In the last couple of months, eBay has launched grouped listings in search results, which also includes a ‘Your Pick’ buying option for the product - similar to Amazon’s Buy Box. We take a look at how the new grouped listings works, and how the ‘Buy Box’ might affect your eBay business.
Group Similar Listings option
When a buyer searches for an item on eBay, they will now see the option to ‘Group Similar Listings’ at the top right hand of the search results list. Once they’ve clicked this all listing for the same product will be grouped together under one single search result, which will click through to a product page. Using this search option will reduce the number of search results that are displayed to the shopper.
The grouped product listing now shows eBay’s favoured buying option directly under the listing title, with other buying options from other sellers listed on the right hand side.
Within the product listing, shoppers will see a ‘Buy it now’ button next to the product image, which will automatically place the ‘Your Pick’ item in your basket. This is the specific product listing that eBay determines is the best buying option.
Underneath eBay’s recommended option the lowest priced listings for that product will be displayed.
The change to how listings are displayed is part of eBay’s move towards a more structured catalogue of products, similar to Amazon.
Over the last two years ebay has started to require sellers to include product identifiers such as brand, Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) and Manufacturer Part Number (MPN) as well as other item specifics in most categories. Product identifiers are now being used to group all listings for the exact same product, sold by different sellers, into one combined product page. The goal of this is to make it easier for buyers to find the exact product that they’re looking to buy, and quickly compare offers.
The ‘Buy it now’ choice isn’t necessarily the cheapest item, it seems that feedback also affects which seller appears as the recommended option. It’s also not always a brand new product - it could be used, refurbished or pre owned.
Shopper’s will also be pointed towards the cheapest options underneath the ‘Buy it now’ button.
How the eBay 'Buy Box' affects sellers
Your listings will only be affected by the ‘Group Similar Listings’ updates to listings if you have included the correct product identifiers. Nearly all of eBay’s categories now require product identifiers, but you can usually still enter ‘Does Not Apply’. This would mean that your listing won’t match up with eBay’s catalogue and therefore won’t be grouped with other listings.
The new changes are likely to increase price competition between sellers - as even if your listing doesn’t appear as the ‘Your Pick’ choice, the lowest priced option is still highlighted below. However, if you don’t want to have your listings grouped with others and compete on price, then you will need to be selling more unique items, private label branded goods, or bundles.
Including product identifiers does have a number of benefits though: as well as helping shoppers find the exact item they want, it will also help your items to appear in search engine results outside of eBay, such as Google.