November 30, 2013

Holiday 2013 Same Store Sales - Black Friday Final.

Note: This is a regular feature published by ChannelAdvisor highlighting the Same Store Sales (SSS) across our wide range of thousands of retailers and billions in GMV.  Details on the SSS including background, methodology, disclaimers and schedule can be found in this post.  Our detailed Holiday 2013 schedule can be found here.

Today we are releasing the final day for Black Friday.  This is the second of the five days of Cyber Five:

13_nov_black_friday_cyber5

Some insights:

  • Amazon accelerated nicely y/y from Thaksgiving (30.7%) into Black Friday (34.7%) and performed well in the afternoon (yesterday's half time report had Amazon at 24.7% y/y growth so they made up a lot of ground through the rest of the day.
  • eBay saw the biggest day/day leap from 26% to 38% to ultimately grow faster than Amazon.  As mentioned in our half time report yesterday, eBay is benefiting from the scarcity of top electronics and toy items.
  • CSE saw a decrease from 30% to 18% from Thanksgiving->Black Friday.  CSE is a more research oriented channel than transactional so it makes sense that consumers were more research oriented on Thanksgiving and then went transactional on Black Friday.
  • GS declined from 145% to 126% - still a very strong showing.  We noted yesterday that for many queries for hard-to-find items, eBay was dominant in the GS listings.
  • Search declined from 37.7% to 13% - similar to CSE, search is more of a research tool vs. transactional.

In the device data we saw mobile (phone+tablet) get up to 39.6% of traffic - a bit higher than Thanksgiving's 39%.  Looking at the conversion rates and order %'ages the trend of consumers shopping on their phones, but buying on their tablets and computers is holding (at least for Search+CSE).

The 5.4% conversion rate for computers is one of the highest we've ever seen and really illustrates that consumers are clearly in buy mode.

Our next post will be tomorrow  (Dec 1) where we'll update you on Cyber Saturday's results.  We will be daily from here through the day after Cyber Monday.

This blog post was written by Scot Wingo, ChannelAdvisor CEO.

 

November 29, 2013

Holiday 2013 Same Store Sales - BONUS! Black Friday Half-Time Report

Note: This is a regular feature published by ChannelAdvisor highlighting the Same Store Sales (SSS) across our wide range of thousands of retailers and billions in GMV.  Details on the SSS including background, methodology, disclaimers and schedule can be found in this post.  Our detailed Holiday 2013 schedule can be found here.

We are following the Black Friday data closely and thought you would be interested in an update for how things are trending today.  This data is through noon ET on 11/29/13.  Historically we have seen the afternoon and evening hours trend up from the morning, so think of these as a 'start' to Black Friday.  In the following table we include Thanksgiving data as a comparison as well:

13_nov_black_friday_early_read

 

Here are some insights:

  • Amazon is having a slower start to Black Friday than Thanksgiving with ~25% growth compared to yesterday's ~31% performance.
  • Conversely, eBay is off to a solid start up 34.8% so far on Black Friday compared to 26.2% on Thanksgiving.  There are widespread reports of shortages on many top items this holiday (Xbox One and PS4, some Skylanders, Furby's, etc.) which could be benefiting eBay.
  • Like Amazon, CSE, GS and Search are also down compared to Thanksgiving, but we don't see that as a reason for concern given the half-day of data.

Our next post will be Tomorrow  (Nov 30th) where we'll update you on Black Friday.  We will be daily from here through the day after Cyber Monday.

This blog post was written by Scot Wingo, ChannelAdvisor CEO.

Holiday 2013 Same Store Sales - Thanksgiving final report - Day 1 of the Cyber-5

Note: This is a regular feature published by ChannelAdvisor highlighting the Same Store Sales (SSS) across our wide range of thousands of retailers and billions in GMV.  Details on the SSS including background, methodology, disclaimers and schedule can be found in this post.  Our detailed Holiday 2013 schedule can be found here.

 

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and is ready to hit the Black Friday sales (online) today!  Today we have several sets of data.  First, let's look at how Thanksgiving 2013 (Nov 28) compared ot Thanksgiving 2012 (Nov 22).

