Summer is here and with it comes eBay’s latest seller updates. According to their press release, the company is transitioning to a “Product-Based Shopping Experience.” What this really means is that the core anchor of the customer experience will shift from listings to products, affecting site navigation, user paths, and which items buyers will see.
The purpose of the update is to ultimately increase sales on the marketplace. Buyers these days are expecting more streamlined online shopping experiences, and the company is making these changes to help shoppers find products wherever they are on their search journey.
To make this happen, eBay will need to establish structured data, thus requiring third-party sellers to categorize their products on the marketplace. Basically, the company will start requiring merchants to associate their items with a product in their catalog.
Once the update has been fully rolled out, listings will be a thing of the past. Sellers will need to link their items to the product catalog before they can list, revise, or relist items in certain categories.
What’s Different with Product-Based Shopping Experiences?
An early version of the Product-Based shopping experience can be seen by selecting Group Similar Listings at the top of an eBay Search Results Page. Product information will be the same since they are pulled from the marketplace’s catalog, but you will be able to see the seller’s item description by clicking on See Details.
As an example of this differentiated shopping experience, take a look at this Product Page for a Nest Thermostat:
This page is evidently different from a listings-focused product page. Images are standardized and in better quality, while all the other listings are compressed and consolidated into product cards.
The product cards will only be included if they are mapped to the product catalog. These product cards will lead to product pages where buyers will be able to explore the inventory available for a given product.
eBay will be rolling out new versions of this experience in the US, UK, AU, and CA (English) sites throughout 2018, making it the default experience in some search results. The marketplace plans to expand the requirement to more brands and categories later this year.
For now, only specific buyer search queries will default to these product-based experiences. Eventually, eBay will start matching search queries to the most relevant category and product page, creating a better user experience for buyers.
Catalog Compliance: What eBay Sellers Need to Do
The first phase was rolled out in May 2018. Phase 1 included items and brands from eBay’s competitors, including Google and Amazon devices. For these categories, merchants were required to use the marketplace’s product catalog as part of the listing process.
For now, you will still be able to create and revise listings without using the catalog, but eBay strongly suggests sellers to begin updating their listings in mid-August 2018. Doing so will prevent any disruptions to their business. Catalog adoption will be a full requirement starting mid-September 2018.
To be compliant, retailers will need to associate their listings with the eBay catalog for all conditions and listing formats. eBay recommends that you start their process by going through the catalog and finding the right product to match your listing. In the near future, the company will launch a better way to search the catalog.
For now, merchants will need to proceed with the following steps:
- Search the eBay catalog for the correct product to associate your listing to.
- The product should have an eBay Product ID (also referred to as an ePID). Take note of this ePID.
- To create a new listing, or to revise an existing listing with a catalog product, go and select your product directly,
- Provide the ePID (from step 2). A GTIN (UPC, ISBN, EAN) is also acceptable.
- If a GTIN is used, eBay will attempt to match that GTIN to a product in their catalog. If eBay cannot find a 1:1 match in the catalog, the create/revise action will fail and the merchant will need to try again with a different GTIN or an ePID.
Announcing Jazva's New eBay API Integration: Easy Listings for Sellers
We all know that managing products and listings can be a nightmare for high-volume multi-channel retailers. This new catalog requirement can be daunting for sellers having to keep up with so many marketplace policies.
Fortunately, eBay has invited Jazva to be an early adopter of their Catalog API, and to help our merchants be more efficient, we went ahead and implemented the new integration last May. After much testing, we are now happy to announce the support for the marketplace’s new product-based shopping experience.
That’s right. With Jazva’s updated integration with eBay's latest Catalog API, sellers can now associate their eligible listings to eBay’s product catalog through the system.
To update your listings in Jazva, simply:
- Open an item.
- Click on the eBay channel in the Sales Channel area.
- Populate the ePID field.
- Next time you push this product, Jazva will include the ePID number along with your listing information.
Note: eBay does not support ePID numbers to be associated with multi-variation listings. In such cases, you’ll need to ensure that all your variations have the applicable UPC number.Still not using Jazva? See why the top eBay merchants choose Jazva to streamline their listing process.