Is eBay custom shop design to be retired?

Dan and I have long been of the opinion that eBay will be forced to move towards a text only based item description in the future. This will make mobile views easy and they have already provided specific fields for postage, returns, business information, images, VAT and just about every piece of information you wish to convey to a buyer which isn’t part of the item description.

Of course there’s a problem here, eBay gradually made incremental advances over the years, adding a field here and a field there and in the mean time many sellers invested in custom listing designs. In fact a whole industry was built up around custom templates and not only would text only descriptions put them out of business but the sellers who had invested in them would be pretty upset as well.

Custom eBay shop design to be retired?

eBay Shops FeatWhat about eBay shops though? Is it conceivable that eBay would ever remove the ability to customise your eBay shop with a bespoke template? One designer spotted a comment so now thinks that they may and it’s sending shock waves through the eBay design industry.

On an eBay Best Practices page, eBay.com “strongly suggest you do not make any more financial investments in creating or augmenting a custom stores experience since this capability will retired at a later date“.

Whilst that statement comes from eBay.com, what comes out of the US tends to spread around the world and is likely to make it to the UK.

The topic of the page in question is active content which we all know is disappearing in 2017. It’s possible that the statement about custom stores experiences being retired refers simply to the active content part, but if so it’s badly worded. To me and to many of the eBay design services it reads that the end of eBay store design is not too far away in the future.

Will you be investing in a new eBay shop or eBay listing design? Is there a future for the design industry that’s been built up around eBay? We’d love to hear your thoughts.