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Part 6 : SuperDryStore Listings – Lets Start to Make You a eBay Listing Template

Welcome to part 6, if you’ve missed the previous parts, see here to catch up and from the last post regarding SuperDryStore, read this article ‘11 Reasons Why People Don’t Buy From YOU & How to SMASH Them‘ before continuing.

The Listing Template

We’ve now got as far as the listing template and from Part 5, I indicated that we need to rearrange the information that is being presented to the buyers to make their lives easier on the most critical decision that they face when viewing an item online:

Is this item the right item for me?

You must remember that its your business role to convey the project or service information in a manner that the customer can instantly answer this fundamental question. If they are unable to do this then you are failing.

Quick Layout Update

From Part 5 I suggested a format as follows, although I have added the images section to the top left, silly me ;-):

ImagesPostage
Item DescriptionReturns
SizingPayment
Related Items

Let Me Explain My Reasoning for this Layout

Remember that customers are thinking this primary question:

Is this item the right item for me?

And that its our job as a business to answer it effectively (a set of exit strategies is something for another day).

I’m not a fan of tabbed sections in templates, yes they save space, but I read somewhere and logic also dictates that the % of those who actually click on them is minute and if its no important information, then why include it clearly in the first place?

Image Layout

Now I did hint that I was going to share some code with you and I am going to share the entire template with you as a complete project at the end of this section, but for now we’re going to use HTML snippets.

Now using a little bit of javascript, we can make a simple thumbs gallery and as a bonus I am going to include the keywords you need to make this work in a eSellerPro account. You could make this work in a Channel Advisor account, but last time I checked they did not support conditional keywords like IF or IFNOT, so you’d have to do this manually or set to a number of given images (yes they have a keyword for a gallery, but conditional formatting is far superior).

Enough virtual ink, lets get to the preview and I have uploaded a version so that you can play with it for real here: http://lastdropofink.co.uk/blog-examples/SuperDryStore-Images-Example.html

SuperDryStore Images Example

SuperDryStore Images Example

If you’ve had a play with the real example here, then you’ll see that this works in almost all browsers and if you’ve checked the code its extremely simple.

I have also set the image width to be 500 pixels wide, yes if I was doing this where time was not a constraint (I’m writing this on a Sunday and have real-life commitments in 40 mins) . I may juggle around with the image sizes over numerous products to work out the best size for this type of layout when factoring in descriptions, sizing tables and other information.

The same for the thumbs, they’re at 90 pixels, 120pix might have been better 500/4 = 125 -5 each side as a buffer, I hate crowed images), but for the purpose of example is to show how and what it looks when done. Saying that, I’ll start to tweak this image layout as we move on, so blah :P

The HTML

As promised, here is the HTML for this section, my only note is that I have left the tags {{Image 1}} etc in the places where the image URL’s need to be entered.

Your Title
Your Title Your Title Your Title Your Title

The Description

The Description isn’t that bad, it just needs rewording and adding to, so it looks like a human wrote it, here is a before and after:

Before:

Superdry

New Superdry Haversack Bag – new with tags.

Superdry retro vintage Tires Haversack canvas bag with vintage faded Superdry Tires and Tubes logo print, single inner compartment, buckle fastening and adjustable shoulder strap.

Colour: Mid Grey with yellow, white and blue logo.

The RRP on this item is £29.99.

This item is brand new, in perfect condition.

After:

This is a Brand New Authentic SuperDry canvas haversack bag. This bag has a really good quality feel to it as you would expect from any SuperDry article, its vintage ‘faded’ and has Superdry Tires and Tubes logo printed on the front.

With a single large compartment of around 17″ wide, by 12″ deep and 4″ thick, you’ll fit in most books and small articles and have room to spare. The main compartment is buckle fastening and has an adjustable strap of N length.

This is just one of an entire range of haversack bags that we offer, you can see out entire range here.

Now I have to admit, I have cheated. On Saturday[Bristol, Cabot Circus] I saw these in store, a key point that has been missed is the ‘really good quality feel’ part, there are several of these bags in range that get their own waist height stand. Its crucial to remember that your buyer cannot do that, so it its YOUR job to do it for them and an inform them of the best features and if needed, the worse features.

