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What do you need to know about the 2016 eBay seller updates

Here we go again! Seems a regular occurrence from eBay that just when you have implemented the last set of changes in reference to your seller accounts – more notably the “EAN numbers” – that eBay announces yet more; and this latest set has already caused a stir in the eBay seller community.

Let’s start with the positives!

1. The move to standardise item descriptions to ensure (we) get the search volumes for each of our eBay items.  This is particularly aimed at the mobile device.

In a blog post, the company says, “This simplifies the buying experience and helps to optimize for SEO – which can ultimately improve your conversion rates…with minimal work by you, since the summaries are auto-generated. However, we’re also adding the ability for you to customize exactly what shows in the mobile summary – I expect you’ll like having this level of control to help increase your chances for mobile conversion.”

Most of you have paid attention to this advice a while ago using the long description to populate keywords ensuring its SEO friendly to help with your search rankings on eBay.  If you haven’t, our advice is to do this now.

2. The introduction of Product Reviews. Following in line with Amazon a great feature will help support your item in the sale process, creating consumer trust. Did you know that  61% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision.

3. Limiting the Active Content was another update put forward by eBay, which ruffled feathers among the sellers.

What is Active Content? This means that any of the templates/shop fronts that have been designed with the following features:

  • Dynamic category updates
  • Advanced search
  • Links to Youtube or other video
  • Carousels/related items
  • Live chat
  • Buyer feedback

All of which use a particular reference in the HTML code to Javascript. This will be limited in the spring of 2017.  Firstly, our advice is: don’t panic! – this is 12 months away.  In the meantime we at Just Applications Ltd, will be working with eBay to identify newer techniques such as HTML5 that will help as the ideal work-around for this necessary change to prevent the hacking issues eBay has been caught up in recent months.

Not that this should be viewed as a negative, as it’s not, the Active Content change has had the biggest effect from sellers.

Please note eBay says “limit” and until we properly understand what is involved, as eBay certified partners, we will be working with them on the different cases where we use Active Content.  We will certainly keep you all updated on these changes and when our software, Ad-Lister is updated.

eBay understands that branded designs are an important feature to their success and that its competitors e.g.  Amazon does not have this feature.  This change is purely a vulnerability fix.

If you have had templates designed by us for other third-party systems such as ChannelAdvisor, InkFrog, StoreFeeder, Channel Grabber and Auctiva please do get in contact on 0121 285 1050.

Again reiterating there is no cause for panic as we, Just Applications Ltd are looking into this.  But this may be a good opportunity for those sellers who have had work done by other freelance designers to re-evaluate their templates and seek out a useful software tool like or another that has been certified for peace of mind as these tools will be expected to be updated in time for the update.