Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun Feb 25 2018 15:57:54

eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

eBay is moving to a product-based shopping experience this year, as we reported last week. We got our hands on eBay's official playbook that outlines the plan's two phases along with some key dates sellers should know. Expect to see eBay address this in the first Seller Update of 2018, which could come as early as this week.

According to the playbook, "eBay is transforming the Shopping Experience to make it easier to browse and find the items buyers are looking for. This will be a Product-Based Shopping Experience vs the current Listing Based Experience. The result will be a pleasant and consistent buying experience with improved conversion rate and better search engine optimization both on and off eBay."

To get an understanding of what eBay means when it says it's moving from a listings based experience to a product based experienced, use the Grouped Similar Listings feature, which eBay states is an "early version" of Product-Based search. You can read more in this EcommerceBytes Newsflash article.

As we reported, when eBay makes the product experience the default, whichever seller gets the main Buy Box gains a tremendous advantage, just as they do in the Amazon experience. And like Amazon, eBay gives persistent shoppers the opportunity to view other items if they wish.

Note that eBay uses the product identifiers sellers provide in their listings to make product matches - as the new experience rolls out, sellers won't be able to list certain items unless they match it to eBay's catalog using the product identifier.

eBay Will Roll Out Changes in Two Waves in 2018
In the playbook eBay provided to developers in January, eBay provided an overview of the changes it will roll out in 2018.

In "Wave 1," sellers will be required to list against an eBay catalog product for specific brands within a select number of eBay categories. (See accompanying Newsflash story for list.)

In "Wave 2," eBay will expand the Product-Based Shopping Experience to whole categories (and not just select product lines).

Key Dates:

March 2018
Sellers will start getting notified of non-compliant listings by various means such as My eBay Messages, by email, and in Seller Hub.

May 2018
Sellers will be required to list against an eBay catalog product for specific brands within a select number of eBay categories. ("Starting in May, if we determine that you are selling a product in the product lines listed but you did not select a product from the catalog for it, you will be unable to complete the listing.")

June 2018
For applicable brands, the new product-based shopping experience will only display listings for the initial set of product lines that have adopted a product in the eBay catalog.

August 2018
eBay will expand the Product-Based Shopping Experience to entire categories.

2019
The mandate will start rolling out to additional international markets in 2019 and beyond. (In 2018, the mandate will apply to US, UK, AU, and CA (English) sites.)

Catalog Restrictions: Item Specifics and Photos
Sellers can't modify item specifics defined in a catalog product. However, sellers will be able to continue to supply their own unique photos and relevant item specifics to a listing in addition to the photos and item specifics that are sourced from the eBay catalog data. 

If a seller adds one or more of their own photos, the View Item page for the listing will only show the seller-provided photo(s) and not the stock photo. However, the Product Page will show both the stock and seller-provided photos.

Vintage and One of Kind Goods
We've heard from sellers of unique products who are concerned about what eBay's plans means for them. eBay hasn't specifically addressed how its new product-based shopping experience would impact vintage and one-of-a-kind goods, but it has previously addressed how its product identifiers policy affects these categories:

I sell used/collectible/vintage/one-of-a-kind items. Do I have to add product identifiers to my listing?
No. Although we recommend that you use product identifiers whenever possible to maintain search visibility, they are not required for listings of used, collectible, vintage, unbranded, or one-of-a-kind items at this time. Use "Does not apply" in the required fields.

It's interesting to note that while eBay provided details of its plans to developers, it glossed over the pending changes in recent posts on blog posts read by sellers. In this post, eBay Vice President of Buyer Experience Mohan Patt said: "We'll use structured data in a more holistic way than we've done before to take the next step in transforming the user experience on our platform, by launching a full product-based commerce experience for relevant inventory."

And Bob Kupbens, Vice President of B2C Selling and Global Trust, touched on the changes in this blog post: "We'll help buyers find what they want quickly by leveraging product based commerce and our advances in structured data. We'll invest heavily in cutting-edge technologies including artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and more, creating an eBay like you've never seen before. We'll also ask for your valuable expertise and feedback in regards to the eBay catalog as we continue to roll out our new model of shopping."