Its also blatantly obvious knowing that there is a range of these, an exit strategy is absolutely needed, as the browser may have entered this product, but decided the item was too dark etc.. and we need to give the browser a set of exit options. It may have been worth including something like ‘You could easily for most netbooks in this bag’ as for me I am looking at netbooks and do not want to carry an obvious netbook styled bag (although the ‘eBay’ branded messenger bag I use is a give-way’).

Where I have added “you can see out entire range here.” the ‘here’ part would link to the eBay shop category or shop search page.

An explicit note to SEO junkies: “Using ‘here’, ‘there’ etc to you is a slaughter of keyword linkage, I would like to remind you that this is eBay. By using ‘Here’ as the link keyword commands a higher click through rate that a more descriptive link. Can’t remember the study I read on this now, but from what i can remember it was a clear 2% increase between the two call-to-actions. But listen to nothing I say, A-B test it, work on facts.

We could have gone for a bullet pointed based system for descriptions, as we are looking at just one bag and not the rest of the inventory base, its difficult to make any recommendations on data structure. Although if SuperDryStore were intending to use the same data for Amazon or other marketplaces, this would be a strong contender to data layout.

Summary

Time is against me again, so to summarise the above, we now have an image gallery that we can work from and that you can work from for any of your projects; And we have a description that actually details the key features in a human readable format and I have indicated that an at least one exit strategy must be used as part of the description. I have noted to cover exit strategies another time in lot more detail.

Part 7 will include the sizing table, postage, returns and payment, Part 8 is going to give you some code I found recently and adapted for the auto-insertion of related items on multiple criteria. Part 9 will probably join everything together.

Part 5 : SuperDryStore More Wastefulness – Learn How to Think Like a Professional Seller

Hmmm… didn’t think that they were going to be this bad and take so long to point out the areas where improvements are needed so everyone could learn from them, but hey we’re on part 5 now! Lets crack on.

Item Specifics, Get as Many as You Can!

ebay-item-specifics-barIn part 4 I had indicated to look at the category where you are listing in three views, these were:

  1. As a signed-in user
  2. As a signed out user
  3. As a user with no history, eg use a proxy like http://hidemyass.com/

This is really important as eBay frequently run A-B testing on most pages, which means that the page you’re looking at can differ numerous times for different users (pretty sure my old selling ID is in the control group so I miss most things).

Now looking at the original listing here we can see that for the first three options for shipping, we’re going to score 2/3, once for Free P&P, once for ‘Completed Listings’ (as its sold an item) and the biggest, silliest mistake is….

There is no Express Shipping Option!

WHAT!!??? I don’t want to get into the argument over free shipping currently, but for this example lets assume you’re ‘loading’ the shipping price into the buying price, that means you could offer an upgraded, expedited shipping option for a much more attractive figure.

Couriers, Royal Mail Tracked and even special delivery is not excessively expensive and remember there was a shipping price already loaded into the item price, say £2.00, this makes the expedited options £2.00 cheaper or if you’re cheeky, £2.00 more for the same service level.

In fact while you are at it, add another too, you can have up to three domestic shipping methods and three international ones (come to that in a moment) and it costs nothing to add these extra options and you only gain from offering them.

So if this is you, Add MORE Shipping Options!

The next set of attributes are regarding ‘Condition’, now this is where I am going to stray in to the grey area, I say grey, as I am going to argue with this:

eBay Duplicate Listing Policy
Sell genuinely unique items with fundamental differences in their characteristics (e.g. memory size of USB sticks). Differences must be reflected in the listing title, price, photo and item description.
http://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/policies/listing-multi.html

Now an items condition is a ‘fundamental difference in the items characteristics’ in my book.

What am I suggesting? I’m suggesting you list you items twice, once as a new and as used and then if pulled on it, argue that condition is a fundamental difference. I cannot see any customer phoning up (although I do not put it past the eBay buying numpties) saying that their item is not used, but in perfect brand new condition do you? Think about it…

33% chance turned into 66% chance of being shown in the results, with a heavily spiked advantage with double listings?

Go on admit it, thats god damn sexy and no-one has mentioned that chestnut to you before eh?