Note: Each year we track the five days from Thanksgiving-Cyber Monday and call that the Cyber Five.  For the next five days we will be filling in this table:

13_nov_cyber5_tg_results

 

The same trends we reported on yesterday at Thanksgiving 'half time' held through the day with each channel coming in with well over 25% y/y growth.  Given that we have six fewer shopping days this year that equates to 20% less days in the holiday, so it is encouraging to see such a spike on Thanksgiving.

What's also interesting is that mobile (phone+tablet) data was around 40% of traffic on Thanksgiving.  This shows that while folks were out or on the couch (tablet) they were doing their online shopping.  In mobile conversion rates, there is a nice increase for Computer and Tablet, but the phone conversion rate at 1.3% is still low.  It's not clear if consumers are using phones for pure research or if they are not converting because the phone-oriented sites are not as easy to use as computer (e.g. harder to type on phones, etc.).

Now let's look at some broader November trends to see how they compare to Thanksgiving.

Non-date-shifted November update

We have updated the table below to show the non-date-shifted November trends including MTD:

13_nov_tgiving_no_shift

A glance at this and you might be very concerned about Holiday 2013 - this shows the impact of the Thanksgiving 6 day shift this year on traditional non-date-shifted data.  Last year's data includes Thanksgiving-Cyber Monday plus an additional day and this year's data only includes Thanksgiving.  So in a pure Nov 1-28 y/y comparison, we are missing essentially five of the biggest days.  It's actually a bit of a positive that Amazon, eBay, Search and GS are positive at all.

Date-shifted November update

A better view of the trends is to look at the date shifted weeks of November working backwards from Thanksgiving as we have been doing and is now complete here with the three weeks before Thanksgiving of November:

13_nov_tgiving_date_shift

Here, for example if you look at the Amazon data, you can see a more traditional ramp into Thanksgiving that we have historically seen.

Conclusion and next post

The conclusion from this data is that we are off to a strong start to Holiday 2013, but we only have one out of ~24 days in the records so we need to see what happens through the Cyber Five.  We anticipated a surge in mobile shopping this year and ~40% is a new high water mark.   Also, a big action item from the data that we see is a need to improve conversions for the phone device. (40% of traffic is mobile, but only 25% of orders).

Our next post will be Tomorrow  (Nov 30th) where we'll update you on Black Friday.  We will be daily from here through the day after Cyber Monday.

This blog post was written by Scot Wingo, ChannelAdvisor CEO.

 

 

November 28, 2013

Holiday 2013 Same Store Sales - Thanksgiving (mid-day report)

Note: This is a regular feature published by ChannelAdvisor highlighting the Same Store Sales (SSS) across our wide range of thousands of retailers and billions in GMV.  Details on the SSS including background, methodology, disclaimers and schedule can be found in this post.  Our detailed Holiday 2013 schedule can be found here.

Happy_tg

First, I wanted to thank all of our customers, partners and team members @ChannelAdvisor for all of your support and hard work.   I hope everyone is having a great day with your friends and family and everyone has safe travels.

Date shifted analysis

Today we are releasing an early look at Thanksgiving data.  This data is date-shifted to compare Thanksgiving this year  (Nov 28) vs. last year (Nov 22).  Our thesis is that while CyberMonday used to kick off the e-commerce holiday shopping spree, with the advent of broadband at home and retailers promoting Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving, the start has moved up.

In this table, we compare the two week date-shifted period before Thanksgiving to our midnight-2pm ET early read on Thanksgiving to show the trends leading into Thanksgiving as well as Thanksgiving day.

