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Order Search & Series Wrap Up – 5/5 Buyer Features eBay Is Missing in 2016

ebay-logoHowdy,

During this mini-series we’ve been looking at the features buyers are missing from eBay even now in 2016.

As we’ve already found there is several super-obvious things missing already!

If you’ve missed the previous parts of this series, you can catch up with part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here and part 4 here.

In this final installment we look at a couple of extra features that are missing from eBay today and also summarise what we’ve found together during this series.

Before we start it’s worth noting again that this entire series has been focused on the buyer’s side of the table.

None of the changes suggested require any input from sellers like yourself. 

This is a key note to keep in the back of your mind because for sellers to be involved in making any changes could take years to take effect (such as a unified product catalog, gallery images & so on…), instead these are small tweaks to the buying experience that could be deployed without any interruption or input from yourself as a seller on eBay.

Right let’s get into the two other things I’ve spotted eBay is still missing!

The Ability to Search Previous Orders

Right now your email account has better search tools than what can be found in eBay for a buyer!

This might sound like a daft one, but when as a buyer you make several orders, the ability to find an order is actually very restricted in eBay.

It gets worse the more you buy!

Below is a screenshot from my eBay account.

Take a few moments to study the search/filter options a buyer has.

My eBay Purchase history

Did you get them all?

All 3 of them!

The following features a buyer has in the top menu are:

  • Hidden or non-hidden orders
  • See orders within a date range
  • And a filter option for “All”, “Dispatched”, “Ready for feedback” (all frankly pointless tbh)

Now consider the following basic task.

“Last year you purchased a 10Kg sack of lawn seed and wish to purchase it again. How do you find it?”

As a buyer you might have to use of of the epically poor search filters at the top, say by selecting “2015” for the date range search or just ended up scrolling through one or more pages to find the item that was purchased (or just given up).

  • Simple?
  • Intuitive?
  • Fast?

None of those words could be used to describe the process involved in finding a previous order made on eBay.

Infact it would have been quicker to open up my email account and search in there instead!

So… with this clearly in our minds.

What if a buyer has this additional search option within their My eBay purchase history?

my ebay search option

Yep!

A simple search option would allow us as buyers to quickly find previous purchases.

So that lawn seed I now need again in Spring, I could purchase within a few clicks.

That customer who bought from you before, could buy from you again, easily!

Finding previous purchases on eBay isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination.

We all know that making buyers think is a bad idea, the addition of a simple search option within the buyer’s purchase history section would allow them to find such orders quickly, simply & intuitively.

Note: My wife Helen who works with me just commented on the 2015 filter and then having to scroll down the page to find the previous order. “I just had to do that!”. As I gave that to her as a task to do today for me. Thankfully we found the order we were looking for (well Helen did rather).

 

Infinite Scrolling Search Results

American Eagle Outfitters Infinte ScrollFor this one I’m going to assume you’ve either not seen this or not heard it called “Infinite Scrolling” before.

It’s quite simple actually.

Take a look at the American Eagle Outfitters website here:
https://www.ae.com/web/browse/category.jsp?catId=cat10049&navdetail=mega:women:c2:p1

Now start scrolling down the page.

Does it ever end?!!!

That ladies & gents is infinite scrolling.

My point here is not the discussion over whether infinite scrolling or using “load more” buttons is effective (this is discussed in depth here & well worth the read), my point is purely that allowing a buyer to carry on scrolling down the page without constantly wading through separately “defined” pages would make the overall eBay searching & buying expereince a lot easier & faster.

The Buyer Features eBay is Missing in 2016

During this series we’ve covered a lot, let’s recap what buyer features eBay are still missing in 2016.

yellow-wall

Block Sellers List

Unfortunately not all sellers are #amazeballs on eBay.

We discussed this in part 1 of this series where just like you as a seller on eBay have a block bidders list, I’d like to see a block sellers list to remove the sellers that have performed inadequately for me personally from my search results.

By allowing buyers to have their own block sellers list, this gives the power to the buyer to make their own choices.

Remember a customer’s experience is subjective to each & every customer. The service I receive may be considered quite different to what you feel about your experience.

The block sellers list is a simple tool that allows for macro adjustments by individual customers to meet their own requirements.

eBay Search Options

Default Search Filter Options

Putting the power of search in buyers hands.

We learned that while myself specifically has two main buying modes on eBay, “anytime as long as it’s cheap” and the other mode “I want it now“, the search filters on eBay are very restrictive and don’t actually give buyers any ability to truly “home-in” their search results, let alone be able to use the same search criteria again & again.

Also we learned that when facing similar situations in the past with complex & often unique options, the best way of tackling such scenarios is through the use of profiles or templates.

