As we approach the Christmas season, it’s time to start perfecting your listings for the busiest trading period of the year. Jess Looke from Volo outlines five ways to improve marketplace listings.

Listing items seems pretty easy, but when you’re active on several channels and various marketplaces and you have to meet numerous different criteria for each of them, things can get messy quickly. Listing quality is core to your business’ success and its potential for growth, so we’ve developed some best practices that will help you enhance the quality of your listings.

Help your customers find what they’re looking for

Different marketplaces have different character length requirements for listing titles, so use the full length available and put the key words at the beginning of the title. To identify relevant keywords use Google’s Keyword tool, Terapeak, or a similar tool, ION Toolbox, is also useful for when checking your listing quality. Customers want to find the product they’re looking for without trawling through endless listings so always select product categories and sub-categories that best match your item.

Organise your data for product standout

Chances are you’re replicating the inventory information provided by your suppliers, which is less than perfect. Optimise this data and ensure it’s accurate, consistent and stands out against your competitors. Duplicate information can be damaging to your business. Google factors marketplace behaviour and traffic into its search algorithm, so using identical information on all marketplaces can hurt your web traffic.

Increase sales conversions with great visuals

Don’t underestimate the importance of pictures on listing performance – the more high-quality images you have, the better your sales conversions. It’s best to use about 4-5 images for each SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) to increase buyer confidence. According to eBay, providing more images increases sale conversion rates by up to 7%.

Make your listings look good on all devices

eBay states that over 50% of sales across its platform now touch mobile at some point. In 2014 the total sales registered through its app clocked up over $28bn. When presented with these numbers, it’s hard to ignore the importance of mobile optimisation. Different marketplaces display different information on mobiles and apps, so familiarise yourself with the mobile experience of each of your marketplaces. For example, when browsing eBay on mobile, the full item description is hidden and instead images, title and item specifics are pushed to the forefront–so focus on these elements of your listing.

Boost visibility in a crowded market

The majority of marketplaces use item-level sales history to rank products, so if one of your items sells extremely well marketplaces identify it as relevant to users’ search – pushing it up the search results list to boost its visibility. Why not optimise your rankings further by combining related items into a variation listing? Each site increases your score on your variation listing, rather than diluting the scores over multiple individual listings. Today, customers expect a better buying experience, so incorporate drop downs and filters to better structure your listings. Take note that search on eBay is ranked on historical conversion rates, so use its relist function to preserve your conversion history.

Jessica Looke is Marketing Executive at Volo Commerce.
Twitter: @VoloCommerce