13_nov_tgiving_table

 

A couple of insights from this view of the data:

  • Amazon - Amazon is running a ton of promotions already and you can see it working with a strong 48.5% y/y growth compared to last year's Thanksgiving.
  • eBay - eBay is also running Thanksgiving deals every hour that seem to be going well as they have increased their holiday growth rate to 20.3% from the earlier trends that were in the low teens.
  • CSE and GS also looked strong mid-way through Thanksgiving.  GS shows a bit of a slow-down from the 112% trend to 86% trend because this time last year retailers were realizing the strength of the program and were ramping budgets/skus/adoption.  So that's just a comp head-wind.  Regardless, you can't argue with 86% y/y growth in the e-commerce world where 15% is the baseline.
  • Finally search showed some signs of life ramping to 13.1% from the previous single digit trends we saw in the weeks leading into Thanksgiving.

I'm a graphical person and think this chart does a good job illustrating the relative growth rates for '2wks before' period compared to the 'halftime on Thanksgiving" period:

13_nov_tgiving_chart

Our next post will be tomorrow (Black Friday, Nov 29th) where we'll update you on November MTD, the final details on Thanksgiving (including device data/trends) and we'll start filling in our annual Cyber5 table.

 

This blog post was written by Scot Wingo, ChannelAdvisor CEO.

November 26, 2013

Holiday 2013 Same Store Sales - BONUS! Weekend before Thanksgiving results

Note: This is a regular feature published by ChannelAdvisor highlighting the Same Store Sales (SSS) across our wide range of thousands of retailers and billions in GMV.  Details on the SSS including background, methodology, disclaimers and schedule can be found in this post.  Our detailed Holiday 2013 schedule can be found here.

 We were reviewing some data from last weekend and we thought everyone would be interested in seeing this early datapoint.

What we did was compare the Fri, Sat and Sun before Thanksgiving from 2012 to 2013 (this is date shifted to deal with the unusually different holiday schedule this year).  This equates to November 16-18 from 2012 and Nov 22-24 for 2013 - we included three days to give the data a bit more 'depth'.

In this table, we included the prior datapoint for the time shifted '2 weeks before November' for comparison so you can compare to see how we are ramping into Thanksgiving:

13_nov_wknd_tg_table

Here you can see that for the most part, every channel appears to be trending up significantly heading into Thanksgiving (although three days are too few to call a complete Holiday trend).  This bodes well as retailers need the consumer to open their wallet earlier this year to help make up for the lost 6 days of Holiday 2013:

  • Amazon is up about 10% trend-wise from the previous week. Amazon has started their pre-TG Black Friday deals, which could have moved the needle.
  • eBay had the most significant bump, up 18%.  eBay has started opening the promotional spigot and it seems to be generating results.
  • CSE was relatively flat overall and with Google Shopping.
  • Search was up about 8% trend-wise.

I'm a graphical person and thought this chart does a great job illustrating the relative growth rates for '2wks before' period compared to the 'weekend before' period:

13_nov_wknd_chart

 

Our next post will be on Thanksgiving Day (Nov 28th) where we'll update you on November MTD, fill out the time shift above and have an early read on what we're seeing in the land of e-commerce on Thanksgiving Day.  After that we'll kick into daily mode through Cyber Monday, so stay tuned and everyone have a great Thanksgiving!

This blog post was written by Scot Wingo, ChannelAdvisor CEO.

November 25, 2013

Holiday 2013 Same Store Sales - Third Week of November Results - now with date shifts!

Note: This is a regular feature published by ChannelAdvisor highlighting the Same Store Sales (SSS) across our wide range of thousands of retailers and billions in GMV.  Details on the SSS including background, methodology, disclaimers and schedule can be found in this post.  Our detailed Holiday 2013 schedule can be found here.

Several readers and customers have correctly noted that due to the unusual calendar this year with a very late Thanksgiving, day-to-day comparisons (e.g. Nov 1-7 2012 vs. 13) is a bit 'unfair' because in 2012, that date range was < 3 weeks from Thanksgiving and here in 2013, it's > 3 weeks from Thanksgiving.  We thought that was an interesting thought and in addition to our standard 'date aligned' results today we are looking at 'time shifted' results below.

As we get into Thanksgiving and what we call the Cyber 5 (Thanksgiving -> CyberMonday) we will of course shift everything vs. date aligned.