The number of products is quite limited for Phase 1 (May 2018), but Phase 2 (August 2018) includes entire categories, not just specific products. See the accompanying article for a list of Phase 1 products impacted by the mandate.



Comments (59) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search   eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 25 16:13:30 2018

We are sure glad we don't shop Ebay anymore. Sounds like if you aren't a brownie seller you lose. There are going to be a whole lot of losers in this disaster.

Perminate Link for eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search   eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search

by: geoffreymason This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 25 19:56:59 2018

Getting tough with the small sellers of mainstream merchandise? It will be tougher for ebay when their preferred big-biz sellers jump ship, which they will do as soon as they firm up their own online selling venues. Wal-Mart isn't converting all of those Sam's Club locations to warehouses for nothing.

Perminate Link for eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search   eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search

by: dans parts This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 25 21:04:39 2018

While it looks like I won't be affected by this anytime soon (if ever), I feel sorry for those people who are in the affected categories, as it looks like some changes are coming in two weeks or so.

Nice amount of lead time to do a complete changeover to one's business set-up, eBay.  While eBay's been planning (and setting up things in the background) this for months/years, they give some Sellers a month?  Or less?

As if we should expect anything less from them.

Perminate Link for eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search   eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Sun Feb 25 21:58:26 2018

I think eBay actually want to be acquired by Amazon. Why else would they want to mirror Amazon?   They are literally using Amazon's playbook.  Nothing else makes sense.  Please Amazon, acquire them and put them out of their misery.

Witnessing eBay's ineptitude over the years as it relates to implementation, this is going to be a mess of mass proportions.  And do note the "B2C" in Kupbens' title.  Who will eBay classify as a business?

Perminate Link for eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search   eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search

by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 25 22:36:41 2018

Get ready for the big show, all you beta testers.
Then...what will be the hold time for all the ensuing WTF questions?

Perminate Link for eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search   eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Mon Feb 26 00:59:56 2018

This hot mess will be the final nail in ebafia's coffin.

Bye, Bye Devin!

Perminate Link for eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search   eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search

This user has validated their user name. by: Beanie

Mon Feb 26 01:36:42 2018

Dracula Donahoe and Dracula Devin. Vampires that suck companies dry.

Perminate Link for eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search   eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search

This user has validated their user name. by: mcfiver

Mon Feb 26 01:51:33 2018

Scene: eBay executive break room after a hard morning of copying and pasting Amazon's search (and destroy) policy.
Exec. #1 "Amazon. Amazon. Amazon. My stock options are tingling."
Exec. #2 "Yep, why on earth didn't we think of this before?!"
Exec. #3 "Hey guys, I'm exhausted. We've done enough today. See you on the front 9 at one sharp."

Perminate Link for eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search   eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search

by: Dhp3 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 26 01:59:06 2018

This is a mind-boggling, unbelievable, stupid, insight-lacking change. Buyers are not clamoring for an Amazonian experience on eBay. They'll shop on Amazon to get that.They want an eBay experience on eBay. I want to see the market research that says different. (Surely they based a total sea change on research and focus groups et al. NOT!) Ebay management have lost their minds. Lost it! I am utterly flabbergasted.  

Perminate Link for eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search   eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Feb 26 02:25:40 2018

There are so many problems with this and Ebay's catalog being at the very top of that list.  I am my no means looking forward to going through this change.  It is going to be far beyond messy and unfortunately I fear some sellers will end up bankrupt over it.  This is a HUGE change to the way Ebay functions and personally I don't think Ebay is up to the task.

Perminate Link for eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search   eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 26 02:34:11 2018

Overstock.com is on Ebay as a retail store.  Is their model what Ebay is aiming for?

Perminate Link for eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search   eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search

by: Diogenes This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 26 03:00:40 2018

I sell vintage and one of a kind and I am soooo glad I branched out to other venues a few years ago.

Madness, utter madness!

Perminate Link for eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search   eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Feb 26 06:37:06 2018

Remember when Griff begged sellers to help them build the catalog, for the survival of the company? There were a few posters here who were giving sellers grief for not wanting to help eBay with this initiative.

