Zenstores' 2017 Review

Zenstores' Review 2017

Published in Planning

We’ve taken a look back at some of our most read tutorials from the year to recap some of the changes that were most important to ecommerce businesses in 2017, as well as some of the important issues facing online sellers.

How to comply with eBay’s active content ban

eBay’s active content ban came into effect this year, meaning sellers have had to edit all of their listings to remove any Javascript, Flash, plug-ins or form actions. Active content is mainly used to add product videos, image galleries, or create tabs within the product description.

Since June 2017, eBay has been eliminating the use of active content in listings across all devices, meaning it will no longer display correctly. Eventually, eBay is planning on removing or blocking listings that still have active content, so it’s important that you update and remove any from your listings and your eBay shop should you still have any.

You can find out which of your listings still have active content by using the i-ways Checker. Find out more about eBay’s active content ban here

Understanding Etsy Payments

In May 2017, Etsy started to require all sellers to set up Etsy Payments. Etsy Payments was previously called Direct Checkout, and is Etsy’s own payment system that allows you to offer payment options such as: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, integrated PayPal, Apple Pay, Android Pay and gift cards. It also allows shoppers to pay in their local currency, and you’ll be included in multi-shop checkout. Using Etsy Payments also qualifies you for Etsy’s Seller Protection Policy.

Etsy Payments’ seller fees are 4% of the total sale price (including shipping fees and any applicable sales tax) plus a flat fee of 20p for each order.

Read more about the changes to Etsy’s payment system requirements here

How to improve your eBay Seller Performance Standards

One of our most popular tutorials this year covered how to improve and maintain your eBay seller standards. eBay uses Seller Standards for monitoring your dispatch times, customer service and issues with transactions. You can either be Below Standard, Above Standard or an eBay Top-rated Seller.

The two main metrics that you need to be keeping an eye on are your transaction defect rate and your late delivery rate. The defect rate includes when the seller cancels a transaction, or when a buyer asks eBay or PayPal to resolve an issue and they decide the seller is responsible. The late delivery rate keeps track of whether you dispatch your items on time, making it crucial that you upload any tracking information for your parcels.

Find out more about eBay Seller Performance Standards here.

How to use product identifiers on eBay

Another important area of change on eBay this year was the expansion of product identifier requirements. Product identifiers are unique codes, like barcodes, which identify a specific product. Product identifiers required on eBay include brand, Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), European Article Numbers (EANs), International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs), Manufacturer Part Number.

From October product identifiers have been required for Good ‘Til Cancelled listings, and since October they were required for all new and revised listings in Seller refurbished condition, next year that will be extended to Seller refurbished Good ‘Til Cancelled listings. eBay also announced that they would not be adding new types of product identifiers such as Amazon, Google and self-created product identifiers, and the Does not apply will not be removed.

Find out the latest information about product identifiers here.  

What to do if your Amazon account is suspended

Any Amazon sellers’ worst nightmare is having their account suspended, so in this tutorial, we took a look at why your account might get suspended and what to do if it is.

Amazon account suspensions are either because you’ve failed to meet Amazon’s seller performance standards or you’ve violated one of their selling policies. Seller performance assessed by your order defect rate (the number of orders that receive negative feedback), pre-fulfilment cancellation rate and late shipment rate.

If your Amazon selling account is suspended then these are the main steps you should take:

  1. Investigate and fully understand why your account was suspended
  2. Write out a plan of action - an appeal should acknowledge the problem, show that you’ve made changes already, and outline a long term plan to prevent it happening again, but also be brief and straight to the point.
  3. Submit your appeal to Seller Performance on the Notification page of the Customer Metrics section of your account.
  4. Amazon will usually respond by email within 48 hours.

Find out more about how to get your suspended Amazon account reinstated here.

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About the author

Verity is a journalist and content producer at Zenstores.

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