eBay listing optimization

How to optimize product listings on marketplaces? [2021 research]

Listing optimization on eBay and other marketplaces is worth the effort.

Why? Proper listing optimization means more sales.

However, optimizing product listings can be tricky, especially if you sell internationally.

This is what we’ve recently checked at Webinterpret. First, we’ve managed to better understand the role of optimizing product attributes for increased product visibility and conversion rates. Second, we’ve taken actions that have significantly increased our sellers’ listings visibility and revenue.

In this article we’ll share with you what we’ve done to improve eBay listings and thus increase product visibility by up to 60% and sales by 20%.

Check out the following analysis!

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ebay listing optimization views doubled

Product listing optimization to improve listing visibility

The purchase funnel framework models the journey of a buyer towards the purchase of a good or service. One of the key aspects of this framework is the concept of “visibility”: how likely a particular product is to be found by a potential buyer.

In contrast to other factors (e.g. price) that mainly impact the final decision of the buyer, product visibility is affected by the particularities of the search engine and the interface implemented by the marketplace. A clear example of this are the widespread search filters:

search filters marketplaces ebay france

Search filters on marketplaces help buyers refine their searches and see only those listings that match the criteria defined by the search filter. In other words, only products that contain the attributes (or item specifics on eBay) and values defined by the search filter will be displayed in search results.

Webinterpret’s ecommerce solution aims at maximizing the amount of attributes recommended by eBay in sellers’ product listings according to the marketplace specifications.

Our goal is to provide the best possible ecommerce solution to help marketplace sellers increase their revenue. We measure our success by the actual increase in international sales of our customers

Localizing listings on eBay and other marketplaces: challenge

Finding corresponding product attributes can be tricky when a product listing is localized on different international sites or markets of a given marketplace. In other words, the attributes in the original listing may not correspond with the recommended ones in the destination market.

The challenge goes beyond the simple translation of specific attributes.

Consider this example. Let’s say, an original product listing on eBay Italy contains an attribute called “Colore”. We want to localize this listing for eBay Spain. It may seem obvious that we should simply translate”Colore” (Italian) into “Color” (Spanish).

This, however, may result in product visibility issues.

The recommended attribute in the destination market (in this case Spain) may not be a direct translation but a different word / phrase, e.g. “Color principal”. Such situations are quite common on different markets / sites of the same market.

eBay listing optimization & Webinterpret’s experiments

In our experiments, we identified recommended attributes that were most often missing in each category of each site. We then collected all the potential original attributes that might correspond to the missing ones in destination markets.

How we optimized attributes in eBay listings

  1. Here’s an example of a UK product listing localized for a French market:
    We identified that the attribute “Longueur de la robe” (dress length) is recommended for the clothes category on eBay France (but we failed at including it in our listings).
  2. We looped over the original listings analyzing their attributes in order to identify which UK attribute to use as a value for the recommended French attribute “Longueur de la robe”. For example, given these original attributes: {“Size”, “Brand”, “Style”, “Dress Length”, “Material”}, we can identify that “Dress length” is the one that corresponds to “Longueur de la robe”.
  3. Finally, we updated our automatic systems so that the value associated with “Dress Length” is used to provide the value for the French attribute “Longueur de la robe” whenever a UK listing is localized in the clothes category on eBay France.

Results after the eBay listing optimization experiment

After our experiments, the average number of views per product roughly doubled.

The following chart displays the average number of views per product. The big spike on week 0 was caused by re-listing the products with their new translated attributes.

ebay listing optimization increase views chart

As to the impact of our experiment on the actual sales, sales increased by about 20% compared to the previous period.

eBay listing optimization: conclusions

To beat competitors, sellers must maximize their product visibility.

Attributes have a big impact on product visibility (and sales) on marketplaces. Identifying missing attributes in translated listings can significantly improve product visibility (number of views) and sales conversions as a result.

Based on our experiments:

Increasing the number of recommended attributes in our listings increases product visibility (up to +60%) and sales (+20%).

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