eBay Open 2017 Conference Recap
Last week, more than 1,500 sellers and vendors gathered in Las Vegas for the annual eBay Open conference to discuss the future of eBay and e-commerce.
Sellers had the opportunity to attend a range of sessions, including presentations by Hal Lawton, Senior Vice President of eBay North America; Bob Kupbens, VP, B2C Selling & Global Trust; and Mohan Patt, VP, Buyer Experience, Product and Engineering on how eBay is modernizing and simplifying the business.
Workshops throughout the three days covered tips on how to streamline and optimize selling using eBay’s Seller Hub and Marketing Tools; insights into trends in mobile and how to use social media to build your brand; guidance on shipping and more in-depth information on cross-border selling, utilizing eBay’s Global Shipping Program.
Things kicked-off on Wednesday morning with a keynote from CEO Devin Wenig where he presented three of eBay’s top priorities:
- Creating and helping manage incredible inventory at incredible prices to consumers
- Presenting that in a distinctly, modern, unique, and relevant shopping experience on mobile, the web, everywhere
- Building a powerful, simple and profitable selling platform
“Our vision is not that everybody in the world has to come to something called eBay, it’s that eBay is where everybody in the world is,” Wenig said.
Throughout the week, four main topics rang clear: structured data, artificial intelligence, personalization and search.
Many of you have probably seen and heard the push for structure data from eBay in the last two years. Well, it’s not ending anytime soon. Structured data is powering everything eBay is doing on the site, including their new navigation structure, specifically browse & search, product, and view item pages.
Product data, especially item specifics are more important than ever before. Be sure to prioritize content optimization ahead of the holidays!
The buzzword of the year — artificial intelligence (AI) — isn’t lost on eBay. They’re leveraging AI to estimate delivery times and optimize pricing. This fall will mark the introduction of eBay Image Search and Find It On eBay (powered by AI, of course), which will allow more of the internet to become searchable — and buyable.
Find It On eBay will allow you to share images from any web source (Pinterest, Facebook, Google, etc), and the mobile app will find product listings for that item or similar items.
With Image Search, you can snap a picture of something you want to buy and enter it into the eBay search bar on their native apps. From there, you’ll be shown listings that match the item you’re looking for.
Personalization leverages AI, big data and structured data to tailor product recommendations towards your passions and interests. You can select from a list of interests and eBay will recommend products based on those interests.
Lastly, search. 80% of all shopping sessions start with search. eBay is optimizing the search flow by pulling in more buying options, displaying reviews and allowing buyers to shop by product first with eBay’s Best Match sorting algorithm still calling the shots.
Summing It All Up
While we could go on and on with key takeaways from this year’s eBay Open, here are our top five:
- 66% of all buyers review return policies before making a purchase. We encourage you to offer at least 30-day, free returns. 60-day is even better! Sellers see up to a 17% boost in sales by offering free, 30-day returns. Additionally, buyers will soon be able to filter search results by listings that are return-eligible, so make sure your listings don’t get filtered out.
- Less than 49% of eBay sellers are using promotional tools (Markdown Manager, Promotions Manager, and Promoted Listings) yet these tools increase conversion and directly impact search.
- Leverage cross-border trade via eBay’s Global Shipping Program (GSP). Sellers only have to ship domestically to Kentucky, and eBay handles the rest. Why not expand your reach into 101 additional countries?
- Utilize eBay Seller Hub for pricing recommendations, listing enhancements and sourcing guidance.
- Optimize for mobile first. 50% of all GMV is generated directly by mobile and 61% touches mobile. Make sure your fonts are legible, there isn’t horizontal scrolling and your image fits properly on various screens.
The future of commerce is changing, and eBay is dedicated to remaining relevant for years to come by building a scaled platform and a modern, simplified seller experience. As Sunil Rajasekar, VP of Selling Experience, said, “We’re just getting started.”
If you’re a current eBay seller and missed on this year’s event, be sure to check it out next year! Not selling on eBay? Get started today!