Friday, 9 November 2012

eBay's search changes and how they impact variation listings

This last week eBay have made a number of changes to the way items with multiple variations appear within the search results page. Depending on the type of eBay store you run, these changes could either be positive or negative. 

The main difference between the new search results and the old setup is that the products listed within the search results will no longer display multiple variations of a product. For example, if you are selling a clothing item, the search result will no longer display all of the different colour variations that are available. Instead, the result will display the variation image closely matched to the search criteria. For example, if you search for "Red Dress," the search results will show the product image in the variation of red, rather than showing multiple colour variations. 

However, the multiple variation feature hasn't been completely removed, just merely hidden. If the user selects "More options" next to the product image, they will be able to see more information about the product which includes the various other variations that the product has.

The main problem people running an ecommerce store are finding with the new search layout is customers incorrectly purchasing an item in the wrong size as, although they have searched for one specific variation, once the system has found this particular product variation, it populates all the other variations randomly. This means that people are then selecting the item thinking it is the right size and instantly "Buy it now" and before the issue has been discovered, the item has already been shipped. Obviously, this is a time consuming and annoying situation for both the buyer and seller. 

Also, as eBay picks up variations based on colour, it is strongly advised that the seller be as basic as they possibly can when entering this colour information for each of their products. For example, if your product is "Persian red," it would be better to just simply put it as "red." The reason for this is that very few people will search for Persian red meaning that when they type red into their search parameters, your products are going to appear further down the search results as they do not match the search results as much as other listings above it. 

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