What is The New eBay Product-Based Shopping Experience?
What is the new eBay ”Product-based shopping experience“? Instead of listing the same product from different sellers under each other, now the same products will be grouped together in an eBay catalog.
Eventually all search results will meet the today’s buyers expectations: Finding products easily, comparing and quickly deciding what to buy.
Technically speaking, this means a lot of crucial system changes. eBay needs to easily identify similar products and group them with a single title and description in the catalog - eBay thereby speaks of an inventory optimization. Product pictures will be merged, too.
What is The eBay Catalog?
The eBay catalog is a centralized repository of product information that helps buyers and sellers reach a common understanding of what is for sale.
Each Product Variation Requires a Unique GTIN
An entire team will be provided by eBay to secure the quality of the new merging-process.
You now must generate a unique GTIN (UPC, EAN or ISBN) for every product in the new eBay catalog. If you sell multiple variations of the same product, like a different color or size (multi-SKU), a separate GTIN is needed for each variation. Only products that are associated with a product in the eBay catalog will be shown.
Be prepared - don’t waste time - eBay takes this seriously - And you should, too.
eBay started the migration of a few Catalog Product Lines in May of 2018 (more details here https://pages.ebay.com/seller-center/seller-updates/2018-spring/inventory-optimization.html#m22_tb_a3__5) and will step-by-step add more product categories. All listings for all item conditions – New, Used, Refurbished etc. as well as bundles will need to be associated to eBay’s catalog products.
The following product lines that will require catalog adoption from now on:
So be aware: If you don’t take action, your affected products will be removed from the eBay marketplace.
Throughout 2018 and 2019, eBay is going to expand the eBay catalog requirements in phases.
Phase 2 is expected to be ready for use by sellers in mid-August 2018, and listings in Phase 2 categories will require association with an eBay Catalog product beginning in mid-September 2018. In Phase 2, the PBSE requirement will be applied to full leaf categories, including all categories affected by Phase 1. The PBSE requirement will be rolled out to Phase 2 categories in two stages - Stage 1 and Stage 2. (More information to phase 2 categories can be found here: https://developer.ebay.com/pbse )
Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it?
Not necessarily; If you use Prestashop in combination with the magnalister-Plugin: magnalister is an inventory management software for eBay, Amazon and other marketplaces that handles the majority of the job automatically. A long-term partnership between eBay and magnalister lets the tool be one of the best choices for connecting the marketplace.
The magnalister process compares, if the related eBay catalog and the products from your online store are matching unique criteria like the GTIN or manufacturer part number. If so, magnalister submits the data to eBay. Your products will automatically meet eBay’s new grouped listings requirements.
For products, which can’t be assigned automatically to the eBay catalog, magnalister provides the “Product Matching“ feature where you can compare your online store and eBay product details to associate the proper item to the proper catalog.
Other than that, the Inventory tab in the magnalister Plugin provides more information and transparency and shows you what happened after the association, current processing-status, and if the online-store product-title corresponds to the eBay product-title. A click on the product links you to the eBay marketplace to check even more details.
Associate your Listings with a Product from the eBay Catalog
When you start a new listing, you must now search for a product in the eBay catalog by using a product name or an identifier like UPC, EAN, ISBN. If you find one, your item needs to be associated to that listing. And this needs to be done for each of your eBay listings that belongs to the affected product lines.
Existing listings are also affected by the new shopping experience and has to be revised.
Sellers will still be able to Create their own Listings.
Those Listings will be grouped into product pages by eBay. Sellers will not be able to complete the listing for products within the affected product lines if they don’t associate their products with the eBay catalog. This concerns to new listings, active listings and listings that shall be relisted for items in any condition.
Promoted Listing Feature Will Still be Available
Yes! If a shopper clicks on the promoted links, they will be taken to your specific listing and not to the grouped product page.
Win The New “eBay Buy Box”
eBay usually displays everyone’s listings at once. If 1000 people list the same item, eBay will show 1000 listings of that product. This changes with the new product-based listing feature (which you may have already seen on another marketplace in a similar way): a “Group Similar Listings” button will appear to collapse all listings that are associated to the eBay catalog category into one.
“...your items will compete with other sellers’ listings for the chance to be featured in the top pick or the primary position on the product page. You must be at above standard, ensure your items remain in stock, and offer competitive shipping and pricing to improve your chances of winning the top pick.”
From now on it is more important than ever to concentrate on eBay SEO. That includes, but isn’t limited to, the following:
- Providing the best photos and descriptions will make a big difference.
- Associate your item in the proper one "best fit" category.
- Having a competitive price. That doesn’t mean to have the lowest price will automatically bring you on top of the listings.
- Make sure you can provide an excellent customer service. This is a big thing since you may have to train your support agents well, and accept returns easily. You also may have to speed up replies and extend your support hours whenever possible.
magnalister is a close partner of marketplaces like eBay and Amazon and steadily grows since 2007. By exchanging seller and developer experiences, the engineers are constantly extending and improving the interface.
The magnalister Plugin managed more than $2.1 billion in orders and uploaded more than 70 million products to marketplaces like eBay, Amazon & Co.
The magnalister software is one of the most professional multi-channel listing tools on the market.
For more information on magnalister please visit magnalister.com.