What did your favorite ecommerce platform look like yesterday?
Rember malls? Those places where people went to buy just about everything. They were places to go and meet friends, see a film, have a quick snack in the food court. Malls have changed, in fact they are just about completely gone. The one by us The Mall (yes that was it’s real name) closed and was a ghost town for several years and now has been razed to the ground. It’s literally a parking lot.
If you have been selling online for a while using one of the first popular ecommerce websites, such as ebay, then you have seen it go through many – many – many changes. Ebay not only looks different than it did 20 years ago, it feels different. That may be good or like many sellers it’s bad – bad – bad.
Sure the layout and the workings on the site pages where you list your items are more complex and of course up-to-date as far as website design goes. However many people sellers it is more difficult and time consuming to list today. More categories, more fields to fill out, more rules to abide by (at the risk of being kicked off) things that make some sellers want to give up. Things like Ebays proprietary search engine, removing sellers feedback on buyers, different acceptable payment methods (currently “Managed Payments” is mandatory or soon will be) and more all get under the skin of longtime sellers. What Ebay said was a community of sellers and buyers now seems like a factory or discount warehouse that sellers seem to want to leave as soon as possible. No matter what you may think of these and other changes, big or small, they will never stop.
How Some View The Ascent & Decent of Ebay
And Other Online Selling Websites.
Why So Many Changes On Ecommerce Sites
In 2020 consumers spent over $860 billion dollars online with U.S. merchants, and that number will continue to increase for many years to come. And as the online buying public has become more sophisticated, and more purchases are made on mobile devices many changes have become necessary. Some of these changes make listings appeal to people that are admittedly short on attention span. And then there is the competition. When one ecommerce platform makes changes to their “buyers experience”, then the rest seem to feel obligated to follow suit. Of course don’t forget the Stock Holders who demand profit and must be kept happy. The top operators think they know what is best to make the stock happy, even when these operators don’t have much experience in the Real World of Online Selling. The result is websites that don’t work well or make sense to buyers and sellers. There is frustration with problems caused by the endless tide of useless changes that increase costs and dig into profits.
What To Do About The Constant Changes On Your Favorite Ecommerce Sites
In short nothing…stay or leave…no amount of complaining or reasoning with the website operators will work. The overall feeling you get from ecommerce platforms like Ebay is “if you don’t like us leave us”. Some consider legal methods to force change, but face it the amount of money necessary to fight a very long legal battle with a billion dollar company is hard to justify, and the big ecommerce websites know it.
However if the benefits of working with Ebay, Etsy, Amazon or other high traffic sites outweigh the grief caused by dumb changes, there are things you can try to help mitigate the pain:
Don’t let the “Winds of Change” get you down.
First – be rational and think through whether it’s worth it, that is continuing to sell on a site with new rules, updates, agreements, constant changes – all seemingly useless. Ask yourself ‘does the profit outweigh the pain’. If it does then you stay. If not you leave in search for something better. Another ecommerce website or maybe an ecommerce website of your own is the right choice. But this is a change too and can affect your sales for some time. As mentioned there is no amount of complaining that will change things so think twice about leaving.
Second – you may want to try other ecommerce sites before leaving the one you no longer love. There are websites and services that specialize in multi-listing products. These will allow you to place the same item, whether you have one or many, on different sites at the same time. But be careful! The additional fees and commissions can erase profits. And the site you no longer like, such as Ebay does, have rules about selling on other ecommerce websites – even your own!
Third – Read and sign up for forums and seller groups that talk about what they do to “Work Through the Pain of Change” on the site(s) they sell on. Ask questions to help you make intelligent decisions about where the best places are for you to sell.
So these are just 3 suggested ways to help you keep selling in spite of what you may feel are stupid and useless changes going on at the ecommerce website you have been selling on for years. Just remember change will never stop.
To put a twist on an old saying; “The rising tide of change lifts all sellers boats”. Maybe you don’t want to be lifted, maybe you want to keep sailing. Good luck and may the wind of fun and profit on the changing sea of ecommerce always fill your sales and bring you to your goal.
Like I said, our Mall was really called