Empower buyers to make pre-made search filters, let them set up default search options to make finding and ultimately buying faster.

Having 20 tabs open all saying eBay is so “the naughties” (year 2000).

Highlight Sellers from Previous Purchases

I’ve Purchased From You Before!

This is as simple as a one liner. See the image below:

standard eBay search result - edited

A positive reinforcement that there is already a relationship between the buyer & seller has to encourage trust between both the buyer, the seller and also the relationship between eBay & the buyer.

Answer the Fundamental Questions Fast

When will the item be with me?

In part 4 of this series we looked at the simple question above.

How hard would it be to show the estimated delivery time for an eBay listing from the search results page?

eBay listing shipping etaNote: Not that hard, it’s already being haphazardly shown on the search results page and also in the listings too.

Again having to wade through listing after listing to find out when a item could be with us as buyers is tedious.

Also part 4 of this series we discovered a search filter that would slam location abuse on eBay on one hit.

Imagine you had a search filter that allowed these options:

  • “Delivery within 2 working days”,
  • “Delivery within 3 working days”
  • “Delivery within 2 working days & include seller’s expedited option”.

Jackpot!

That would floor miss-representated locations on eBay overnight.

And it would make it a whole lot easier for buyers to select an item from a seller that has the ability to deliver their purchase in a sensible timeframe.

The Ability to Search Previous Orders

my ebay search option

We covered this earlier in this post, so won’t cover in too much detail.

Once purchases have been made, buyers are left stranded in their “My eBay” with no ability to actively search through their previous orders.

Buyers cannot make repeat purchases from you easily!

Scrolling Instead of Tabbing

Again we covered this earlier in this post and will skimp the smaller details.

The key point is that having to individually click for each page of results can be made into a much more simpler, natural expereince by using infinite scroll or scroll/load more buttons.

The Competition is Biting at eBays Loin Regions

I was going to write “biting at eBay’s ankles”, but that wouldn’t have been a true representation, it’s gone way past a snappy dog now, there is sooo much choice for buyers out there beyond eBay.

The only reason I’m personally not purchasing more from Amazon boils down to just two things:

  1. Choice. The range of products on Amazon is limited compared to other options, eBay being one of them.
  2. And price. Amazon is rarely the cheapest since the price fixing has been scarpered.

Earlier in part 2 I mentioned about Amazon having ultra fast delivery, next or even same day here in the UK & no hassle returns to boot. Aliexpress is cheaper and just-as-fast as buying from Chinese eBay sellers. Banggood is around 20% cheaper than eBay. eBay unbeliebavly promoted the Banggood.com website to me as an eBay customer from within their mobile app!

And that’s just 3 sites.

The choice is now firmly in the hands of the buyer.

Buying stuff needs to be simple, fast & easy.

Everything that has been set out in this mini series is:

  • Buyer focused
  • Requires no action from eBay sellers
  • And is ultra-fast to implement

Don’t for one second think I’ve not enjoyed the eBay buying expereince for those +170 purchases.

Yep a couple of them have been dire, but overall it’s been great to see the personalisation & professionalism of the eBay selling community.

However as buyers today we have lots of choices, eBay is one of those.

There are some gaping holes and some things that could do with some love on eBay for buyers.

What do you Make of the Suggestions?

When was the last time you purchased on eBay & took a look around while were you at it?

Do you feel that these suggestions would or maybe would not have a positive impact on your business on eBay?

Let me know in the comments box below.

As always, to your continued success,

Matt

When will the item be with me? – 4/5 Buyer Features eBay Is Missing in 2016

When will the item be with me?Howdy,

In this mini-series we’re learning what the top 5 features that buyers are missing on eBay are.

As you might already know I’m used to dealing with the other side of the table, the seller’s side of the table for multi-channel businesses. However, over the past 2 months or so I’ve really got back into hobby electronics and eBay being eBay, it’s a great choice to grab a whole variety of goodies.

The more I’ve refreshed myself with the buying side of eBay (+170 transactions in less than 2 months), the more I’ve realised there are several key features missing from eBay.

In part 1 we looked at the suggestion of adding a block sellers list, in part 2 we looked at search profiles to expedite the identification of listings, in part 3 yesterday we looked at reminding customers that they’ve purchased from you before.

Today we’re looking at the second most important question running through a buyer’s head. When will their order be with them?

To be able to answer this fundamental question for us as buyers on eBay, we’ll be looking at the possibility of adding a search filter that allows a buyer to refine their search based upon the delivery ETA of the listing to the buyer.

Oh and this single filter would slam location abuse on eBay overnight.

