Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sat Oct 17 2020 11:44:34

Are eBay Changes to Search in Stores Better or Worse?

By: Ina Steiner

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Sellers noticed this week that eBay made changes to search on eBay Stores, but they don't agree whether the changes are an improvement or if they make things worse.

"I was on my store this morning to find eBay is adding regular search options to store navigation," one seller wrote, "don't see why it's needed, isn't this why we make store categories?"

But another seller said a search box is needed because some sellers have 100-1000 items in a particular category in their eBay Store.

One expressed surprise eBay was making changes to Stores "after all these years."

Take a look at eBay Stores and at the screenshots provided in the thread on the eBay boards, and let us know what you think.



Comments (18) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Are eBay Changes to Search in Stores Better or Worse?   Are eBay Changes to Search in Stores Better or Worse?

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sat Oct 17 11:55:29 2020

I don't search by category, I search by item

Olight i1R 2 EOS

I don't look in flashlights or seller stores because search has never failed to find items I'm looking for.

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by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 17 13:36:19 2020


Gesh to bad sellers don't cry this much when the government raises your taxes.

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by: I Must be Crazy This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 17 15:56:19 2020

Hard to say. Sales were reasonable this week, until they weren't. Swings between day to day high and low have been growing more extreme. Overall sales YTD are trending within 2% of the same period for the last 3 years. That is statistically unlikely ESPECIALLY given where things stand this year with the pandemic. (Recognize that my products are varied and random, my listings are up, and I promote everything at 2% - one would expect sales to increase, not be stuck within 2% of prior 3 years' levels.) The traffic versus sales numbers that I am seeing lead me to believe that throttling and sales limits are still in play.

Conclusion - as long as those limits are at work, any changes eBay makes will be muted at best.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Sat Oct 17 19:35:05 2020

If their search worked they would not need to ever make changes to search....ever.

If I am looking for a men's blue cashmere sweater, show me men's blue cashmere sweaters.

If I am looking for a white down comforter, show me white down comforters.

It really isn't that hard eBay.

KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid)

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This user has validated their user name. by: Lightning

Mon Oct 19 01:55:38 2020

This is reverting back to the old store style, when it had its own search box.  A few years ago, they changed that to having the search box at the top, which showed the store results.  If you didn't like the store results, you could click on the link right below that said ''search all sellers''.  Either way works.  

EBay defended that change years ago to say that having it on top was more in tune with where the buyer was accustomed to seeing it.  They didn't ask anyone's opinion, because well, they know everything.  Now it's not good.  Like GTC to 30 days back to GTC.  Like PayPal is the only good method, now not so good.  And on and on for every change they ever made.  

The store search box can be useful to some of us.  If I buy something from a seller with a store, I will check if they have more of that type of item, presuming I am looking for more.  That way I might save on shipping multiple items, or could maybe work out a small discount for a volume purchase.  

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by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 19 02:51:34 2020

for me this is a good thing.  a buyer finds one book by an author they like, now they can easily search to see if i have more.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: ySirTinLee

Mon Oct 19 02:54:38 2020

I like it as a buyer.  Always search stores I have bought from to see if they have an item I'm looking for or interested in.  There's been many times in the past I wish a store had a search box, but didn't and had to get caught up in a general search.  That can be time consuming and frustrating when ebay throws items at you that have nothing to do with what I'm looking for or a bunch of Chinese stuff, even though I filter my search to U.S. only.

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by: wrslss1222 This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Oct 19 06:26:36 2020

After all of these years, eBay is still making changes that do not need to be changed while not fixing things that need to be fixed.  If a seller, like me, has several sub-categories, for example DVDs and Blu-ray Disc, the detail in my eBay is broken down.  My main category is Movies, and my sub-categories are DVDs, Blu-ray Discs, VHS Tapes, etc.

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Oct 19 10:56:19 2020

"men's blue cashmere sweater"

I think 16,000+ results is enough to find the one you want, if not maybe it doesn't exist.

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p23345
24.m570.l1313&_nkw=men%27s+blue+cashmere+sweater&_sacat=0&LH_TitleDesc=0&_dmd=1&rt=nc&_oac=1

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by: bb6 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 19 12:44:59 2020

Ebay had the search for stores before, got rid of it overnight then buyers and sellers were complaining. Then everyone could just go up top and use the box to search a store instead of all of ebay. What they didn't think about was people don't like change. So making the all ebay search now just the ebay search confused a ton of people. I have thousands of items in one of my stores. I received so many messages from customers when they took the search away. I had to tell people to go to the top and search that way. I ended up adding an image at the top of the store that said "TO SEARCH MY STORE USE THE BOX ABOVE".  The search box at the top even said "Search this store here." People don't read. They get stuck in their ways and just go, then ask questions later. Now with this change I'm going to have to change my banner again. Also have to add a gazillion product specifics even though all that information is already there. Just more busy work for me to do on ebay that won't make more sales. Like others have said stop changing things just to change something then to change it back. Fix the real issues and maybe just maybe think of something that might help everyone. (Customers find what they want, and sellers sell more!!) If you did that it would bring in more customers and sellers to your platform and people might actually start saying nice things about ebay again.