Date aligned SSS results

Today we are releasing the results for the third week (7 day period) of November 2013 (15-21): (click to enlarge)

13_nov_wk_3

Here is our analysis on the results:

  • Amazon - Amazon dipped a bit in week three from week two, but is still well North of 20%, which we view as a positive set-up for the holiday.
  • eBay - eBay increased to 12.9% in the third week.
  • CSE - CSE slowed to 5.2%.
  • GS  - Google Shopping/PLA slowed to 46%, showing some headwinds compared to last year's holiday ramp.
  • Search - Search increased to 2.2% in week 3 from 1.7% in week 2.

Tablet+Smartphone continued to take share from Desktop coming in at 19%.  Conversion rates on Phone ticked up slightly with the rest remaining largely unchanged.

Date shifted November analysis

As mentioned, we thought it would be interesting to 'date shift' the weeks in November to get a better 'aligned comp'.  To do this, we start with the day before Thanksgiving (11/21/12 and 11/27/13)  and mark those week 1 before TG, week 2 before TG, etc.

In this table we have the three week period and two week period before Thanksgiving aligned between 2012 and 2013:

13_nov_wk_3_shifted

 

A couple of insights from this view of the data:

  • Amazon - ramping very nicely compared to last year and into Thanksgiving which bodes well for them over the Cyber 5.
  • eBay - Growing in-line with e-commerce heading into holiday.
  • CSE and GS also look strong going into the Thanksgiving kick-off
  • Search is under pressure which is what we've been seeing all year from Google Shopping.

Our next post will be on Thanksgiving day (Nov 28th) where we'll update you on November MTD, fill out the time shift above and have an early read on what we're seeing in the land of e-commerce on Thanksgiving Day.  After that we'll kick into daily mode through Cyber Monday, so stay tuned and everyone have a great Thanksgiving!

This blog post was written by Scot Wingo, ChannelAdvisor CEO.

November 18, 2013

The Five Laws of Product Data - Part Five

We have now arrived at the final stage of this five-part blog series on product data, written by Rynhardt Hanekom and Rachel Miller from ChannelAdvisor’s Customer Success team.

So far in the blog series we’ve covered law one, which recommends that data be available for use in any of your business’s needs. Law two discussed why your data should be sustainable, made of building blocks that are scalable, smart and flexible. Law three covered how your data showcases the value, details and unique selling points of your products, whilst law four examined how your data should be excellent, exhibiting quality that allows it to be effective.

This final instalment will examine law five, showing how you can ultimately turn your product data into one of your business’s greatest assets. We’ll also provide you with a scorecard that will allow you to assess whether your business abides by all five laws.

The Final Law

The fifth and final law is making sure your product data is thorough and meets all the requirements of your business. Incomplete product data could cause content to fall through the cracks and put your business-building plans on hold. As a result, you’d need to invest more time to the data you already have.

Data Blog 5 Screenshot

We at ChannelAdvisor find that retailers who are looking to expand into new channels and markets are often missing key or recommended data points in their product data, including any of the essential four data laws mentioned in these previous instalments. Going through your entire inventory to add attribute information can be costly and time-consuming, especially if you have a large product catalogue.

Typically, most retailers discover that their data isn’t thorough when they enter a new marketplace or channel that they haven’t sufficiently planned for — often one with attribute values for listings. Each marketplace commits extensive research into what works well, what is required to retain customer engagement, having a buyer commit and improve their overall retailing experience. It’s essential that the retailer also commit to this degree of thorough research. 

Putting together a data-building plan is fundamental when constructing your data foundation, ensuring that you have the information needed to power your expansion plans. We recommend building out your expansion plans six to twelve months in advance and taking a look at the required data for those ventures right now. Ask yourself where you want your business to be in six to twelve months and how these targets affects your product data today.

By completing and rounding out your required data now, you’ll be making sure your expansion path runs smoother in the future. Ensuring your data is thorough can aid in completing your construction product data and leave your business assets in good standing.

Five Laws of Product Data Scorecard

Now that we’ve covered all the product data laws, it’s time to see whether your business ticks all five boxes. Complete this quick assessment to find out.

