to other categories across the eBay catalog in phases—and provide sellers and developers with sufficient advance notice and tools to help them list with the catalog efficiently and effectively. With each phase, we invite contributions from our expert sellers to improve the catalog and help ensure that products in the catalog are accurate and up-to-date.”
You can read the full blog post on the eBay Tech blog.