Note: As of 2019, it appears this feature has been removed.
Instead of seeing individual seller listings, eBay shoppers can now view product pages that combine similar products into one dashboard. This reduces the visibility of sellers who cannot offer competitive prices, and makes fast shipping tags more vital than ever.
This article will go through what eBay’s new Group Similar Listings feature means for sellers, and case studies of Amazon and Walmart’s similar features.
eBay’s Group Similar Listings, an Amazon-style buy box
eBay’s Group Similar Listings capability makes things easier for shoppers, because the market is so saturated with similar products to choose from. For example, instead of looking through 7,456 listings for a “car battery charger,” shoppers can narrow down the selection to 819 grouped results.
For eBay sellers, however, this means it’s much harder to get noticed in the eBay marketplace, especially if you don’t offer low price or better delivery service. If you don’t want to compete in a race to the bottom on price, you need to focus on fast shipping.
As this feature rolls out through different verticals, sales will go to the first listing with fastest shipping, which is what we’ve seen with Amazon and Walmart marketplaces.
Note how the different listings have multiple options. The items that aren’t the cheapest or fastest lose visibility and become just another buying option.
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Let’s take a look at how Walmart and Amazon’s marketplaces have evolved with this feature.
Amazon Prime fast shipping: Escape the price race to the bottom
“A key feature of the Amazon website is that multiple sellers can offer the same product. If more than one eligible seller offers a product, they may compete for the Buy Box for that product (as long as it can be shipped to the customer’s address).” – How the Buy Box works, Amazon Seller Central
Amazon’s Buy Box is a separate box that appears beside product specifications that give customers an option to “Buy It Now.” The products that win the Buy Box benefit from skyrocketing conversions, as it drives 82% of all Amazon sales and even more on mobile.
Amazon pioneered the Buy Box to give customers the best shopping experience possible in a marketplace where multiple sellers can offer the same product. In Amazon, sellers can either compete on price and cut their margins, or compete with fast shipping and solid logistics.
Let’s take Alba Botanica as our example.
There are multiple sellers offering the same product, so their listings all get grouped together.
When we click “36 new” from the image above, we get a list of all the different options.
There are so many options that buyers must find ways to filter out results. This could be via price, or fast shipping, aka Prime.
In the image below, we filtered out the search results by free shipping and 2-day shipping. That means we’re only looking at items that will be shipped same day or offers 2-day delivery. After the Amazon-sold first option of $10.27, the next few prices remain steady at $20.05.
On the other hand, in the original search results, the average price is much lower, at around $12 (versus $20). This indicates buyers are willing to pay your premium prices for fast shipping.
If you can’t afford to, or don’t want to compete on price, leverage fast shipping to win the Amazon Buy Box.
Walmart Free 2-Day Shipping: Thin out your competition
Another benefit of fast shipping are the fast shipping tags that help you stand out from your competition.
Let’s take the HP ink cartridge for an example. Walmart allows you to filter your search results by 2-day shipping eligible products.
Filtering by 2-day shipping significantly narrows down what the buyer sees. In this case, it was almost a 95% decrease in listings down from 73,006 to 3,873 results. Having a Walmart 2-day shipping tag significantly increases your chances of converting the user.
Fast shipping is the new marketing
Buyers need to be able to find your items to make a purchase. Walmart’s fast shipping tags, Amazon’s Buy Box, and now eBay’s Group Similar Listings feature all help to promote the seller who can offer fast (same day or 2 day) shipping.
This is where you’re going to get your conversions, so if you haven’t already, invest in getting those fast shipping tags as soon as possible.