*Coff* If you do it, change the titles *Coff* Wow did I get some strange looks yesterday when I suggested this to a client.

Moving on to the ‘Sellers’ options in the menu, well SuperDryStore got their 100% hit here with both options being available to them (note back to part 3, this shop should be called SuperDry eBay Outlet in my book).

And finally I am going to stop with ‘Buying Formats’, they’re scoring 50% here as they only have BIN listings, its exactly why you should be running auctions along side the fixed price listings to gain maximum exposure for your goods (although go bloody careful on fees, measure,measure, measure!!!!!).

Item Specific Keeners

Yep, for those keeners out there, yes this category does support custom items specifics and yes there is quite a few of them too. Bag style, material, brand blah blah, but lets face it, these chaps are using Auctiva, its pants (yes I did look at it).

If you’re using the likes of eSellerPro, set them up as combo boxes in item specifics, if you’re using Channel Advisor, good luck their system of item specifics is *****ed up. But they[SuperDryStore] have brand and style filled out, so lets score them 2/12 for item specifics and 1/10 for using Auctiva.

Finally The Listing!

Before I start nit picking, lets get to the good point, it actually looks like their eBay shop, so a customer going from one to the other is not going to be altered and isn’t going to freak out because they are very different. This in itself is a massive advantage.

The listing is also broken up in to specific sections, I’ll comment on centre aligned text in a minute, but for now, any eBay buying muppet can work out wtf (remember what this stands for?) is going on and we have four images.

Nit Picking The Listing

In no order of importance, lets hit the rocks.

Listing Template Width

The listing template width is too small, yes its contained in a iframe, even better, get that width at 960 pixels wide, not 855 pixels that it is now. That gives us 11% extra real estate width-wise.

Why 960 pixels? Simple http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_display.asp says that 96% of all browsers are at 1024×768 or bigger, 960 fits in wonderful well into a 1024 wide screen still leaves edges either side for styling.

Header Confusion

As indicated in part 3 there is what I feel confusion going on and a the second largest unique selling point (besides brand) is not being pushed, “Where does it say eBay Outlet?”.

If you have a similar header, ensure that you brand logo has pride of place and is aligned to the left, not right in the Superdry listings, then add a clear unique selling point below it, again refer to part 3 on this.

The page links are ‘OK’, but the pages themselves are not particularly good. I would actually be suggesting that you answer these answers in the listing.

I’m skipping the title, in part 4 we already decided it was extremely poor and a better version was given.

Images

10/10 for including more than one image here. But… you can get image editing done for 30p (or less) an image or even two seconds in photoshop would make these look better, the key bind is Ctrl+Alt+Shift+L, lets see the difference:

Before & After Editing in 2 Seconds

Now if you were going to this properly (as all I did was change the tones to deal with the darkened image, plus I am pants in PS), then you could end up with an image that looks as clean as the one to the right, noting that this image probably looked worse than both the images above combined, but was edited by a professional, thus looks ‘professional’.

While on the topic of images, I am not a fan where the buyer has to leave the page to view a image gallery, where possible everything should be done on the page itself. There are several ways of doing this, but for now, consider buyer leaving the page = bad.

I have left myself a note on this as I have some HTML I can share with you that makes a simple image gallery and works with almost all browsers.

Scrub the Rest of the Sections, lets Start from Scratch

There are a million different ways of displaying descriptions to buyers, but lets keep to a single layout remembering that it is our job to give the buyers clear information in a format they can ready quickly before they scat away to do something else.

So keeping it simple, lets for a 50/50 format, 50% item details, 50% peripheral information. I’ve made a little table below to show this:

Item DescriptionPostage
SizingReturns
Payment
Related Items

Before we go further, I suggest we review one of my earlier posts entitled ‘11 Reasons Why People Don’t Buy From YOU & How to SMASH Them‘. We need to keep all these things & more in mind when designing the layout of a listing. As I said before, its OUR job to give clear and concise information FOR scatty buyers.

Part 6 Soon!

While you’re reading that, I can get on with drinking coffee. Yep this is ending here, looks like we may even make it to part 10 soon.

Click here to view the final part 6 of this series.

