In this article we will give you some tips on how to improve product findability on Ebay as well as other practices that are sure to help you reach a higher ranking in the search results through a few simple optimization techniques.
A critical component of selling on eBay is product findability. This means how quickly shoppers find the product after they enter a search query. The higher the listing appears in the search results page - the greater the chances are of successful conversion and sale. Listings that appear low in the search results are much less likely to convert.
In this article we will give you some tips on how to optimize your eBay listings as well as other practices that are sure to help you reach a higher ranking in the search results.
Cassini, launched in 2013 and named after the space probe, is eBay’s search engine. eBay has put in a lot of effort in providing its shoppers with the best shopping experience possible - the kind that will make them come back, again and again. With such brand loyalty, everyone gains!
At the heart of eBay’s, and every other eCommerce site for that matter, shopping experience is the search. eBay’s mission is to present shoppers with the best listings that are most relevant to their query. The best listings are most often the ones with the most relevant product, best prices and an excellent seller status.
In order to produce the most relevant search results, Cassini’s algorithm calculates the listing’s product data, performance and sales history, user feedback etc. Once Cassini locates the relevant listings, it ranks them by these measurements, putting the best listings at the top of the page.
The default way of presenting results in eBay is “Best Match”, which means that eBay will present shoppers with the most relevant results first. Despite the fact that shoppers may browse the entire first results page, the top three listings usually receive the most click-throughs.
So, as sellers, we want to improve product findability on Ebay and have our listings ranked at the top of the search result pages, thereby reaching many more potential buyers, while eBay’s aim is to give their shoppers the best shopping experience by showing them only relevant results.
Our goal in optimizing our listings is to check both of these boxes - by adjusting listings to meet Cassini’s criteria for “Best Match” and obtaining a top place on the search result page.
Even though optimization does not directly control the results, it can certainly have a big impact. There is no strict template of how to optimize, and it requires relying on both common best practices, and experimentation, but time and practice hone these skills.
The Basic Three
The first thing that Cassini comes across is the listing’s product title. That is why title optimization is critical, and this is where we begin our optimization journey. Title should be informative and accurate, yet engaging, encouraging shoppers to click through. Of course, keywords and keyphrases should be used, but you should incorporate them into the title in a way that makes sense. Try to avoid packing the title with too many keywords that only make the title more confusing and less legible.
If you stuff the title with keywords and key phrases, you might succeed in attracting more shoppers to your listings. However, the name of the game here is attracting potential buyers who are interested in a product you sell. This is not a sound strategy. While the listing may appear in many searches, shoppers will either be discouraged by the suspicious looking title, or they will simply discover that the product, despite what the title says, is not what they are looking for. These non-conversions lower the listing’s performance metrics, leading Cassini to push them further down in the rankings.
We recommend using this checklist whenever you create a new listing on eBay:
Above all, remember that eventually it is people who read the title, so they must be able to understand them. Put yourself in their shoes and see if you get all the information you need about the product from the title and will it convince you to click through.
It is easier working with templates, so we recommend you create a title template to make sure you don’t miss any important data in the title. The template is different from category to category, the same as the information in the title, so adjustments are necessary. For example, here is a useful template for a title for a shoe listing:
Brand - Gender - Type - Keywords - Color
Another important aspect of listings that impacts performances is the shipping policy. As 71% of eBay purchases are shipped for free, free shipping has become a very important feature, both for shoppers and for Cassini.
Since the majority of shoppers now expect free shipping, sellers are highly recommended to qualify for a free shipping message, by offering free delivery using a shipping service that will arrive in 4 days or less, same-day or 1-day handling, and providing tracking data. Remember that eBay is a highly competitive market, and sellers who do not offer free shipping take the risk of losing sales to their competitors, who often do.
By now we are all so used to fast and free shipping online, that one of the first filters we use is “Free Shipping”.
Listings that don’t offer free shipping will simply not come up in the search results. Not everybody uses this filter, of course. But listings with no free shipping are not considered Best Match by Cassini, and will drop down in the results.
Naturally, not every seller is able to offer free shipping for every product they sell. However, given the benefits, it is certainly worth exploring the option, and where possible, qualify for the free shipping message and in this way improve product findability on Ebay.
Conversion rate has already been mentioned a few times in this article, which demonstrates its importance. Basically, conversion rate is the number of shoppers that complete a purchase (a conversion) out of the total number of shoppers who visited the listing. For example, if 50 shoppers click through to the listing, and a total of 5 products are purchased, the conversion rate for that listing is 10%. Since Cassini takes into account the listing’s conversion rate, the higher the rate - the higher the listings will be ranked in the search results page.
Earlier, when we discussed keywords in the title, we mentioned that over-stuffing the title with keywords might bring traffic to the listing. But since many disappointed shoppers will not complete a purchase, in the long run this practice hurts the listing’s conversion rate, causing it to drop in the Best Match rankings.
The goal of conversion rate optimization is not to attract as much traffic as possible, but to attract the shoppers who are specifically looking to purchase the product. Their overall number might be smaller, but it will help boost the listing’s Best Match rankings.