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eBay's Product Shopping Based Experience

As eBay continue the long march to a catalogue based system the impact of that goal is becoming more and more obvious to eBay sellers.

It’s a huge shift for eBay and it is an undoubtedly complicated goal to achieve.

The overall aim is to improve the shopping experience for buyers. To give this a name eBay have come up with PBSE – or Product Based Shopping Experience.

What that means in practical terms is that eBay is shifting to a similar listing and search mechanism to that which Amazon already has in place.

Rather than be presented with hundreds of listings that match the search term entered, eBay buyers will find they are presented with the product and any product variants that exist in a much more concise set of results.

Drilling down from there will allow the potential customer to find the actual listings(s) and to choose the seller they want to buy from.

This opens up the possibility for eBay to present a Buy Box, or preferred listing spot. A big shift from where things are today.

The down side of this change for sellers is that they must ensure that they provide enough information to eBay in order that eBay can associate their listing with the eBay catalogue item. That’s why item specifics such as Brand and Manufacturers Part Number (MPN) have become so important recently when listing an item.

Seller Dynamics is configured to ensure that that vital data is passed up to eBay – giving eBay every opportunity to tie the listing to the catalogue item.

The challenge for both eBay and for the eBay seller is that the eBay catalogue still requires population and the seller is expected to assist in the creation of those catalogue entries. So new items or items not in the catalogue require some work.

For instance, listing an item on eBay with a Brand that eBay expects to have in its catalogue will result in eBay advising the seller to add it to the catalogue, or risk poor sales until someone else does that work.

For those retailers that persevere, or who are diligent in adding MPN's, EAN's etc, good results look likely as eBay improve the shopping experience. The changes over the past year or so surrounding image size and active content have steadily made listings look more consistent. Nonetheless, the work involved in moving to a PBSE is likely to be unwelcome by some eBay sellers, especially if their categories or items are the first to be targeted as the new approach rolls out.

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