Product Data Screenshot 4

By now, we’re hoping your total tally is five. If not, ask yourself whether your data is really an asset that will steer your business in the right direction or is simply present so your products can be live on various channels in the hope that sales will materialise. A platform such as ChannelAdvisor can prove to be a considerable tool in improving upon these data laws.

Five Laws Summary

The five laws of product data will help you determine how you want to create your inventory data so that you achieve your desired results and acquire the data assets you need.

Using these laws with a powerful software platform such as ChannelAdvisor, which leverages a centralised inventory, could see you expanding into additional channels with considerable ease and fluidity. For more information on the ChannelAdvisor platform and how it can assist your online expansion, visit the ChannelAdvisor website.

Holiday 2013 Same Store Sales - Second Week of November Results

Note: This is a regular feature published by ChannelAdvisor highlighting the Same Store Sales (SSS) across our wide range of thousands of retailers and billions in GMV.  Details on the SSS including background, methodology, disclaimers and schedule can be found in this post.  Our detailed Holiday 2013 schedule can be found here.

Today we are releasing the results for the second week (7 day period) of November 2013 (8-14): (click to enlarge)

13_nov_wk_2

Here is our analysis on the results:

  • Amazon - Amazon picked up a bit in week two coming in at 27.1% y/y growth compared to week 1's 15.6%
  • eBay - eBay declined from 13.6% in week 1 to 8.2% in week 2.
  • CSE - CSE slowed to 8.6% from week one's 17.4%
  • GS  - Google Shopping/PLA was essentially unchanged at 94% y/y growth.
  • Search - Search dipped significantly coming in at 1.7% vs. last week's 16.6%

The mobile traffic data this week was largely unchanged compared to the first week.

These first couple weeks of November will give us a baseline as we ramp into the official kick-off of the Holiday, which is Thanksgiving here in the US (November 27th this year).

The next update will be November 25th when we look at the results from the third week of November (15-21).  

This blog post was written by Scot Wingo, ChannelAdvisor CEO.

 

November 14, 2013

Holiday 2013: The Year Mobile Takes Over?

Emarketer mobile chartNumbers from research firm eMarketer indicate that m-commerce will jump 56% in 2013 from 2012, predicting that this year’s U.S. retail sales from smartphones and tablets will reach $39 billion!  

Deloitte corroborates eMarketer’s mobile-heavy story with the recently revealed results of its 2013 Annual Holiday Survey of more than 5,000 consumers nationwide. 

First of all, Deloitte’s research found that 60% of consumers now have smartphones, and of those smartphone users, nearly 7 out of 10 plan to use their phone for shopping purposes this holiday.

Deloitte asked shoppers for details on how they plan to use their smartphones this holiday season and received a  multitude of responses from research to showrooming to purchasing to deal-seeking.  Here is the full breakdown from Deloitte: 

Deloitte Mobile Chart

The majority of these shoppers will still be using their mobiles for finding store locations and comparing prices, but 31% plan to make purchases with their smartphones.

Use these strategies to make sure you’re prepared for the mobile shopper this year:

1.      Get your products on eBay and Amazon

These websites already have apps with impressive followings, and if your products are on the sites, they will show up in mobile search results.  In fact, according to Nielsen, eBay and Amazon claim the top two spots on the list of the most popular mobile commerce apps in the U.S.  EBay’s app has been downloaded more than 162 million times, and Amazon’s 64.9 million.  Chances are, building your own app would cost much more and wouldn’t get you a fraction of the traffic you’d get through these apps.  Find out more about Amazon and eBay's mobile apps in this eBook

2.      Properly bid your Google Enhanced Campaigns

With Enhanced Campaigns, mobile is bid as a derivative of your tablet/PC bid.  Therefore, you have to be careful not to submit the same bid on all devices, as that could lead to overspending on either mobile or tablet/PC bids.  Analyze performance by device and make sure you are creating device-specific ads and sitelinks.  ChannelAdvisor does this automatically – find out how in our Autumn Release eBook.

