In the wake of the latest eBay UK Spring Seller Release, should you be opening an eBay shop, or can you get by without one?

There’s been a lot of chat online recently about eBay shops, following the announcement in the eBay UK Spring Seller Release that from May 2018 you will no longer be allowed to upload your own customised eBay shop design.

This is a huge blow – not only to those of us whom have invested time, effort and money into creating a fabulous shop experience for our customers – but also to those who have built successful businesses by providing those very designs and templates.

If those businesses have been relying solely on designing eBay shopfronts and have not diversified into other design areas, then this could potentially ruin them.

Here’s what eBay say: Starting in May 2018, we will begin updating eBay Shopfronts to ensure we are connecting businesses to shoppers in the best way we can. The newly-designed experience will improve search engine optimisation (SEO), enhance the mobile experience, and provide new merchandising opportunities for eBay Shop subscribers.”

You can read the full announcement here

So, eBay want buyers both on desktop and mobile to view all shops in the same way, hence the forthcoming standardised design. If you have an existing shop design already uploaded then you will be able to continue to use that for the time being, however it is very likely that in the future – probably sometime during 2019 – it will be a requirement that you migrate your shop to a new design solely provided by eBay.

So, my advice is this.

If you are currently thinking of investing in an eBay shop design – please hold fire for now and wait for the new standardized designs to be released in May.

Right now, use eBay’s current basic templates but concentrate on making all of your product descriptions outstanding!

If you need help with creating optimized eBay titles and product descriptions, please go here for details on how to get this done…by me!

Or please feel free to message me directly if you would like more information.

So you might be wondering, what’s the big deal really? In the wake of eBay’s announcement, long term, should you be opening an eBay shop anyway, or can you get by without one?

The main dilemma is this. On the one hand, perhaps as a newbie, you don’t necessarily want to incur the extra monthly subscription costs that owning an eBay shop brings, but on the other hand you know that you need to build a ‘brand’ and be ‘recognisable’ – which will actually need a little more work with all eBay shops eventually having to follow the same standardized theme.

This is why so many other factors must come into play too. Your product description – and how good it is – is absolutely vital but having an eBay shop can also help – which is why I suggest that if you haven’t already opened an eBay shop, you do use the next few months to get a strategy in place.

In a nutshell, customized design or not – an eBay shop is an advantage if you are a serious online seller.

Here’s just 3 reasons why…

1. You can suck buyers in

Once a potential buyer is in your shop, it’s easy for them to forget that other product options are available from other sellers. So, it’s quite possible that you can sell a product at a far higher price than your competitor – even if it’s exactly the same item!

2. You can use social media to increase traffic

It’s way easier to lead customers to your entire product inventory via a social media link rather than having to keep posting about individual listings. Your shop URL is permanent and won’t change, individual listing URL’s can change. In the same way, you can lead repeat custom to your eBay shop by enclosing your shop URL address on the packing slip with every order you dispatch.

3. You can stock low – and price high

I realise this may seem like an odd strategy, but it works! Keep your stock levels at under 10 items available to give the impression that stock is limited.

No-one like to miss out and by giving out the perceived idea that you only have a few of each product, people are more likely to impulse buy for that very fear of it selling out before they have had a chance to purchase. It’s all psychological!

There are plenty more reasons, but I’ll leave these three with you for starters!

In the meantime, make sure your product descriptions are top notch so that you can differentiate yourself from other sellers.