So sellers,as they always do, helped build the catalog.  Now eBay will knock them out cold with it.  eBay exists because sellers like myself built the company from the ground up.  Wenig's steering the Titanic now, and the iceberg is in viewing distance.  Hopefully he and Donahoe will one day team up for a book,  I suggest they title it "Monkeys Drove this Train".

It a nutshell, what you have here is a text book example of corporate greed.  May they end up just like Enron, with the executives in jail.

Perminate Link for eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search   eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search

by: JWsax This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 26 07:11:51 2018

At this point unless you have already made moves away from ebay things are going to get really ugly.  

Perminate Link for eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search   eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 26 07:19:44 2018

I don't think things will get ugly, I think they'll get confusing.  I watch the tutorials on YT and that explains almost everything that's happening.  I wouldn't panic, because where are you going to go?  Shopify?  Huh! that means you have to promote your own store.  

Perminate Link for eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search   eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search

by: frustrated This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 26 07:43:44 2018

Okay great and wonderful.

Except as with MOST things on ebay, their catalog is wrong.  By this I mean they took "circuit breakers" out of the CIRCUIT BREAKERS category and stuck it elsewhere. Now when the customer looks under "circuit breakers" he isn't going to see ANY of them, unless ebay "fixes" them to go into their incorrect category. All the folks whining about having to fill in MFR NAME and PART #?  This happened well over a year ago, you should have done this then.  

That is when I saw them taking circuit breakers out of the circuit breaker category, along with hundreds of other items, coils, etc.

So this will NOT result in increased conversions, because as USUAL ebay doesn't know anything at all about our business.

They need to let the BUYER be king and leave the site alone. The buyers alerady know how to find stuff on ebay.

STOP FIXING THINGS THAT AREN'T BROKEN.  (should we get a shirt??)

Perminate Link for eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search   eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search

This user has validated their user name. by: Rural artist

Mon Feb 26 07:53:12 2018

Nobody likes to be told the idea you are implementing is a bad idea but I will say; “It’s a bad idea, ebay.” Since they are modeling after Amazon have they shopped the experience.  Browsing is cumbersome. Sellers try-out Toucandeal.com

Perminate Link for eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search   eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search

by: hashtaggs This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 26 08:23:55 2018

IDK.,I mean it's their playground so if you wanna play, ya gotta follow the rules even if the big kid keeps changing the rules, we just have to wait and see,I long for the old ebay, but, it's gone, my hope for the future is that someone starts a selling platform that is useable and not so difficult with the hoop-jumping on ebay, I have migrated to bonanza and ecrater also, but, the sales and traffik and useability are all still pretty pathetic

Perminate Link for eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search   eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search

by: DingDong This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 26 08:30:53 2018

For me, I cannot afford an independent site. I just don't have that type of sales volume to do that.
But
eCrater has been gaining some ground.
There is eBid (USA side is starting to gain ground)
There is Webstore Which is fine.

I had a great site until they started charging 10% fees. Sorry selling sites, for me, this is too high of fees, (even with eBay). And then the "in-house" payment processing is not going to do it with me. I want my money immediately before I ship the items. Not waiting for 5 days.

Thank goodness that I have been working on eCrater and pulling my business there where I don't get dinged if I actually acted a good seller and respond, do partial refunds or ??? that buyers and seller can agree on.
Just harvesting more ebay buyers to ecrater.  Thank you

Perminate Link for eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search   eBay Playbook Reveals Phased Rollout of New Search

This user has validated their user name. by: Castoman

Mon Feb 26 08:47:04 2018

I did a general search for the highest level word applicable to the custom items I make and sell. I was able to see the GROUP BY SIMILAR button and clicked it and then performed a search for a specific name of one of my items for sale, including the original keyword. 0 results were returned. So, does this mean if they make the GROUP BY the default setting when people hit the site they will never find any of my items? Seems like it. Time will tell how they'll handle items like mine with no UPC. If they handle me like the current GROUP BY does, then they've effectively crippled my eBay business and forced me (which may be their intent). Sigh.

Click to view more comments
1 2 3  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.