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by: List Rank Sell This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Oct 19 12:45:02 2020

The move is a good one.

When eBay first rolled out the new store format in late 2013, all store subscription levels were given a search bar at the top of the homepage specific to that eBay store.  For a lot of sellers at the time, this was considered a great move.

Now the store-specific search bar has been moved to just above the listings gallery on the eBay store homepage -- resulting in the top search bar of the page itself accessing Cassini, eBay's primary search engine (like every other eBay page).

For those who believe that search is "simple," I assure you that it is not.

"Search intent" -- what buyers mean when they type keywords into a search bar -- is at the core of understanding search today, and it can sometimes be very difficult to determine.

For instance, a "train air horn" is not an air horn for a train.  It's an air horn for a truck that sounds like a train (and they're extremely popular).

Buyers searching "fire truck horn" and even "big rig horn" are typically looking for horns that sound like either a fire truck or a semi.  All of these horns can be mounted on just about anything, even a compact car, but the descriptors are generally associated with the sound of the horn and not the vehicle itself.

On the other hand, phrases like "boat fog horn" can be for either a horn for a boat or a truck horn that sounds like a boat horn (often a tug boat horn sound).

What a set of keywords appears to be on the face of it and what the individual actually intends to search can be hard to ascertain.  Hence the need for AI to try and "understand" the buyer's search intent.

This is one of the reasons why Google changes constantly:

https://www.seroundtable.com/

And Amazon search is 10 times more complex (and tied into Amazon's profits) than eBay.

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by: bb6 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 19 12:51:27 2020

@mindelec, ySirTinLee the search box for specific stores was already there! It was just at the top, not the middle of the screen. You guys are the types of customers I'm talking about. You don't read. It said "Search This Store" right in the search box and you didn't know that's what it did.

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by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 19 17:38:16 2020

@wrslss1222

i have sub-categories also, there are 472 books in my sci-fi category, now a buyer doesn't have to search all of them to find the ones by a particular author.

@bb6  yes, i know and it was not very intuitive to look for it there, now it is in a place that makes a lot more sense.   i don't see anything that implies to me that any product specifics would need to be added now.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Lightning

Mon Oct 19 23:58:56 2020

quoting @Toolguy
''men's blue cashmere sweater''

I think 16,000+ results is enough to find the one you want, if not maybe it doesn't exist.''
--------------------------

You have just illuminated one of the problems with Search.  16,000 results are way too many, and that is not the accurate total for what you are searching for.  I loaded that search, and on the first page 16 of the 50 items were not BLUE.  Maybe a few more were not even sweaters.  So that's a 33% FAIL RATE on that page alone, probably throughout the entire search.  That's over 5,000 WRONG results.  As the pages follow, usually the offerings are even LESS specific, LESS inclined to match the original search terms, so could be closer to 10,000 WRONG results.  The word BLUE wasn't even IN some of the listings.  Nice job searching, eBay!  Does anyone really think eBay has over 16,000 BLUE Cashmere sweaters to offer?  It's CASHMERE!!  Not cheap.

They basically showed you everything they had that resembled a sweater.  Surprised they did seem to be all Men's sweaters (at least on the first page).  Probably some dog sweaters mixed in there, too.  This is why people complain about Search, as @List Rank Sell explains.  

What good is a Search that you have to keep narrowing down with more and more terms to find the more accurate results based on what you are actually looking for.  And as sad as eBay Search is, Amazon is 100 time worse, basically completely dysfunctional.

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed Oct 21 09:46:48 2020

@lightning

"men's blue cashmere sweater" 16,000 results

Most people know what size they want

"men's blue cashmere sweater medium" 2900 results

Got a brand we can narrow it down farther.

Good shoppers know how to search. . . . . . . .It's not rocket science!

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed Oct 21 09:49:12 2020

@lightning

Most of the ones that aren't "blue" have "blue" marked in Item specifics!

Something a lot of posters said made no difference???

Well, it DOES! lol

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This user has validated their user name. by: Lightning

Fri Oct 23 01:20:13 2020

@Toolguy
''Got a brand we can narrow it down farther.''
How is that any different than using the left pane to put in all the identifiers you want - color, size, brand, price range?  

It's ALL extra steps, no matter how you slice it.  I don't think there's a search [Ralph Lauren men's blue cashmere sweater medium near me priced between $75-$100 with a herringbone pattern]

I use Search much more than I use category panes and filters, and I'm betting I'm as good as you at inputting the specific terms to get what I'm looking for.  But it doesn't mean it's the ONLY way, or that there should be only 1 way.  

Just because it's not for you doesn't mean that it can't be useful to others.  Seems to be a recurring theme with you.  I don't think I have ever encountered someone so closed minded, demonstrated again here.  But at least you're consistently close minded.

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by: bb6 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 28 22:38:39 2020

I love how they hid the search box again for the past 3 days. Now on Wednesday night they add it back again. I can't stand when they live test. Talk about confusing your buyers.



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