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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

I’ve Purchased From You Before! – 3/5 Buyer Features eBay Is Missing in 2016

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, yesterday in part 2 we looked at search profiles to expedite the identification of listings that meet a buyer’s criteria and today, something else obvious is missing.

Wouldn’t you prefer to purchase from a seller that you’ve already had a good relationship with?

Hold that thought…

Indicating Sellers Whom You Have Purchased from Before

The Hidden eBay Customise your search options

The Hidden eBay “Customise your search” options

Let’s pause for a few moments to understand why such a feature is important from both a buyer’s perspective and also eBay’s too.

Starting with eBay’s perspective.

On eBay each transaction is performed between a seller and a buyer.

This expereince while as much as eBay would like to fit it into be “exactly the same for every purchase”. The reality is quite often very different due to the wide breadth of personal & business sellers that use eBay.

It’s an point that is rarely leveraged against other sites AKA amazon, where ni-on every transaction is a vanilla one (normally a very nice vanila one that arrives the same or next day!).

We have favourites

I know I have some personal favourite sellers on eBay whom I’ve purchased from a number of times, that’s probably true for you as well.

But on eBay you don’t see the seller ID in the search results unless you specifically turn that option on in the hidden “Customise your search” option.

Even if you find the option (which the average buyer won’t because it’s now hidden in a double menu), at best you can only show the eBay seller ID.

This doesn’t make it much easier to identify sellers you’ve purchased from before because you’re left to remember who you have bought from by their eBay ID and how many items are on a typical search results page?

Yea I think you’re seeing my point now.

Even if a buyer wanted to buy from the same seller again because one of the items in their new search results was from a seller they would like to reconsider, they’re left “on their tod” to do so.

Soo………………..

Why not take standard search result from something like the image below (noting I have customised options already enabled).

Standard eBay search result

See the extra additional message indicating that a purchase has been previously been made from that seller.

Note: Obviously the red arrow is there to highlight the line ;-)

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.

So Simple

As with all the things we’re covering in this series, there is no requirement for an eBay seller to change anything they’re doing.

In the scheme of things on eBay, changes that require sellers to take (or not take) an action can take years to implement (because of the number of sellers and number of items available on eBay, take the product gallery image being used above as an example….).

However just like the suggestion above of showing whether the buyer has purchased from the seller previously with a line of text “You purchased an item from this seller on NN of YYYY” which would build a new level of trust between buyer & seller is simple to implement on eBay.

Personally if I was to implement this as eBay, despite doing the obvious of A/B testing the line for effectiveness, this could easily be kept as a “Top Rated Seller” feature to give a little extra back. But that’s just me!

What do you think about reminding customers that they have previously purchased from you in the search results?

  • Do you feel it would have a positive impact on your sales?
  • Would you like to see it as a global option for all sellers or just a “Top Rated Seller” thing?

Let me know in the comments box below.

As always, to your continued success,

Matt

Part 4 is Now Available!
You can read the next installment of this series here where we’ll be looking at answering the simple question “When will the item be with me?