3.      Make sure your website is responsively designed

Responsively designed websites automatically detect the device being used and respond by offering the optimal viewing experience. Flexible images and fluid grids size correctly to fit the screen. With the increasing adoption of tablets and smartphones worldwide, and the continuing trend of multidevice shopping, responsive design may become standard in the future. Build a website once and it works seamlessly across thousands of screens. For users, it ensures the ideal experience on every screen.

4.      Meet the need for speed

Mobile shoppers are impatient!  A KISSMetrics study found that 49% of mobile shoppers abandoned a mobile site if it took 10 seconds to load.  Google’s PageSpeed Insights will help you check site speed and offer suggestions to make it faster. Keep in mind that improperly sized images can cause slow load times; a Rich Media solution can address that concern.

5.      Make sure your product information is up-to-date

Not only do you need to regularly update your inventory amounts, but you also need to make sure your product information is up-to-date and comprehensive.  Per the Deloitte survey above, the third-most common reason shoppers are using their smartphones is to get product information, and the fifth-most reason is to read reviews.  Providing detailed product information as well as reviews can help shoppers find out more about the items they are interested in, and could encourage them to buy from your mobile site.

6.     Consider offering free Wi-Fi

Rather than fighting showrooming, retailers could embrace it by offering free Wi-Fi in their stores.  Per Deloitte’s study, 14% of mobile shoppers would be more likely to purchase from a retailer that offered Wi-Fi for comparison shopping.  That’s not where it ends, however.  Thirty-two percent of shoppers think that if store employees are equipped with mobile technology they can provide a better shopping experience.  Some 22% were open to buying from associates who had mobile checkout devices. 

Mobile shopping is certainly hitting its stride this holiday season. We'll be watching closely to see if it lives up to the predictions of eMarketer.  In the meantime, use these tips to help increase your mobile conversions, and check out the tip sheet below for more ideas. 

 Blog post by Delisa Reavis, Sr. Mgr., Global Corp Comm, Marketing Director, APAC


Mobile holidayWant more holiday mobile tips?  Check out our 8 Holiday Tips for Mobile Tip Sheet and learn how you can turn those browsing shoppers into buying customers.  

November 12, 2013

The Five Laws of Product Data - Part Four

Welcome to part four of our five-part blog series on product data. Written by Rynhardt Hanekom and Rachel Miller from ChannelAdvisor’s Customer Success team, Part One, Part Two and Part Three are available in case you missed any of the previous instalments.

When selling online, your products are constantly being compared and measured against your competitors’ products. What’s the key to getting a customer to select your product over another? Some say it’s the item price or delivery cost and time, while others say it depends on the brand itself.

What isn’t commonly recognised is that ultimately the customer’s decision comes down to your product data. We all respond to stimuli, and although selling products online holds many advantages for retailers, one major disadvantage is that you have access to only a few senses that drive decision-making. Retailers selling in the bustling high street have sounds, sights, touch, smell and even taste playing in their favour.

A significant advantage for online retailers, however, is the potential to market your products to millions of global shoppers. The fourth instalment of this five-part blog series aims to review the key factors that affect purchase decisions and how to most effectively list your products.

The Importance of Excellence

In law two of this blog series, we reviewed how sustainability product data is key to success. The natural extension to this topic is law four, excellence. Having subpar building materials won’t serve your business well and you could find yourself outperformed in the industry. Quality is essential, especially when competing against an extensively busy and determined online retail market.

Competing in this e-commerce landscape can be a challenge. Whether your product is grouped in a shared listing (such as Amazon) or an individual listing (like eBay), you are constantly competing with other retailers. It’s therefore vital that you utilise product data to the fullest, making sure you stay one step ahead of the competition. One part of achieving this is by applying law three: showcasing your products and gaining that competitive edge.

The same principles you apply on marketplaces can also be applied on your webstore, taking the best components or suggestions each marketplace has to offer. This relates to the second law: ensuring that your data is sustainable. To have your website’s product display pages in a desired format, you ought to invest in drawing buyers to your site, as well as perform A/B testing and additional exercises to keep them engaged. Applying all the data laws to your website design will help create a user-friendly experience that converts. 

