Best practices for creating mobile-friendly listings
An increasing percentage of online shoppers are now buying products on mobile devices instead of on a desktop system. Sellers need to be aware of, and make steps to keep up with this trend. This document will provide tips/strategies to sellers to help them create effective listings, regardless of the platform, and then it will discuss how to optimize listings for viewing on mobile devices.
Taking advantage of all eBay features
The first thing that sellers should do is make sure they are taking advantages of all eBay features that are designed to create effective listings. eBay maintains these features to the latest technical and design standards to ensure they are effective regardless of the shopper's device.
- Product Identifiers: for eBay categories that support Product Identifiers (like UPC, EAN, ISBN, etc.), sellers should specify the product ID for the product at listing time. Note that some categories actually require Product Identifiers. By specifying a product ID, eBay will look for a match for the product in the eBay product catalog, and if the product is found, eBay will prefill the listing with the item title, item description, item specifics, item pictures (if item condition is 'New'), and puts the product into the best category. See the Structured Data - Product Identifiers Help topic for more information on the supported categories.
- Photo Uploader: use the photo uploader to upload up to 12 photos (24 for Motors listings) free of charge. Sellers should take a look at the Optimize your pictures for mobile buyers help topic for handy tips on making sure photos look great on mobile devices.
- Item Specifics: for categories that support using Product Identifiers, the appropriate Item Specifics will already be taken care if the product is found in the eBay product catalog. Otherwise, the sellers will have to manually input their own Item Specifics. Item Specifics vary widely based on the product/category, but include things like color, size, year, etc. See the Providing item specifics help topic for more information on incorporating effective items specifics in listings.
- Listing Frame: by using the Listing Frame feature, sellers enable buyers to search their store from within the listing. Setting up an eBay Store's listing frame is discussed in the Customizing your store's appearance Help topic.
- Listing Fields: use the appropriate listing fields (in SYI form or in API) to inform buyers about accepted payment methods, available shipping/pickup options, return policy, etc. Using the appropriate listing fields is far more effective than trying to clump all of the listing information within the item description through widgets or other active content.
- Promotions Manager: eBay Store owners can use the Promotions Manager tool to set up sales events, create promotional offers, create codeless coupons, and offer order size and shipping discounts. To learn more about Promotions Manager, see the Build your business seller page.
Optimizing listings for viewing on mobile devices
This section focuses on optimizing listings for viewing on mobile devices when active content is used in the listing description. The following are three things that sellers can do to optimize listings that are using active content:
- Use the viewport meta tag. The viewport meta tag communicates to mobile browsers how to adjust the dimensions and scaling of the item description in order to render properly on a mobile device. eBay recommends that sellers set the viewport width
to the device width without scaling. For example, include the following line of code in your item description:
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">When setting the viewport, do not use fixed-width values, because this will cause your item description not to render correctly for some devices sizes.
- Make sure that all item description elements scale across device sizes. Do not set absolute values in CSS declarations and make sure inline images scale well across screen sizes. In practice, this should prevent any mobile browser from rendering horizontal scrollbars, which are not mobile-friendly.
- Review your font specifications. eBay recommends using a base font size of 16 CSS pixels and sticking to one or two font sizes. Using this strategy should eliminate the need for a shopper to pinch to zoom and read content.
- Optimize listings for fast load times. Use eBay features (as opposed to using active content in listing descriptions) whenever possible, and test to make sure that any active content loaded from non-eBay servers loads quickly.
- Avoid active content altogether further ensures mobile-friendly descriptions. Beginning with the 2017 Spring Seller Update, eBay will limit the use of active content in all new listings across all devices, and it will not be rendered by default. By the 2017 Fall Seller Update, we plan to remove or block listings with active content. Due to active content being phased out in 2017, eBay encourages sellers to limit their use of active content now. See the Best practices for replacing active content in eBay listings document for recommended alternatives that can replace the use of active content in listing descriptions. By following some of the alternatives in that document, sellers will automatically avoid some of the other challenges that make listings difficult to use on mobile devices.
In the Summer of 2016, the View Item Description Summary feature is scheduled to roll out. This feature will help the seller customize and optimize the item description as it appears on mobile devices. For more information on this feature, see the View Item Description Summary feature document.