Read on to find out more.

When Will the Item you Ordered be With You?

For me this is the most glaringly-obvious search filter that is missing on eBay.

This filter would solve overnight the issue of non-UK (or insert your country here) sellers masquerading as local businesses with the old eBay chestnut of “location abuse”.

As a buyer I’d like to be able to refine my search results by the delivery ETA.

For example, today is Friday 25th March.

I’d like to be able to refine my search results on eBay for only products that can be delivered between the now and Tuesday 29th March.

So a “Delivery ETA of 2 days” filter option.

As part of this search filter I’d like to select whether this ETA includes the seller’s standard shipping or whether it includes an upgraded shipping option, e.g. a courier or not.

A slider bar to choose a delivery date range would be a good way of keeping it simple for customers, similarly the option of selecting options such as these would expedite the purchasing process for us as buyers:

  • “Delivery within 2 working days”,
  • “Delivery within 3 working days”
  • “Delivery within 2 working days & include seller’s expedited option”.

Such filters could easily be combined with the search profiles we looked at yesterday. If you missed that article, you can read it here.

As I mentioned above, this would slam non-UK based products from my search results as a customer.

Having a filter like this would save me as a customer ages & ages filtering out which items can actually be with me in a sensible period of time. Save me from using 10 or more browser tabs, all because I “want it now” (or as soon as possible).

Below is a screenshot of the top 3 items for a random search of “Dyson nozzle” with “But it Now” selected.

From those 3 listings, ask yourself the question: “If you ordered them right now, when would they be with you?”

eBay dyson nozzle search results no delivery eta

As a buyer you are unable to find out when the product(s) will be with you.

Well unless of course you click into or open each listing in a new browser tab.

My point here is simple:

Why should buyers have to do this all the time?

It doesn’t make the buying expereince on eBay as good as what it should be (my point for this entire series).

I, as you probably appreciate too, keeping details on the eBay search pages down to a minimum is a good idea, however this is eBay we’re discussing here and as we all know the shipping options & delivery times between just one seller can vary, let alone 3 or millions of them.

At a minimum buyer’s need to have an idea on when the products can be with them at a birds-eye-view (and not open 20 squillion tabs!).

Oh look, the image below, after clicking into the listing I can now see the delivery ETA. The data is available….

[sarcasm mode]I only have to do that how many times as a buyer? Oh everytime…[/sarcasm mode]

eBay listing shipping eta

eBay Orders are Always Late

Despite the efforts made on eBay showing estimated delivery ETA’s, besides a few rare exceptions, ni-on every order I’ve made on eBay has been late.

Note: The delivery ETA isn’t always shown on eBay listings from the search results page (more on that in a moment), instead you have to go into the listing to find out when, thus when shopping on eBay having 10 or 20 browser tabs open is the norm. This should not be the norm.

To clarify what I mean by “late” here, “late” means it has been extremely unlikely an order I’ve personally made on eBay is with me the next working day, rarely within 2 working days and more like 3-4 days.

The more this happens, the more frustrating it becomes when buying on eBay.

Note: My reference here is Amazon, same or next day delivery 99.9% of the time. And of course I’m not considering orders made from outside the UK in this “lateness” either, they’re always going to take a while. I appreciated that when I made the purchase.

To be fair, sometimes you do get an indication of a delivery ETA from the search results on eBay.

But not always and never 100% of the time.

Take the screenshot below for the keyword “tent” on eBay.co.uk (BIN listings only).  5 out of 25 listings show a delivery ETA.

The rest as a buyer, we’re left guessing (or rather clicking).

Inconsistant eBay delivery ETAs in the search results

When Will the Product be With Me?

MailboxesSuch a simple question when you think about it.

On eBay the vast majority of the time as a buyer we’ve got to open up multiple listings to then make a choice.

Why not consistently show the delivery ETA from the search results pages and give buyers the ability to make an informed decision before even clicking into the listing or opening up another bastard web browser tab?

Adding a search filter for buyers to refine their searches to include delivery ETA would also slam the location abuse issue that has plagued eBay globally for years instantly.

Let’s face it, having to open up 10 or more browser tabs to look at a handful of items on eBay is laborious.

It’s not how online shopping should be. 

And crucially it’s not what buyers (your buyers) should be expected to do everytime they go shopping on eBay.

Your Thoughts?

I’d love to hear what you make of the idea of having a search filter option like this available.

  • What do you think of buyers having a search option like this being made available to them on eBay?
  • Would it help you as a customer on eBay?
  • Would you find having the delivery ETA consistently on all eBay listings in the search results helpful to your business?

Let me know in the comments section below.

As always to your continued success,

Matt