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Is It Time To Say Goodbye To Your Custom eBay Shop front?
Today, Jane Bell, known as the eBay Anorak and an eBay Specialist Consultant, takes a look at the new eBay shop and why you should update if you still have an old eBay shop… pointing out that buyers are signed out of eBay when they view it.
eBay custom shop fronts were very popular with eBay sellers for years. A custom eBay shop front enabled sellers to stand out from the crowd and showcase their businesses using a custom built page instead of the standard shop front.
In the spring 2018 seller release eBay announced that it would no longer be possible to set up a custom eBay shop front for those opening a shop for the first time and it will not be possible to convert back to the old experience.
The new eBay shop can still be personalised with a logo, header picture or billboard, adding a good keyworded shop description and selecting featured items. eBay shops aren’t viewable via the eBay mobile app but those using a browser will see the new one optimised for mobile rather than the old shrink to fit and too small to read version.
The new shop is more secure, it is https compliant and doesn’t contain any active content in line with industry standard security requirements. The enhanced SEO will give more visibility in searches and has full mobile and device functionality.
The old shop has a different URL of eBayStores.co.uk and is insecure. Comparing an old and new shop on two different open tabs, you will also see you are not signed in to your account in on the old version but on all other eBay pages you are.
There are plans for eBay to remove custom shop fronts sometime in the future but if you’d like to update your shop front before then, you can do it here.
Surprisingly, some sellers are paying for updated custom storefronts for their old style eBay shops, I think I’d save my money.
Have you upgraded yet?
We did not get a choice and “downgraded” last year, well eBay stole our custom designed shop. Logged on one day and they had replaced it with that generic thing…
There is a way to revert back if you did want your store, we are doing this daily for the sellers who have been downgraded unknowingly. If you need help getting your storefront back let me know I can give you a hand for free. Thanks
I feel the article is a bit misleading and eBay have been a bit short sighted with the new framework. You noted about not having any active content ‘in line with industry standard security requirements’. This is very far from the truth. Active content is secure permitting that it is served from a suitable secure location and hasn’t been specifically built in a fashion that can be compromised. Most websites, including ALL big name platforms, eBay, Amazon, Magento, BigCommerce, Shopify and more use active content. Active content is great and is the driver of various dynamic features that make websites intuitive. The latest Billboard format also uses Active Content.
Secondly, we’ve run various analysis comparing the Billboard against a creative custom store which better reflects the sellers brand and establish that there’s a significant up-lift in customer retention if deployed with suitable best practice of that of an independent web store.
The legacy framework allowed segmented merchandising across each category, bespoke content which was suitable for SEO, injection of custom HTML which allowed schema tagging, semantic mark-up and key message drivers helping promote the business and most of all, helped the businesses give ownership of their own brand look and feel in a more effective way – not to mention great widgets which helped drive conversion and product visibility such as filtering technology.
The Billboard format, whilst simple and easier to deploy takes away all of the things that made eBay stores interesting and allowed businesses to differentiate from other companies.
– You now have stores for single man bands, looking exactly the same as top flight businesses.
– Promotions cannot be segmented per category… your basically pushing ‘top items’ on for ALL categories meaning soon as you narrow down your category it now pushes irrelevant items at the top.
– No longer customise your brand look and feel, or present store centric content which you do not want to show on the listing. Plugging content which repeats across all listings can contribute to potential duplicate content/plagiarism.
– You can no longer add a description per category!
– eBay have a summary of the business which is repeated on all category pages which effectively is wasted on the user and no good for optimisation.
– eBay have assumed that businesses logos are squared and require a white squared canvas placeholder. So for most businesses loading their logos here, looks terrible.
– Lack of widgets means that product findability is shocking. At least with active content you could use providers which enhanced this experience.
– You can only have one placeholder for promotions.
– The homepage is about as useless as it gets, its basically ALL product which is poor for usability. A homepage should help segment that journey, and there is none of that.
– Lack of active content means, cannot drive translation – some agencies like ourselves actually provided multilingual technology to support passive/direct international trade for businesses that only have one seller ID.
The Billboard format is shocking. If eBay want to compete with website platforms (which is where the growth is now), they really need to think about the level of flexibility.
Ironically, even Amazon now allows custom designed storefronts.
Your reply is 100% spot on.
Re. Shop Custom Pages & Headers; no, they never got round to including them!!
From the eBay conversion page: “Any custom pages and headers you currently use WON’T appear once you’ve converted to the new Shops experience. With our new branding options, you may find you don’t need them anymore. If you decide you do, you can always revert back to your old Shop”.
Hardly fills you with confidence.
@Mark ‘You noted about not having any active content ‘in line with industry standard security requirements’. This is very far from the truth.’
Just reading about it on eBay’s seller release from 2018 and it says:
‘The newly-designed experience will improve search engine optimisation (SEO), enhance the mobile experience, and provide new merchandising opportunities for eBay Shop subscribers. The new experience will also be active content-free and HTTPS-ready, and therefore more secure.’
‘In the future, we will move everyone to the new experience.’
Has this changed?
The mark-up of the page is better structured for SEO in terms of direct comparison with the old code. However, ebay have removed all of the goodies that actually add extended SEO value to the pages.
– No custom or structured content pages
– No ability to create content for categories, or position content
– No ability to create additional headings
– No ability to create deeper links, OR cross link
– Currently plagiarised summary content on ALL pages
One I missed on the previous notes:
– Totally removed search box which refined the stores products, and now expected to use the standard search. Why promote a store if searching takes you elsewhere.
– All products are below the fold, the header of the page takes up half of the visual real estate.
– The system tells you to upload a banner of a specific size which otherwise is scaled on the server. To only then be resized in badly set CSS… effectively leaving a non-sharp introduction banner that you literally cannot fix.
One to also note that back in 2017 eBay announced additional features to come for the new Billboard storefronts. None of that has materialised.
The whole infrastructure is a backwards step and whilst collectively may of improved engagement for those that don’t have a custom storefront – for businesses that do, tests back in 2018 with some AB testing showed that the new Billboard formatting cost businesses customer engagement.
Shop search box is in the search bar as it says ‘This Shop’ on the right of the search bar while you are viewing the shop. If you want to search eBay wide from shop view you have to change it, otherwise it defaults to search the shop you are viewing.
I’d imagine the majority of people buy on mobile app now and can’t or don’t view shops as much nowadays.
The key point here is that brand value is becoming more and more important in a competitive online space. eBay have effectively stripped stores to their bare bones to a point they no longer add the value they once did to then try justify it with the nonsense around security and SEO which covers only a small portion of what it should be.