eBay is removing important insights and features from the Listing Improvement and Restock Advice pages in Seller Hub on very short notice.
A seller in the eBay community gave a great breakdown of how these features were useful for sellers and why eBay's proposed replace of "actionable insights" from the listing page don't measure up.
This tab is one of the very few places that eBay's system actually informs you of what listings it has "flagged" and that you could take action on. If your listing is showing up here,basically eBay has determined there's a "problem" with it that needs to be resolved.
But you notice on top, it says it's being "phased out" literally tomorrow.
On this page on the top right it has that "Download Report" button. This report has some data that helps explain how this system works. Here's a list of some of the important ones:
- Listing last revised date
- Number of days since last sale
- Guidance ID
- Guidance last updated on date
- Listing Under Achieving Score
This exposes how the system works. Basically, if eBay sees a "problem" in your listing, internally it creates a "Guidance" recommendation for the item. Any items with a "Guidance" recommendation show up on this page. EBay doesn't tell you exactly what the guidance wants you to do, but if you see an item showing up on this page, it's basically saying "You need to take action" on these listings.
More often than not, if you adjust the price on this page to be a little bit cheaper, or edit the listing if it's lacking images/etc. If you adjust the right thing, it will be removed from the underperforming page.
Also you could see the date on there. The longer has passed since the date, the heavier the "stagnant/stale" penalty gets on the item. Meaning it will appear lower and lower in search as more time has surpassed without you "resolving the guidance".
In other words, to summarize, if eBay sees a problem in your listing it penalizes your listing, unless you address the "guidance" that was generated.
Potentially your store - rather than your listings - could be receiving the penalty if you have enough listings included here. The MSO Sellers Health sheet shows they have a number to track the percentage of your listings that are included here and it is indeed included in their algorithms.
With that said, as mentioned earlier, they're removing this feature tomorrow. Why? I have no idea. It's basically the only page on Seller Hub that lets us know what listings have a problem! So now we're not going to have any way at all to check which listings are "problems" in eBay's system!
It says in the notice that "You can view actionable insights for your listings on the Seller Hub listing page". But if we check that report, it doesn't have any of the data about "guidance" or what listings of yours that eBay sees as a problem.
Let's take a look at what is tracked in the new report:
- Current Promoted Status
- Top 20 slot organic/promoted impressions
- Change in top 20 slot promotions
- Non-search promoted impressions
- Non-search organic impressions
- Total promoted impressions
- Page views
- Promoted page views
- Click through rate
- Sales conversion rate
It's clear what the trend here is. This is certainly not a replacement for what they're removing. It's literally all about promotions, promotions, promotions. This is what eBay calls "actionable" apparently....?
But it's missing the point of what the Underperforming page was useful for. For years, when sellers were having problems, my advice was to address the Underperforming page. It's the one source that eBay gave where they said "These are the listings that are a problem - you need to fix these!" And if you do, it improved performance.
More importantly, it helped sellers diagnose the issue when impressions were lacking. If their views or sales are lacking? That's something actionable. But lack of impressions? That's how much you appear in search - that's up to eBay's algorithms. Until tomorrow, we have a list of what the algorithm sees as a "problem", but after tomorrow, there'll be no way to tell. The only tools that will remain are the listing quality report and the new traffic report. Neither of them help resolve this issue.
Based on the tools that we'll have tomorrow onward, the only data eBay is giving us to resolve these problems are promotion recommendations.
Aside from the message at the top of the screen on those pages in Seller Hub, it doesn't appear that eBay has made any announcement about this change either in the community or through email to sellers.
What do you think of these changes? Did you find these pages helpful and if so, do you believe eBay's suggested replacement provides the same level of insights you need to run your business? Let me know in the comments below!