Part 4 : SuperDryStore The Wasteful eBay Listings

SuperDryFollowing on from the three earlier posts regarding the SuperDryStore on eBay, we have a lot to learn from their eBay listings. Lets dig in and get dirty.

I’ve picked the first item I’ve come to which is a bag, you can view this item below:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=290488798635

Interestingly this item has picked up 26 sales, keep this in mind as we go through the points that follow and ask yourself the question:

“How many more could have sold?”

Categorisation

Following the category breadcrumb trail along the top, we are taken to the Mens Bag category http://clothes.shop.ebay.co.uk/Mens-Bags-/52357/i.html.

A very important step here is to realise that eBay serve different pages to different people, its always worth using another machine or a third party proxy like http://hidemyass.com/, even logging out can cause the pages to alter. So now knowing this, you should have three tabs open in your browser(s), one signed in, one signed out and another via proxy.

SuperDryStore Mens Bag Item SpecificsThe reason why we do this is extremely important, as by checking the category where the item is listed we can quickly pick up any commonly used item specifics or in this case the absolute important of the following factors:

  • Offering expedited delivery
  • Offering a free delivery option
  • Specifying the condtion
  • The absolute important of the listing title due to the ‘absolute lack’ of product based item specifics in this category.

I’ll come on to the item specifics in part 5, however lets get on to their largest fundamental eBay listing flaw…

The eBay Listing Title, Your #1 Asset

Let me spell this out in the simplest of terms possible.

The eBay listing Title is THE MOST Important Asset on eBay

Screw feedback, Screw categorisation, Screw a crappy looking listing, Screw everything.

Without a quality listing title you are knacker’ing up any chance of buyers finding you. Sorting out every other issue is secondary to the listing title. Something like 80% of all eBay purchases are made by search. Its not just important to have good titles, its categorically important to your business survival that you have ‘brilliant’ tittles.

So with this in-mind don’t do what these ladies are doing, out of a extremely limited title character count of just 55, the first cardinal rule is use everyone of them and  they’re not even using all the characters even when stuff it with mindless junk

The Current Title: New Superdry Large Haversack Bag MW140/0531

This comes in at 43 chars, so we have 12 left or some 22% wasted real-estate being lost. When you take into account the removal of the mindless junk (more on mindless junk in a moment), we’re left with ‘New Superdry Large Haversack Bag’ which is only 33 characters.

Thats 40% of theirs and imagine if it was yours, the most important marketing attribute on eBay, pissed up the wall.

So you think you can do a better job Matt?

You bet my-left-nut-I-can and I bet you could too.

Lets quickly brain storm this bag:

  • Man Bag
  • Large
  • Haversack
  • Canvas
  • Messenger
  • Shoulder
  • New
  • Grey
  • Vintage
  • Faded
  • Worn
  • Strap
  • Adjustable

Oh brill, we have an excellent assortment of keywords here, lets string some together so that the title is kewyord-rich and helpful to the customer too:

  1. Large New Vintage Superdry Messenger/Haversack Man Bag
  2. Superdry New Shoulder Man Bag Worn Fade Vintage Grey

Actually we could be here for ages, I actually quite like #1 and I’m sticking with it, it comes in at a cool 55 char count. “Happy and Days”. Lets ore at it:

Large New Vintage Superdry Messenger/Haversack Man Bag

It sure kicks ‘New Superdry Large Haversack Bag MW140/0531’ butt any-day.

Side Note: I am a Man Bag pro, I was even on BBC Radio Wales for them. I kid you not, see here.

Mindless Junk

Now lets try and understand why they’re stuff mindless junk like ‘MW140/0531’ into the listing titles.

In short, its probably an aid to their despatch process or a legacy carry-over from their early listing days. I suspect its caused by a combination of them not having a proper inventory management tool for their back end, needing this information in the titles to identify stock at the time of despatch and a crap tool like Auctiva.

You do not need to make the same mistake, even in eBay’s selling manager you can add stock numbers to goods (yea and via the SYI form), this is a separate value for your items so you can identify products by a name you recognise the SKU (Stock Keeping Unit).

In all honestly, I’ve not looked Auctiva in about 5 years, it was always crap, I doubt much has changed, although the cash injection from Alibaba.com might help. On my mental list to investigate sometime before 2014.

Subtitle, WTF?

