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eBay Strategies eBay Training eCommerce

Mastering Search on eBay

Search engine helps potential customers to find the product they are considering to buy. When customers puts query through, search engine looks for those words in its database and generates best result. The result is ranked based on best matched order for the query.

Here’s an example of search result on eBay and Amazon. As you can see as soon as user starts typing in query the Search Engine starts looking for those words in its index and even gives you suggestions. This happens instantaneously. The result will be shown matched with the full query. As retailers, if we are able to tap into what user look for, our products will appear in top search results thus increasing chances of sell through.

Click to Enlarge

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Amazon Search Result

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Over many years eBay has mastered how search result appears. eBay takes behavioural data[1] and learns how our users behave when shown a listing.  Do they click on it?  Do they place a bid?  Do they Buy It Now?  Similarly, when users have found an item interesting in the past, by clicking on it, bidding on it, or purchasing it, eBay expect that tells us something about how relevant that item might be to other users. There is more to the search results than matching up the search query. It’s getting complicated! However, I believe by the end of this post you will understand how to master search results on eBay.

There are two ways buyer finds our listings on eBay.

1. Search Recall     2. Search Refinement

Search Recall is all about matching keywords in title and catalogue data. Search Refinement is matching up with user input for category, specifics, conditions, location and so on. In order to position better in both search types, simply follow tips from eBay:

 • List in the correct category with a meaningful title

• Use item specifics and item condition

• Use long duration multi-quantity Buy It Now format

• Study what it takes to be a Top Rated Seller

• Make sure you are in relevant result sets, don’t keyword spam

• Use great pictures and a definitive title

• Be price competitive

• Specify shipping costs

The good thing is, if we stick with the basics it is always good. Don’t forget to put MPN or Barcodes and Brands. This information will ensure that your products appear in Google shopping.

The SEARCH CHANGE has begun

Chris, a good friend of mine has already written a post on eBay announcement to roll out of Cassini search engine.  eBay is already testing its new search engine called “Cassini” search platform.[2] It is scheduled to roll out fully in North America by the end of 2013, and internationally by 2014.  Against what eBay says, quite a few sellers believe eBay has already launched “Cassini” and it is the main cause of slow sales as items are not being found. Look at this UK eBay Forum Discussion. You can check your eBay Sales/Traffic reports and compare data to see what is going on.

Few weeks back I wrote a post on how to do so -> So how can eBay reports help us?

eBay says this new search engine features description search. In addition to searching titles and catalogue data, “Cassini” will automatically search descriptions to improve recall. Sellers will no longer have to rely on the title to ensure their item gets visibility. So, it’s a challenge for retailers to ensure description is accurate and relevant but would worth start working on it now. And you will be ready by the time of roll out.

If you did not know, Amazon already allows us to enter 250 characters of keywords that help boost search result.[3] Amazon also allows short sentences that summarise product’s key features. [4]The bullet points are displayed on the product detail page in the Technical Details section, above the product description, but also feed into Amazon search and external search results. So, eBay you are bit late for search engine optimisation but on a right track!

As retailers you don’t need to worry about techie stuff. Simply follow eBay search tips mentioned above and you are sorted. And do I have to say open an Amazon store NOW!


Cassini - Reengineering eBay Search





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