eGads! The sky is NOT falling…again, repeat, the sky is NOT falling (14 Jan 09)

eBay just released an announcement we have known for awhile was forthcoming…they were going to update the look and feel of Stores.  We even talked about part of this during the last fee training.  I for one am thrilled these changes are finally happening because it will mean a better shopping experience for the buyers.  Better shopping experience = more time spent on the site = more money spent!  WooHoo!  Here are the basics from eBay about what the changes include:


The new eBay Stores Experience offers many key advantages:

    • Improved in-store search ability and merchandise suggestions for misspellings and low results.
    • Improved look and feel
      • The eBay Stores Experience gives your store a face lift by bringing the design more in line with the rest of eBay, which makes it less confusing to buyers when they land in your store.
      • We’ve enhanced our promotion boxes to better showcase your items, for instance, the new promotion box filmstrip.
      • We’ve updated the eBay themes so you can set up a professional-looking store without using HTML and start selling right away.
    • Improved buyer features
      • Buyers now can refine their search preferences within your store to make it easier to find exactly what they’re looking for.
      • Our new Gallery View showcases your items to make it easier for buyers to see what your store has in stock.
    • Future flexibility
      • With this new version, we can continue to build enhancements to eBay Stores quickly.

Cool, huh?!

I was talking to Ina of AuctionBytes tonight when she asked for a quote about the press release from eBay.  I showed her the before and after versions of my Store (using the new ‘opt-in’ feature for the new Stores design).  You can see those right here:

 

BEFORE

 

Ina - store main page before

 

AFTER

 

Ina - store main page after

 

Ina really liked visually seeing what a difference the new look makes on the shopping experience.  Check out how fabulous the new gallery looks now – makes you want to go shopping!!

 

BEFORE

 Ina - store gallery before

 

AFTER

 Ina - store gallery after

 

Also, if you look close at the before and after shots, you can see I have some small design tweaks to make, but no biggie.  I’m just going to follow the Success Steps I have outlined for you below with my webmaster Marcus.  They will be done overnight.

 

Now I have no doubt you will read posts from the drama queens out there about this.  AGAIN,…the sky is not falling.  If it was, I promise I would not only tell you it was but provide shelter.  These changes eBay is putting into place are happening over a 90 day period of time (plenty of time to work with your designer if needed to fix anything) and the changes result in a better shopping experience for our buyers.  There is no other main reason that I can think of to be on eBay except to SELL.  And if these changes help facilitate that, then bring them on.

 

Typical Janelle editorial comment is coming…It is unacceptable, especially during this fear based economy for people to say otherwise.  To create panic by showcasing worst case scenarios isn’t professional (nor is throwing other design firms under the bus to promote your own, but that is a whole other conversation). 

These changes speak volumes to eBay’s assertion that they will keep eBay Stores.  If they are going to put this kind of time and money into eBay Stores, they aren’t going to kick them to the curb next week.

My 3 cents.

 

Here are some Success Steps you can take in utilizing these changes to your full advantage:

  • First, preview your eBay Store to see if you even need to make any tweaks.  Most of you won’t and will just delight in having a more professional looking Store automatically.  You can preview your Store by logging into eBay, then going to the announcement here: http://www2.ebay.com/aw/core/200901.shtml#2009-01-13145421 and clicking the preview link.
  • If you do have some areas in your Store that don’t look the way you want them to, you can do the following:
    • Opt-out of the new design (if you had opted in upon doing the preview)
    • Make a list of the areas that you would like to fix
    • Take screenshots if you can of those areas
    • Contact the person who originally created your eBay Store design & communicate these changes with them.  Also, make sure you point them to the Technical FAQ’s: http://pages.ebay.com/stores/newstore.html as well as the Site Interference Policy: http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/everyone-interference.html for additional information.
    • If you are no longer working with them, for whatever reason, I would recommend checking out some of the other Store designers including:
    • Once your Store is set in the condition that you would like, make sure you opt-in asap to the new Stores experience so your buyers can receive these multiple benefits and start enjoying the consistency of your new Store
    • NOTE:  Don’t switch back and forth from opting-in to opting-out; it will cause confusion with your buyers

 

I am really excited about these new changes.  Remember, we also have the new listing frame coming soon too (I was SO hoping that it would be included in today’s announcement, but no…sigh).  These changes make your Store look more professional, appear easier to shop from, and will help your buyer’s navigate your inventory with ease.

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