ebay listings with active content

Earlier this year the ecommerce veteran eBay announced that it will no longer accept the use of active content on its website in 2017. This design change will ban the use of active content in all listings, and the change will not be grandfathered for existing listings.

The plan, according to eBay, is to remove or block listings with active content by the time the Fall Seller Update is released in 2017. What does that mean for you as an eBay seller? We’ve put together the information that you need to know to comply with the changes.


What Exactly is the New Active Content Policy?

The new policy will prohibit the use of active content in product listings, for both eBay sellers and store owners. Active content is any component of your code that runs scripts or performs actions classified as active content. This includes Flash, JavaScript, plug-ins, and form actions – all things that sellers utilize to enhance their listings. Some examples of active content that sellers currently use are:

  • Photo galleries and carousels
  • Live chat function
  • Embedded buyer feedback
  • Quotes for freight
  • Addition of their own tabbed pane description
  • Store search function
  • Flash animation
  • Cross-promotion scrollers

All of these (and other affected active content) are useful tools for eBay sellers, and many are likely to be upset about the changes. However, eBay is giving sellers and their third party partners who provide listing and inventory management software a whole year to adjust to the changes.


Why Is eBay Removing Active Content?

You may remember that in the Fall of 2014 eBay defended its using active content after reviewing policies and concluding that the benefits to sellers outweighed the risks. So why the turnaround now? According to recent statements from eBay, there are two main reasons for the changes.

The first is to improve the user experience and speed up page load times. Active content, like that which uses JavaScript, is slow loading. Flash is not mobile friendly. eBay estimates that nearly half of their website traffic is from mobile users, so they feel it’s necessary to be accommodating to them.

The second reason is to increase security for buyers and safeguard eBay’s reputation as a safe marketplace to buy and sell.


When Will the Changes Take Effect?

The changes will take place in two parts:

  1. Effective Spring 2017 – eBay will begin limiting active content in listings
  2. Effective Fall 2017 – eBay will remove or block listings with active content, including product listings in eBay stores


As an eBay Seller, What Do You Need to Do?

If you are currently selling on eBay using a custom-designed store or a custom-designed template for listings, then you have a very good chance of being affected by the upcoming changes. It’s important for the success of your bottom line that you are prepared for the acceptable content changes.

According to information on one of eBay’s best practices pages, sellers are being encouraged to stop using active content in listings and stores as soon as they can, in order to be compliant when the changes are put into effect. Here are some other things you can do to make sure that you are ready for the changes early next year:

  • Do not spend any more money making or modifying custom-designed stores or listings that use active content
  • Remember that one of the main reasons for these changes is so that sellers are better able to reach mobile users. So if you have a custom-designed listing template that is not mobile-friendly, you need to opt for a responsive listing template.
  • Find new eBay templates that meet all the best practices.
  • Familiarize yourself with the new policy by reading the information posted by eBay for sellers that details the phasing out of active content, and also the best practice suggestions.
  • If you are not sure whether or not your listings contain active content, eBay suggests a tool called i-ways checker where you can see if your listings are compliant.
  • If you use a third party partner for an eBay listing software and inventory management software, now is the time to talk to them about the upcoming changes. Make sure that their systems are compliant with the changes, or that they will be in plenty of time for the June 2017 deadline.

It’s a fact that most people don’t like change. When these kinds of ecommerce changes are going to happen, it makes a pretty strong case for having the right tools at hand to deal with it. At ecomdash, we have the right tools, and we are prepared for the changes that eBay is making to their listing policies. Even though these changes are fairly significant or some sellers, having a partner like ecomdash can make the transition a whole lot easier.



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