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Using eBay Listing Analytics
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Before starting life as a online seller – I had worked quite heavily in a startup where analytics was pretty damn important, was great to try something new and almost real-time see how users reacted with google analytics or similar.
So when starting eBay I was struggling as it all seemed like shooting arrows blindfolded when it came to improving where we came on the best match and then I noticed listing analytics! Looked perfect at first, but soon came to realise it has some really serious flaws. The main one of which is that it seems that data lags up to 5 days behind – for example I am checking today and the data period is June 12 – July 11 without the options of changing the dates. I appreciate that for sellers who have the same stock and constantly sell this can still be useful, but the fact that the data is so out of date and inflexible makes it hard to see how it can have any real use?
For example I feel the greatest use of this tool would be to allow ‘experiments’ to see what works and what doesn’t e.g.
1) Find an under-performing listing
2) Alter the listing with the view to improve
3) Wait for a days worth of data
4) Compare if has been a success or not
The end result is sellers would be able to create clearer, more targeted/responsive listings which serve the customers better which surely would be a good thing? in the same way eBay awards TRS etc?
So I have pretty much stopped using it, however the problem persists, how do you improve your listings without a feedback loop, would be interested if anyone has made use of the analytics and really seen some improvement?
Oh don’t start me on this one ;-) You cannot effectively A/B test eBay, I’ve tried and you have to make some heavy assumption’s and it doesn’t work on large accounts.
Sellathon used to be really good, until eBay started listing the descriptions in an iframe and a lot of the data was lost, but even then you cannot properly track the conversion ratio because you do not have access to the final pages of the cart, so you have to track the number of sales for that day and try and match the visitors order to the sale based upon time and it gets really tricky, if not impossible.
You’ve notice that the eBay Listing Analytics looks pretty, but that’s about it, as you’re right, it being 6 days out of date deems it almost useless, but not entirely useless (note that terapeak is also about 6 days out so I suspect the data for eBay Listing Analytics is coming from the same data source).
At best you can use it to identify the better and under performers, infact it’s about it. Taking the good points from the performing listing and trying to emulate in the poorer listing.
There are some calls in the https://www.x.com/developers/ebay/products/best-match-api Best Match API from eBay that are curious, namely findBestMatchItemDetailsBySeller and getBestMatchItemDetails which spill out some interesting data.
I’ve only looked at this in passing with a few basic calls, but it looks like you can get more up-to-date data, but I have not had the time to look at the responses properly over a period of time (along with some other parts of the API).
Coming back on to topic, eBay Listing Analytics great for a rough idea, but as you suggest useless for anything more detailed as it’s too out of date.
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