Optimizing your Ebay product feed

Optimizing your Ebay product feed means making sure that the feed is complete, accurate and uniform, so shoppers can easily find what they are looking for. Attribute optimization is a great way of generating interest in products.

Ebay is among ecommerce most popular platforms online, and is second only to Amazon. Ebay’s popularity and standing in the ecommerce world are what make it a great place for online sellers to sell their products and reach many potential customers. However, in order to take full advantage of the benefits of advertising on Ebay, sellers must create a high quality data feed. 

Here are some statistics that will help you understand how popular Ebay is:

  • As of June 2021, Ebay attracted 885 million unique users per month
  • In the first quarter of 2021, eBay reached 187 million active buyers worldwide, representing a five percent growth compared to the prior year quarter. 
  • The eBay app has been downloaded a total of 476 million times. With 35% of US mobile users using the Ebay app, it is the third most popular mobile shopping app in the US.
  • As of July 2020, there are a total of 1.7 billion live listings on eBay.

No matter how big it is, Ebay still maintains its specific data feed rules, which include unique attributes and values and other requirements. The result is a data feed that is different from the data feeds sellers may upload to other ecommerce platforms, such as Amazon. 

Before learning how to optimize the data feed, let’s familiarize ourselves with the basics of data feed.

Different Feeds - Different Requirements

Let’s begin by reviewing the various feed types. Most online stores begin by uploading the store data to a Merchant Integration Platform (MIP). The attributes used by Ebay are not that different than in other platforms, but Ebay allows seller to group attributes and create different feeds:

  • Product Feed: this feed details product description, images, and URL’s, and is essential to listing products on Ebay. 
  • Inventory Feed: this feed provides information about current prices and availability of products in the store. It is important to keep the product feed updated in accordance with the inventory feed.
  • Distribution Feed: this feed includes all the details regarding the store’s shipping and returns policies, payment management, pricing system etc.  
  • Location Feed: this feed provides information of physical store locations (if relevant), and is essential when offering a pick-up option. 
  • Combo: Sellers can also combine these three feeds into one feed that provides all the relevant data. 

The following attributes are mandatory when uploading a product feed to Ebay:

Product Feed

There are more types of feeds, and they may be used to help manage the product feed as well as improve product exposure:

  • Item-specific Feed: focuses on specific items in the feed, and allows sellers to provide more detailed information that help attract shoppers.
  • Classification Feed: list the store’s products according to the categories in which they are organized. 
  • Deleted-inventory Feed: this feed is used to list products that are currently out of inventory.
  • Order Status Feed: provides information regarding orders and shipments.

And the list continues....

We hope this gives you a better understanding of what sets Ebay apart from other major ecommerce platforms. Sellers may have to adjust a little to Ebay’s requirements, but it is well worth it. 

Now let’s see how sellers can optimize their Ebay product feed to improve performance.

Attributes Optimization

Optimizing a product feed means making sure that the feed is complete, accurate and uniform, so shoppers can easily find what they are looking for. Attribute optimization is a great way of generating interest in products. Here are some tips:

Product Title - 

The product title’s main goal is to attract customers to the product page, so it should provide customers with important information about the product. However, it is important to keep the titles under 80 characters. If the titles are too long, remove any non-essential or improper information (such as emojis), and place the most relevant and attractive information at the beginning of the title. 

Images -

Ebay is pretty rigid when it comes to its product images policy. It is only natural given the number of live listings on the site, and the fact that many of the products are used. Sellers must familiarize themselves with Ebay’s images policy to ensure the images they provide in the feed are acceptable.  

Technical Requirements for Ebay Product Images:

  • Minimum size: 500x500 pixels; maximum size: 9,000x9,000 pixels
  • The image must not include borders, superimposed logos, barcodes or copyright marks.
  • Sellers may use stock photos only for products that are new

According to Ebay, products that apply these best practices perform better overall. 

Improving Product Visibility

The thing that eventually determines which products will appear where and in which search, is Ebay’s search engine Cassini. When a shopper uses the search option, the search engine scans the data feed and other aspects of the products, and grades them on how well they match the search query. Cassini then displays the search results, with the product with the highest grade appearing first. Therefore, the better a product matches the search - the higher its visibility on the website. 

While not all the aspects Cassini takes into consideration the seller has control over, data feed optimization can still make a significant difference in the product visibility.

  1. Use the Item Specifics Data Feed

Using the Item Specifics data feed, with its more detailed description, allows Cassini to better know what the product is, increasing its relevance and the chances it will appear in searches. This feed is widely used to increase sales.

  1. Product Title Optimization is Essential 

Find out what keywords are the most popular for your products, and include them in the title. Avoid using over capitalization and emoji, and instead focus on creating a good product title that will attract shoppers to the product. And remember, keep it short.

Some key points to look out for:

  • Delete any non-essential information and improper text from the titles
  • Do not include any information about the store from the title
  • Over capitalization tends to make customers suspicious and stay away from the listing.  
  • Learn which keywords are the most popular for your products, and try to use 3-5 keywords in a title. 

  1. Put Products Into Categories

Increase your products’ visibility by ordering them into categories and sub-categories. The majority of the online shoppers follow up their search with site navigation, focusing on the product categories that interest them. But categorizing products does not only help the customers. As in the Item Specific feed, putting products into categories and subcategories helps Cassini recognize the product, and push it up the search results when it is relevant.     

Keep in mind that Ebay changes its categories from time to time, so sellers must remain updated on any changes, so their feed would not be rejected. 

Lisuto Can Help you Optimize Your Product Data Feed 

These optimization tips, small as they seem, may have significant effects on the performances of your product feed. Fixing and avoiding them takes time and effort, attention to details, and continuously updating and adjusting according to the platform’s changing rules. But as heavy as this task seems, it is worth the investment, because applying some of the tips will immediately improve the performance of your online store. 

Lisuto combines technology with deep ecommerce consumer product knowledge helping sellers optimize their product data and extract much more out of the online store. Using proprietary AI technology, Lisuto goes through the existing product information, tagging the product data for each marketplace making necessary corrections and completions. It helps generate high quality product feed which leverages the marketplace search and navigation functionality eventually driving more traffic and better sales.

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