No idea who wrote this listing subtitle, but I suspect subtitles are freebies from eBay and are being randomly filled out with not-very-well-thought-out-crap. Oh like this:

RRP £29.99 – Buy from the official Superdry eBay Store

Now the key point here is that the contents of the 55 characters of the ‘subtitle’ do not impact search results, so you need to use these to nail the customer to open your deliciously tasty listing and reconfirm the title and your USP’s (Unique Selling Point).

Again, lets pause for a moment and brain storm some options for the subtitle:

  • eBay Outlet
  • Official Superdry Store
  • RRP £29.99
  • Save 50% off RRP
  • Free Delivery
  • Feedback, +89,000

See this is the kind of thing you should be doing not only for every title, but every sub title too! I’m going to go with the following, you can think of your own super sexy subtitle:

Save 50% | Free UK Delivery | Official Superdry Outlet

Why did I use the pipes? Simple Seal | The | Deal

Quick Summary

All this and we’ve not even got past the subtitle yet! Lets quickly summarise the above into some bullet points:

  • Check the eBay category you’re going to be listing into for item specifics (covered in part 5)
  • Do not waste your #1 eBay marketing Tool, the title
  • If you get free subtitles or use them, use the the simple rule Seal | The | Deal

Time has run out for me today, if you only pick up one thing from today’s session, get the titles right!!!

Click here to view part 5 of this series.

Part 3 : SuperDryStore eBay Shop – The Not-So Good Points

Carrying on from where I left off in Part 2 : SuperDryStore eBay Shop – The Good Points, time to get into the not-so-good points. These are in no order of importance I hasten to add, they all need consideration though:

SuperDry – eBay Outlet?

If this is the fastest moving account of eBay’s and thier token ‘we’ll-put-a-SuperDryStore-item-on-daily-deal-at-least-every-other-day’ account (I kid you not, look at the RSS feed for the daily deals, should be called ‘SuperDryStore Deals’). My point being, SAY you’re an eBay outlet.

Referring back to the models back in Part 2 put your best assets forwards and being an eBay Outlet is a damn good asset. Add the eBay Outlet logo, announce it clearly.

This one scores 10/10 on the no-brainer score chart. Always put your ‘Unique Selling Points’ (USP’s) forwards in the best possible light as possible.

So… Nice landing page, WTF happened to the rest of it?

For those not converse with leet-gaming-speak, WTF stands for ‘What the F***’ and in this case is makes the point perfectly.

Homepage: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/The-Superdry-Store
WTF Happened to the Design????: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/The-Superdry-Store_Mens-Superdry-Bags/_i.html?_fsub=309702719&_sid=401545409&_trksid=p4634.c0.m322

See my point now?

This isn’t just a one of those crap 1/2 done sites that Frooition have been making [a ‘pretty’ home page and a ‘shop header’ and then failing to theme the rest of the site, example here] its an utter annihilation of the homepage and then some.

  • Where has the left menu gone?
  • Where is the search box?
  • WTF has happened to the three USP’s?
  • Where is ANY sign of ANY branding?
  • I’m lost. Who was this again? I’m leaving.

On a serious not, this is not a joke. DO NOT MAKE THESE SILLY MISTAKES (wow I have resorted to using caps lock), but hey, this is seriously poor form by all parties.

If you have a brand or even just a little logo and a colour theme, then carry this theme consistently from your eBay shop home page, to your search & category pages, content pages, into emails, into your website, into… everything, its your brand.

Learn By (much better) Examples

Here are two examples, one where they have paid for a shop design and one where they have at least got a common brand going on.

OutdoorValue eBay ShopRochFord Tyres eBay Shop
http://stores.ebay.co.uk/outdoorvalue/http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Rochford-Tyres

Looking at OutDoorValue’s eBay shop, the branding is clear and carried to all parts of their business. eBay shop, listing template, shop pages, search pages and most importantly their website.

Rochford Tyres while not the most ascetically pleasing, has got most boxes ticked, their brand appearance is ‘remember-able’ and is common across their eBay activities, although their website is of a differing name http://www.alloywheels.com/

The point being, if you have a a ‘brand’ use it everywhere.

