eBay

Mining the Gold Standard:

An Analysis of Optimal eBay Listings

eBay's Gold Standard:
The Ultimate Guide

Jenny Hock

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This is the first of a series of articles we have produced and published in conjunction with Tamebay, revealing how sellers can maximise visibility and conversion on eBay - the result of a deep dive into eBay listing performance in relation to eBay's listing best practices. There will be 4 parts to the series:

eBay Gold Standard Series

As an experienced eBay seller, you have likely heard of the "Gold Standard" - a term used to describe listings that demonstrate the best practices to achieve maximum visibility and conversion. Many of these standards are aimed at providing a more positive buyer experience, an important driver of consumer loyalty. But let's be honest - for sellers, the Gold Standard is best described as an informed view on the key factors of the Best Match search rank.

The thing is, there are 28 aspects of Gold Standard listings. That's a lot of optimising. Sure, I'd really like to be a 'Gold Standard' person; volunteer more, learn new languages, save the world, read more, meditate daily, grow my own vegetables, spend quality time with family ... I think you get the point ... but that's not exactly feasible to tackle all at once. Instead, we all make personal goals a few at a time, based on what we expect to have the most impact and be reasonably achievable given our limited time. The same applies to listing optimisation. Not all optimisations are equal ... at least that's our hypothesis.

If you've ever contemplated, "What's the optimal number of item specifics for a certain category?" or "How many images do buyers expect for the items I'm selling?", then this series of articles is for you.

At AltViz, we are first and foremost a data science company, and we tackle complex problems using data mining and machine learning to uncover strategic insights - so that's naturally the approach we are taking here to dissect the Gold Standard and understand the characteristics of high performing listings..

Using our ListSmart engine, we have mined the data of over 15 million eBay listings and 5,000 sellers to quantify the performance impact of listing aspects like: Item Specifics, Titles, and Images across multiple categories. If you've ever contemplated, "What's the optimal number of item specifics for a certain category?" or "How many images do buyers expect for the items I'm selling?", then this series of articles is for you.

#1: eBay's Gold Standard - The Ultimate Guide

For this first installment, let's dive into the primary components of the Gold Standard. There are really 2 areas of focus: Listing Content (the actual information in the listing) and Listing Features (delivery offerings, promotions, etc).

Listing Content:

Titles

Title = Brand + Name + Category Name

Images

Multiple high quality images, up to 12 for free

Item Specifics

Item specifics used for filtered pagination

Description

Listing Features:

Fast & Free Shipping

Are you a Top Rated Seller?

Promotions Manager

Strikethrough Pricing

Click & Collect

What else impacts Best Match?

Impressions and Recent Sales - For Fixed Price listings, eBay's Best Match algorithm considers the listing performance score - or the number of views (impressions) compared to the number of recent sales for a listing. Recent sales can mean sales up to 30 days, but it is believed that sales within the last 14 days are more heavily weighted. Therefore, if you have listings with a high volume of views and low number of recent sales, there must be something about your listing that is deterring conversion. This could be due to pricing, too few images, or unprofessional presentation, among other factors.

On the other hand, there may be listings with very low impressions and also low sales. Are these listings in the correct category? Perhaps buyers aren't finding your listing because there aren't enough item specifics provided? Maybe the title isn't relevant enough? All of these relate back to the Gold Standard.

Seller Rating - Feedback and defect rate can significantly impact your search rankings. Be sure to monitor for items that generate a high volume of negative feedback or low DSRs. Also, don't neglect your customer service offering. Providing exceptional customer service is key.


Now that we've detailed what it means to be Gold Standard, stay tuned for our next installment, which will highlight the findings from our in-depth analysis of listing content versus performance.

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