eBay said Google's impending security change would "deter" shoppers, and it warned sellers today of changes it is making (and has been making) that impact their listings.
"Starting in October 2017, Google Chrome - the browser used by almost half of all eBay buyers - will begin displaying the message "Not Secure" in the address window when users visit standard HTTP pages, and HTTPS pages that include nonsecure HTTP content.
"eBay believes that the "Not Secure" message may deter shoppers from buying and impact your conversion rate. eBay is taking steps to make sure that your buyers won't see this message and can access your listings securely."
Some key takeaways from the announcement:
- If you want your listings to show the complete item description, you will need to remove HTTP content from your listings.
- eBay will email sellers who have listings that contain HTTP, starting August 28th
- eBay will begin using the HTTPS communications protocol for all listings starting in October.
- In the future, eBay will move all eBay store pages to HTTPS.
- Do not include contact info and links to off-eBay websites.
eBay had mentioned some changes coming as a result of the new HTTPS protocol as part of the Summer 2017 seller update - you can read the announcement on this page
. But it wasn't clear to sellers that eBay would begin hiding item descriptions in seller listings.
Even when eBay began hiding descriptions as early as July, there was no explanation or reminder despite many questions, and eBay customer service reps seemed as confused
as sellers about the practice.
There is a lot to confuse sellers; eBay recently banned active content from listings, and sellers may not realize the HTTPS security issue is a another issue with which they must deal.
And while many people think of its search engine when they think of Google, it's the Google Chrome browser that is making the security change that is prompting eBay's response - this is not simply a Search Engine Optimization issue.
Google's decision to roll out the change in October is troubling - it's peak holiday-shopping season, and scaring shoppers by displaying security warnings on sites that have yet to adapt couldn't come at a worse time of year.
The change to Google Chrome affects not just eBay, it applies to all sites on the Internet. Sellers who run their own ecommerce stores also face the prospect of lower sales as a result of the change to Chrome unless they've taken appropriate measures.