December 6th,2011 05:11 am
In a previous post we had discussed 5 ways of improving listing hygiene within the Clothes, Shoes and Accessories category.
Continuing on the same general topic of listing SEO and Data Quality, I was lucky to recently get interviewed by Ina @ AuctionBytes. We chatted about a number of topics, but here are the most important ones
Please do go through this series of articles and share them through twitter, FB, Google+ and LinkedIn
As always, feedback and questions are welcome!
May 5th,2011 12:46 pm
Struggling with the recent changes to the clothing, shoes and accessories category? We’ve helped some of the biggest branded stores on eBay with their data, so here are some key takeaways. We think we can guide you here.
What has changed?
The details about the changes can be seen here while the changes for all the categories can be downloaded as a PDF file from here. Please note that these changes are specific to UK.
On a very high level, there are two types of changes that eBay made:
- Changes to the item specifics
- Changes to the categories and taxonomy.
Overview of Item Specific changes
Here are the item specific related changes:
- New values are added to the style, type and size item specifics.
- All values for Colour are now in plural, e.g. Blacks instead of Black.
- Removal of values where unsuitable for the item.
- Whole item specifics removed (Not values)
- Addition of new item specifics for certain categories like Men and Women Clothing or Shoes.
As an example, a new category called Coats & Jackets has been created combining two separate categories. Now Chest Size is the primary size attribute instead of Size.
Now let’s have a look at the category level changes.
Overview of Categorical changes
The second type of change has to do with the category changes where eBay has rearranged them for better shopping experience or added new ones. Additionally, many categories have been renamed and moved within the category tree. These changes are listed in detail here.
What you can do about it?
You should update your listings as soon as possible so that your items get visibility otherwise they’ll get reduced visibility through organic sales and hence lower sales.
To get an overview of your listing’s health, Sovoia Data Analyzer can help you drill into listings by visually drilling down into your item categories and identifying any item specific data quality issues. Please contact us if you want help with your data.
You can also improve your data quality by following these 5 general tips (if applicable in your case)
- Prioritize your categories: Going through each item will need time, so prioritize which categories should be fixed first. A good way to prioritize is by number of items in each category or by aggregate GMV. For example if your leather jackets are popular and carry a high average sale price, then start with that.
- Prioritize the data you will provide: One other change in some categories is that the number of item specifics allowed has gone up. Good examples are Shorts which have Length, Rise, Pattern and Size Type as some additional item specifics. So once you pick a category to work on, make sure you prioritize which item specifics you will provide, e.g. in the case of clothing items, Size, Colour and Garment type are key.
Most of the shoes are in wrong category after CSA changes
- Re-list under the correct category: In some categories such as Shoes, Style used to be an attribute of the category itself. This has now changed and sub categories such as Boots, Sandals etc have been added under Shoes to signify the style. The chances are that your Shoe listings have been lumped under Other Shoes by eBay for now and is evident from stats.The above screenshot taken on 5th May shows that 80% of Men’s Shoes are not correctly categorized on eBay UK. If you correctly categorize your shoes, you will gain a competitive advantage in terms of SEO and of course in sales too.
- Item Specific Names: Name of item specifics have changed while their purpose is still the same. For example in Coats & Jackets the primary size attribute is the Chest Size item specific, instead of the old Size item specific. In any case, double check and make sure that you are providing data in the correct Item Specific containers, the casing and spacing is important, for e.g. Chest Size or chest size are incorrect. Shorts, Trousers, Jeans etc are also affected in the same way.
- Item Specific Values: In some case the values you need to provide in item specifics have also changed. For example colors have gone plural, so Black is now Blacks. Similarly there have been formatting changes in size which you will need to follow to the letter to ensure your item specifics get indexed correctly by eBay’s search algorithm.
Good luck and please share your experiences in the comments section.
September 9th,2010 11:06 am
Data quality and good shopping experiences
Good data powers great shopping experiences - its as simple as that!
Lets try an example – you want to buy a spanking new flat panel TV in time for the NFL season. You prefer a couple of brands such as LG and Samsung and prefer LCD technology because of the brightness.
Next you go to your favorite online shop to do some competitive research and end up narrowing your selection to 4 different sets. The next logical step is to compare the 4 sets so that you can see how the TVs size up against each other in terms of features. Inputs matter to you because you want to connect your TV to your laptop (to watch pictures), connect your Blue Ray DVD player via HDMI and so on.
So when you go to the comparison view, what do you find? Surprise, surprise – you see a table view with the key data showing up as N/A or missing.
Now thats what we call a terrible shopping experience!
Data Quality on eBay
If you are an eBay seller, data quality is very very important. You are competing with hundreds, if not thousands of other sellers who are selling the same product as you. Here are a number of things that can give either you a competitive advantage (if your data quality is exceptional) or simply pull you back (if its terrible)
- You need to maximize the relevance of your listed items in the context of a given search run on eBay. And the way to do this is to have a great title and provide the relevant item specifics, in the right format so that eBay indexes this data correctly.
- Lets assume relevance is not an issue – some shoppers have found your product and are interested in buying it. If you have failed to provide key details in the form of item specifics then you will drive those shoppers away. For example if you are selling shoes but have not submitted the shoe size item specific, then shoppers will simply go to the next search result.
- Shoppers will not be able to refine their search results by key attributes. If they are using the attribute rich left nav on the eBay search results page and pick certain attributes (such as their shoe size) to refine search results – then your listed item will not appear in the search results. The same thing occurs if you have added the Sovoia Search widget to your store front.
Basic Steps to Follow
So when you list your item(s), you need to be mindful of the following
- Come up with a nice concise title which includes important information such as brand, model, year condition etc as well as key item specifics such as size.For more details, refer to eBay’s detailed guideline here.
- Provide item specifics which are relevant to the item and the category you have selected for it. For example if you are selling a pair of jeans, make sure you specify size because buyers will not be able to select the right pair of jeans if they dont know its size. Also ensure that you try and pick eBay recommended values for the item specifics – so in the case of jeans, go with waist size (instead of size) with values of the type W30, W32 etc instead of S,M,L or XL. For more details refer to eBay’s detailed guidelines here.
This is just a basic introduction to data quality – in the coming days we will go into more details of common issues and the simple workarounds to fix them.
We will also walk you through the Sovoia Data Analyzer tool, a very powerful aide for identifying gaps in data quality as well as finding fixes.