UPDATE 8-9-21: eBay is expanding these updates to include eBayUK Shops
UPDATE: 7-29-21: eBay has made an official announcement about updates to the Store Features.
This update appears to have fixed one issue with store categories that had been plaguing sellers for a year.
Unfortunately, it also appears that sellers have lost one critical piece of functionality - the ability to set the default sort order for their storefront to Best Match, Lowest or Highest Priced, Newly Listed, or Ending Soonest.
The option to choose the sort order no longer exists in the store settings, so sellers are currently stuck with whatever they had previously set.
eBay has been promising some updates to the store experience for months and it looks like they're starting to roll out.
Here's what the new Edit Store page looks like:
Once you choose a banner and logo image and fill in the About section, you can preview a draft of the store in either desktop or mobile view.
If you choose to use the Featured Items section, those items will display at the top above other results.
I noticed eBay highlights the fact that an item might be "trending" at a lower price. This could lead buyers to look elsewhere or try to negotiate pricing even if the seller has not opted in to "best offer" on the listing.
Sellers are often not happy when eBay inserts things like this into their storefronts, believing since they pay for the store subscription, they should be in complete control of what's shown and there should not be ads or other "messaging" from eBay that might lead a buyer away from their store.
I suspect this may be a sticking point for many sellers. I'd recommend reviewing this section regularly and adjusting the selections as needed if you're concerned about the trending price messaging.
It's not entirely clear where these trending prices come from. It looks to me like it might not include shipping, so it's possible this could particularly be a problem for sellers who offer "free shipping" if the trending price they are being compared to is other sellers' item price only, not including shipping (either separately or baked in).
eBay has also updated the Store Newsletter function. There are two different newsletters you can send, a Welcome email for new followers and a recurring Item Showcase newsletter.
You can edit the About Us section and choose listings to feature.
Like many of the newly designed pages for Seller Hub, the spacing does not seem designed for optimum use on a desktop. On a full screen 1920 x 1080 monitor, the preview area for the newsletter is very small and requires a lot of scrolling to see what your newsletter will look like.
The final review page has the same spacing problems - scrunched into a small section of the page with way too much scrolling required.
The Item Showcase email allows you to enter a personalized message and choose which items to feature.
On the final review page you can choose to send the email once or automate the frequency and day of the week for an ongoing newsletter campaign.
eBay also has a Stores Hub page, which features stores across multiples categories.
It would be interesting to know what the criteria is to be one of the "featured" stores on this page.
What do you think of the new eBay Stores experience? Let me know in the comments below!