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Sales Predictions is a Simple Tool to Improve Your eBay Sales

By Aron Hsiao  on November 07, 2017

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Since early this year, Terapeak has offered sellers a powerful sales predictions metric for each of their active listings. This metric shows you which of your listings listings could be made to generate more sales with just a few tweaks.

Get Sales Predictions, Put Them to Work for You

To access sales predictions, get Terapeak Research and link an eBay or Shopify seller account to your dashboard to give Terapeak access to your listings. Once you've done this, every time you log in you'll see all of your active listings along with a percentage score for each of them. This percentage shows the probability that:

  • The listing in question will generate a sale
  • On
  • Over the next 30 days

Use sales predictions—the color-coded percentages on the right—to improve your sales.

Since we introduced sales predictions, we've fielded a number of questions about how they work and what they mean. So let's dig into the details and put these sales predictions to work for you. Here's what you need to know.

  • These are probability scores. The percentages shown for each listing are probabilities. Think of sales predictions as you would coin flips—under ideal conditions, a large series of flips can be expected to land on heads half of the time and on tails half of the time—but this doesn't tell you what the result of any one flip will be. Variations in coins, air currents, your hand positions, and random chance play into the result of each flip, just as listing properties and context affect the outcomes of individual listings.

  • Optimize when you're underperforming the category. As a rule of thumb, if your listing is showing a lower sale probability than the category as a whole—whose percentage is shown just to the right of your listing prediction—it may be a good idea to optimize your keywords or price to see if you can reach a sale probability at or higher than category levels.

  • Not all categories of goods are equally likely to sell. Supply and demand vary over time and by product. When demand for a product is greater than supply, any one listing is more likely to make sales. When supply is greater than demand, the opposite is true. So while a probability of 20 percent may be better than average in one category (meaning you're doing about as well as you can), it can also be far worse than average in another category (meaning you can probably boost sales with some optimization).

  • Keywords can be far more important than price. For some products, price matters a great deal—but for others, a limited amount of demand can mean that price is less important than cutting through the noise and being the first seller to appear in search results—or less important than convincing shoppers who see your listing to actually pull the trigger.

Optimizing Your Listings

Once you've identified a listing whose sale probability you'd like to increase, use the Single Prediction tab on your dashboard to try out new optimizations that could boost your chances. Try both of these approaches:

  • Optimize your price. Try adjusting your price upward or downward by a few percentage points to see if this shifts the probability of a sale. In some categories, price has a reasonably significant effect. In other categories, it has a smaller or even negligible effect.

  • Optimize your keywords. Start with the listing title that you already use, but try adding keywords that previously didn't make the cut, removing keywords that you were unsure about, or changing keywords to alternate forms (for example, "med" or "medium" instead of "m" or "gray" instead of "slate") and noting the probability that you're shown with each variation. To get what are likely the most powerful suggestions, use Terapeak SEO to help you to come up with keywords to test.

Use the Singe Prediction tab to try out new products, keyword combinations, and prices.

Generally speaking, if you don't see measurable changes in probability when you shift the price in either direction by a few percentage points, you should set a competitive price compatible with your margins and focus on optimizing your keywords for the best possible search placement, using Terapeak SEO to inform your choices.

Once you've found the best sales prediction score that you can reasonably muster, update your price and title for the listing, which is then likely to perform better than it previously did.

It's Still Your Job to Convert Sales

Remember that sales predictions are only probabilities. They're a powerful tool to help you to target listings for optimization and to get their prices and titles just right. It's still up to you to convince shoppers to buy. Regardless of sale probabilities under ideal conditions, it's up to you to avoid shopper red flags that can hurt you:

  • Item descriptions or images that are confusing, uninformative, or off-putting
  • Poor feedback scores that mark you as an unreliable seller
  • Shipping or return policies that aren't competitive for the category you're in

If any of these are an issue for you, be sure to clean them up at the same time you're optimizing your listings, or all the optimization in the world can't help you. The coin flip comparison helps here again. A 50/50 chance for heads or tails goes out the window if the coin is loaded to land on one side or the other—so be sure to load things in your favor with great descriptions, great feedback and customer service, and competitive shipping and return policies.

If you can do that and optimize your listings with sales predictions scores that are higher than category averages in each case, then with Terapeak's help you'll tilt the odds decidedly in your favor—and increased sales will result.

Research a full year of online sales in detail for any product or keyword—average prices, competition levels, top listings, and more. Try Terapeak Research today!

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