Singular ‘Front of House’ Model

After ‘dissing’ Missguided.co.uk a few day s back in this post about a silly design flaw, what they do very well is have an extremely ‘fit model’ for the majority of their artwork (see here for an example, stunning eh?). They have diversified since and introduced more models over time, but the point is that a ‘common face approach works’. If you can afford a model, use one!

Dead Categories

Out of the 18 categories they have in the left menu of their site, they have four that contain no products, thats a 22% chance a browsing buyer is going to go to a dead page, nice.

The biggest tip here is to use the eBay categories menu bar and refrain from using hard coded category menus. The eBay category bar updates automatically depending on your item counts, while not instant (insert private joke about eBay saying the eBay shop updates instantly and it took 24 hours with a massive UK retailer *coff* Tesco’s *coff*, oh how that made me giggle) it does update eventually with no manual coding.

Clothing = Clear Returns Policy

The #1 concern for the people I have spoken to when it comes to clothing is “I need to feel reassured that I can return it if it doesn’t fit or if I plain don’t like it“. SuperDryStore fail on this and get a 1/10.

The ‘tiny’ returns page link is along the top and should really be featured in the main description or header somewhere. Even if you have a poor returns process, 90% is appearance and 10% is doing.

The returns page is cluttered, cut to the point, spelling out in simple terms, make some bullet points about it. Lets have a suggested version of this page, cutting out the waffle:

7 Days from Receipt Returns, No Quibble Returns Policy

  • We gladly accept returns
  • Refunds processed in less than 5 working days
  • Sorry, you cannot return to one of our stores

If for any reason you are not 100% satisfied with your amazing purchase from the SuperDryStore, just let us know by using the eBay Resolution Centre. If you’re not sure, see eBay’s help page here or of course you may contact us directly here.

See that’s a lot nicer than the ‘stuff’ they got cluttered on their returns page and gets the point clearly and efficiently across. Although if this is yours I’d suggest you add a little more content around this after it and especially include your address.

Last eBay Shop Gripe, ‘The Picker’

If you’re going to pay for one of these item pickers for your home page, make sure the organise it in alphabetical order. Joe-Public-Customers are idiots, don’t try and make them think, they’re just not capable if it. Its your sole job not to let them think.

Its Your Store, Use It

Only you are responsible for your own store, even if you just add a logo or tidy up your returns pages, its a bonus. As I said above, its ‘our’ job to make sure ‘Joe-Public-Customer’ does not have to think and making him panic by loosing ‘branding’ for what is a very easily solved issue is going to you loose you customers.

Click here to view part 4 of this series

SuperDryStore, eBay UK’s Largest Outlet Seller Exposed For YOU to Learn From

SuperDrySuperDryStore is eBay UK’s largest outlet store for Fashion. As we all know ‘Fashion’ really is eBay’s baby atm and they’ll bend over & drop their pants for anyone with a brand name in this arena at the moment.

Yes thats right for anyone who has they’re head in the Arctic for the past year, eBay is in a 100% all out assault on getting high street names onto eBay, literally what ever the cost is, throwing round freebies all over the shop, free listing fees, free gallery, free sub titles, free designs, free development time, year contacts for monkey nuts.

eBay UK LogoBut…. Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing, that’s not to be the topic of discussion, for this and the forth coming posts, what I am going to cover is what YOU can learn from them, both the good things, the things I suggest you don’t do and crucially why.

I’ve a couple of posts already lined up, but they need more work, however the time is right to start this series off. So lets get right into some numbers from Terapeak for the past 90 days:

Total Sales £1,344,390
Total Listings 36,458
Successful Listings 35,352
Total Bids 89,233
Items Offered 156,013
Items Sold 62,616
Bids per Listing 2.45
Sell-Through 96.97%

Past the headline number, £1.35M, thats £450,000 per month in sales. Amazingly this is no where near the figures turned over by the heavyweights on eBay and mere sniff on the values being chucked around by sellers on Amazon.

However they’ve[SuperDryStore] done a pretty good job, there is quite a bit we can learn from them for both what you should be doing and should not be doing. I see it as my role in the next few posts to expose these to you and I’d welcome any feedback you have.

Part 2 will be covering the ‘SuperDryStore eBay Shop‘.