This is an article by Barrack Diego. He is an expert at Business Intelligence, BI, who has been active in the space for the last 30 years. A holder of a PhD in Theoretical Physics from Stanford University, he has developed a range of award-winning eBay tools for sellers. Feel free to follow him on Twitter.
eBay is the pioneer in customer-to-customer, C2C, ecommerce transactions and in business-to-consumer sales services through the internet. Founded in 1995, the website is free for buyers but sellers are charged a fee when their items are sold. These are the latest statistics of interest of eBay as of 2016.It currently boasts of 162 million users of which 25 million are sellers and the annual gross merchandise volume for the year 2015 was $82 million.
Therefore, just from the above statistics, if you are not selling on eBay, then you are missing out on action that has the potential to make you quite rich. But before jumping into the deep end, you need to have a few things clear and settled beforehand. In such a vast forest, you cannot afford to get in without taking the time off to engage in some little industrial espionage as it were. That is why you need to spy on the competition and to also find out as much as you can about the status of your item or listing on the platform.
A Full Stack Tool
This means that you must out of necessity invest in a software tool which will give you all the information that you will ever need since breaking (successfully) into eBay is much more than just conducting pricing research. Instead, you also need to research on users, sellers, sales, searches and keywords, revenue and device usage if you are to have any meaningful impact.
Completed Listing Research
The adage goes that history is the best teacher and this can never be truer with respect to an online ecommerce service like eBay. On eBay, there is a whole host of historical information on all the products which have been successfully sold on the platform.
This is a true goldmine which if used correctly can provide a lot of key information that will put you in good stead to sell your item and sell it well. This will afford you a research platform that has the potential to give you that much needed competitive edge.
Therefore, at the very least, you should expect this tool to offer you the following information from the historical data; the final price at which the items were sold, the higher the number the hotter the item, review the keywords of the titles used and the accompanying descriptive keywords, shipping offers, guarantees and whether they used the auction type or the fixed price listing. This historical data should be able to point you in the right direction.
In as much as the above information is important, it is still well within the realm of historical information and there really is no guarantee that this pattern will repeat itself in future. Therefore, to position yourself for the future and going forward, you need real-time analytics in order to understand and track current trends.
The tool should give you a way of having an in-depth understanding of the products being sold and to help in suggesting opportunities to improve listings. This eBay tools for sellers will help you find a whole range of ideas which you can use to improve the probability of your listing being successful.
After you have all the historical data and you have a good grasp of the current trends, the next logical thing left for you to do is to take advantage of all the information gleaned in order to position yourself for success on eBay.
The whole idea here is to make sure that you get to know the best way to optimize your listings on the platform to attract the most eyeballs and by consequence the total number of conversions. Therefore, expect the tool to give you a best match function which will allow you to research on the factors which distinguish a similar listing from its peers.
These factors include the following; the track record, pricing, shipping costs and the ultimate aim of this information is to help you learn about creating a listing that sits snugly in the sweet spot between what the buyers require and the price range which falls within their budget range.
Well, the real fun begins right after you have made your first listing and this means that you need to get down and start collecting data that will be of immediate and future value to you. The learning curve begins the moment you have your listing live on eBay.
Therefore, the tool should offer you a method of searching listings by their keywords and helping you to figure out the ranking of your product in the results and especially in the face of fierce competition.
In addition to that, your tool of choice should help you to form a clear picture of the buyer’s persona, that is to have an in depth understanding of what the buyer thinks, what they expect from a listing, whether they convert or not and in either case, the key driver for their behavior.
Overall, the trends will be useful in providing predictive analytics gleaned from historical data trends from completed and active listings. Therefore, as you go about shopping for a BI tool, you must bear all the factors about it in mind. The tool should be able to automate all the above processes and make it easier for you to go about generating reports in a simple and intuitive manner.
Such a tool should at the very least allow you to seamlessly integrate the average selling prices of the listings of interest and the highest and lowest prices at which the item sold. It should allow you to find the best performing keywords and categories for your listings and also to track products to understand their seasonality and demand curves. Over and above that, you should learn about the most effective way of listing your item and whether to use the fixed price or auction format and last but not least, to monitor your competition.