While you’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise, Amazon isn’t the only online marketplace in cyber-town. And it would be folly to forget the original eCommerce pioneer, eBay, especially now it’s undergoing an ambitious rebrand with the aim of growing its user base to 500 million.
But brands shouldn’t wait for this rebrand to double down their efforts on eBay. The site already boasts 175 million active users, so they should be doing all they can to succeed on it now.
Crucial to this, of course, is keeping Cassini happy, Cassini being eBay’s internal search engine. Cassini decides where to rank products in the search results, and content is one of the most important deciding factors — the more relevant the content to what the user is searching for, the higher the listing.
The great Cassini isn’t easily impressed though, so brands must be highly considered in content creation for it to favour their product/s. Here’s a 6-step guide on how to do so.
1) Product Title
The maximum character count for eBay titles is 80, so choose your words wisely. eBay suggests using descriptive keywords to clearly and accurately convey what you’re selling. That means including important details like the item’s brand name (artist or designer) and any specifics like size, colour, and condition. And while we may be stating the obvious here, no typos please!
- Multiple synonyms or plurals (it’s not needed for search and may make your title less attractive to buyers)
- Punctuation marks and asterisks
- Words like ‘wow’ or ‘look’ (buyers don’t search for words like these)
- Overuse of acronyms
- Using all caps
- Obscene language
- Website and email addresses
- Phone numbers
- False or misleading information
Brand names other than the specific brand name used by the company that produced the item. This is keyword spamming and isn’t allowed on eBay. These types of listings will be ended and the insertion fee for the listing automatically credited.
We recommend using eBay’s search suggestions to find out what buyers are searching for. For example, start typing in “xbox one controller” as per the below image. eBay will show you the most frequently searched related terms. You can then use the same exact words, in the same exact order, to begin your title building.
2) Product Subtitle
Having a subtitle makes your listing stand out. To make the best use of subtitles, showcase why a buyer should buy from you. What makes you different as a seller? Is your product different from others on the market? Do you offer a better service? Do you have freebies? Also use subtitles to promote free shipping, free support, warranties, or anything else that can help conversions.
3) Product Description
Describing why you’re different gives you the competitive edge. When writing your product description, eBay suggests:
- Organising information in paragraphs with similar information grouped together
- Starting with the most important details first, like item specifics such as size, shape, colour, age, manufacture date and country of origin
- Clearly stating the item’s condition, such as new or used. Be sure to mention any flaws or repairs
- Being clear about what’s included and the type of packaging
- Using complete sentences and correct spelling and grammar
- Including your return policy for international returns (if different from your national returns policy)
- Including a story about the item, or why it’s appealing. Many eBay sellers find this boosts bids and sales
- Avoiding item descriptions copied word-for-word from other sources (like shopping websites, other eBay listings, or manufacturer websites)
- Avoiding all caps, multiple fonts and font colours, and HTML. These can make your listing unreadable on mobile
4) Product Images
The maximum number of images allowed per listing is 12, and the minimum is one. Images must be at least 500 pixels on the longest side, but eBay suggests using images that are at least 1600 pixels on the longest side — this gives the zoom effect you see on some eBay listings. However, it isn’t recommended you enlarge smaller images to make them 1600 pixels, as this results in a poor quality image.
Images can be uploaded JPEG (it should have a quality of 90 or higher on the 0-99 JPEG quality scale), PNG, TIFF, BMP, and GIF file formats. Images can’t have borders or text on them. Stock photos are only acceptable for new and unused items. All other items should have an image that shows its actual condition. Finally, make sure any photos imported from the web are HTTPS compliant to avoid security warnings in browsers.
5) Product Categories
Be sure to list your product in the correct category, otherwise your listing will be brought down in search. It could also cause problems with eBay global shipping, as some items are not allowed to be shipped to other countries.
6) Item Specifics
Item specifics are the features or specs of your products. They also act as a filter when a buyer is shopping, so they can easily find what they want. For example, if you’re selling a mobile phone case, indicate what material it’s made of, the colour, what model it fits, the brand, etc.
Make sure all item specifics are filled in and relevant to your product. If your item specifics are not filled in, your item will not show up in the search results. This is especially important in mobile, since most buyers on a mobile phone will use item specifics to drill down into listings. Use eBay’s Item Specifics Lookup Tool to discover which item specifics are most relevant to your product.
Now you know how to create content to hit the number one spot on eBay, you may want to learn how to make content instantly shoppable across all your digital channels, from website blogs to social videos. ChannelSight Where to Buy technology achieves exactly that. Talk to our team today to learn how.
Global Brand Consultant