How do I achieve Excellence?

If you have been following this blog series, you will have gone through the process of planning and reviewing your data. So with that tackled, let’s take a closer look at how to construct your data on eBay and Amazon:

Title

Your product title is the most important component of your data and what the buyer first encounters when looking at product listings. Each word in the title is searchable, so you want to include every term a buyer will search. Avoid using spam keywords; the marketplaces don’t like it and buyers don’t want to read it. Presentation is also key, so make sure to be descriptive and accurate — and proofread to ensure there are no spelling mistakes.

Provide all the necessary information to help buyers make their decision. Make sure you ask yourself these questions when listing:

  • What is the item?
  • Does it have a brand or other descriptive attribute?
  • What is it made of?
  • What colour is it?
  • Is size a concern?
  • Is packaging or packaging quantity important?
  • Is seasonality important?
  • Does it have a model number?

Don’t include discount information or words and phrases not pertaining to the item itself, such as ‘L@@k,’ ‘shipped from the UK,’ ‘as seen worn by Joe Schmo’ or ‘lowest price in the U.K.’ Keep in mind that different marketplaces have different character restrictions, so you’ll likely end with different titles across each channel:

  • eBay title: Men's ACME Casual Blue Shirt in Hawaiian Design with Floral Print - Large
  • Amazon title: Men's ACME Blue Casual Short Sleeve Shirt in Hawaiian Design with Floral Print -
    Large

Description

When writing a product description, make sure to get to the point fast and with the most relevant data. When on eBay, utilise bullet points, which will either need to be written as HTML or, if you use ChannelAdvisor, could already be built into your template and you would just need to reference the attributes.

On Amazon you can utilise the five featured bullets, while through ChannelAdvisor you can map the relevant attributes in your template. If you have additional information that you wish to include to help buyers make a decision, then make sure to keep it brief. One or two paragraphs should suffice.

Don’t repeat information already highlighted in other parts of the product page, and don’t include images, links or information that’s comparative, negative or unrelated. 

Categories

The importance of categories cannot be stressed enough. They have the ability to generate information you might not already have listed and can be used to map or generate information such as product type, which is required in certain marketplaces.

In Excel you can use VLOOKUP for this exercise, while in ChannelAdvisor you can use lookup lists or business rules.

Product Data Screenshot 1
Descriptive Attributes

Descriptive attributes are any additional key information about the product. Below are some different uses of descriptive attributes.

eBay item specifics: These are displayed within the product listing page but are also used in left-hand navigation within the category. Item specifics allow buyers to filter out products unrelated to what they are looking for; also known as refined search, or filtered navigation. By not entering this information, your products might not appear in a search and you could potentially lose out on sales. eBay requires item specifics to be populated for certain categories, such as clothing.

Product Data Screenshot 2
Variation data: Size, colour and flavour are all attributes that you can have your products vary by to improve buyer experience on most channels.

Search terms: On Amazon, this is a good way to help shoppers find your products. Make sure not to repeat words you’ve already used, such as in your title. Use standalone words, not phrases; your item will only be relevant if consumers search for the entire phrase.


Below are product specifications on Amazon, which can help with the buying experience.

Product Data Screenshot 3

Images

Images are a vital tool for marketing your listings. Without seeing a product image, buyers are drastically less likely to purchase your item.

Each marketplace has different specifications for images — and eBay recently changed its requirements. See this recent blog post on the topic, titled “Why You Need to Upgrade Your Images Now.”

We suggest comparing the requirements across all channels you’re selling on, or expanding to and ensuring your images are of the best quality and will be effective on all channels. The overall goal here is to succeed in law two, making your images sustainable.  

Summary

Each component of your product listing — whether it’s the title, description, category or any other component — plays an essential part in marketing your product to potential buyers and standing out from a busy and competitive crowd.

Head back next week for the fifth and final part of this blog series on the laws of product data. To receive this blog instalment directly to your inbox, simply subscribe to the blog through the form on the right-hand side of the page.