optimize ebay listings for mobile

Recently, eBay announced a renewed focus on the sellers, optimize eBay listings for mobile devices which is great news for the seller community, but being able to optimize eBay listings for mobile are still a bit difficult for most sellers. One of the biggest opportunities for eBay sellers right now is mobile commerce, and eBay is arguably the #1 player in the mobile commerce space.

Let’s look at the stats that support this claim:

  1. eBay has over 310 million downloads of its mobile shopping app
  2. Mobile sales represent around $30 billion out of a total of $80 billion GMV (gross merchandise value)
  3. Over 55% of eBay transactions are touched by mobile

In the midst of the mobile commerce boom, eBay has been working extensively to improve shoppers experience on mobile. This is evident in the 2016 seller Spring update where eBay introduced a new “view item” mobile description with a cleaner look. The goal is to provide relevant listing information that allows shoppers to make fast, informed buying decisions from their phones. eBay auto-generates the new description by determining which content in your full item description is most relevant. If there is information in your listing description that you want to highlight and it isn’t captured in the auto-generated summaries, you can choose the specific listing information you want to show using more advanced HTML options.


Step #1: Create responsive eBay listings

What is a responsive eBay listing? Responsive listing is one that looks great on any device – desktop, tablet, or smartphone.

In other words, the shopper experience on any device will be optimal. Shoppers will be able to read all the text without zooming in, scroll through product images comfortably, and read through relevant information. Optimize eBay listings for mobile devices is a new exciting and faster way to create responsive listings.

tips for optimizing ebay listings for mobile devices

So how will you create responsive listings? eBay recommends using HTML and CSS and even provides pieces of code which you can use in your listing. This is all great for sellers who know how to code, but what about the rest of us?

Most eBay sellers are not designers nor coders. They have no idea how to play with all this html and css stuff. It’s not too difficult to learn how, but there are other tools you can use, however, to find solutions.

If you are looking for a design solution that helps you create mobile responsive listings, you will probably run into Crazylister as it’s aimed at the majority of eBay sellers who look for an easy way to create dynamic listings on eBay.

One of the killer features of CrazyLister is the ability to make your eBay listing responsive in a click of a button. Here’s how it looks within the app:

crazylister offers mobile views for ebay listings


Once you switch the “make listing mobile friendly” toggle on, every listing you create in CrazyLister will be responsive and look perfect on desktop and mobile. This unique feature is a game changer for sellers looking to make sure they are on the cusp on mobile commerce technology. Which is easier: learning loads of CSS and HTML to make your own mobile-optimized listings, or flipping a switch in CrazyLister? You tell me.


Step #2: Write concise listing descriptions

I’ve mentioned that eBay will show only part of the description which is most relevant. This is done by recognizing the most searched words and retrieving the relevant content from the description. Keep your descriptions concise, write only relevant information, and don’t go on and on about features that are not critical to your potential buyers.

Shoppers are easily distracted nowadays. They don’t have time to read walls of text. They want to understand quickly if the product you’re selling is what they look for and hit the ‘buy it now’ button. If they can’t find it, they’ll move on to the next seller.

write short product listing descriptions


Step #3: Use images to convey value proposition

This one relates to the previous point. You don’t have a lot of time to get a shopper to remember you, let alone make a purchase decision. It can be a slogan, an image of your store, or any other feature that stands out and conveys your unique value proposition.

I like the example below as it shows the story of a family-run business, something we can all relate to. Relatable images build trust with the shoppers:

use images to add value to your listing


Step #4: Do not repeat standard policies

On mobile devices, every pixel is important. You have to convey your message in the most efficient way given the small screen size you’re working with (a standard smartphone today uses 5-6 inch screens). eBay has the shipping, payments, and returns policies displayed on the top part of the mobile listing, so you don’t have to repeat that in your description (unless you have critical information to add).

don't make your listings redundant


A word about active content on mobile eBay listings

Another major change eBay is going to implement in June 2017 is the removal of active content from listing descriptions. This will apply to mobile eBay listings as well and it will help with being able to optimize ebay listings for mobile. The aim is to improve the shopper experience by reducing the listing’s load time on eBay’s mobile app. Active content such as JavaScript, Flash, and plug-ins take time to load, thus inhibiting purchases on mobile devices.

As of this writing, CrazyLister is the only solution to make a public announcement that it successfully completed a new version 100% compliant with the eBay non-active content policy. We know that eBay will ban active content in June 2017. It may seem like a lot of time and you might have a tendency to wait until the last minute, but even if you have just 50 listings with active content that need to be replaced, you won’t want to wait till two weeks before June and start hassling to find a coder who knows about active content.

eBay is encouraging sellers to start addressing this issue today for a good reason. For sellers who uploaded thousands of listings, this is quite a challenge and it will take time to replace them all. Software systems for eBay like CrazyLister and ecomdash can help, but don’t procrastinate. Do it now and save the headache later.


About the author: Maxim Godin has grown an eBay business to $4.5 million in revenue, a two time eBay award winner for outstanding sales and co-author of eBay Sellers Journey to $100K a Month.


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