Optiseller, a new e-commerce data platform from Developing IT, used this year’s Black Friday as an opportunity to look at how some of the largest sellers on eBay UK performed on what is thought to be one of their most important trading periods of the year.

Using their off-the-shelf ‘Optiseller eBay Competitor Performance Dashboard’, which they say takes just minutes to set up, requires no accredited access to the target account or accounts, and provides results within hours, the team of e-commerce experts at Optiseller concluded that Black Friday isn’t yet as important to all sellers as you might expect. They analysed why this might be, and came up with these insights.

Declan Power, Optiseller COO said:

“Over the weekend we looked at a mix of top 10 and top 100 eBay sellers across different categories such as fashion, tech, and home and garden and monitored their performance. These included household names such as Tesco, Argos, Littlewoods, Currys PC World, and Superdry, as well as some perhaps less obvious but significant eBay sellers such as ‘ppretail’ (Home & Garden) and ‘kenable_ltd’ (Computers). What we discovered was:

  • Despite the perception that Black Friday is a boon for all online retailers, performance across the test sample was mixed at best. While 30% of sellers experienced a significant uplift (more than 10%) in sales volume over the period, and another 30% experienced a more moderate (more than 3%) sales uplift, the remaining 40% of sellers saw little or no increase in sales performance over the weekend.
  • Those sellers who saw the greatest increase in sales volumes were also typically those who led the way in adaption of Optiseller recommended KPIs such as:
    • eBay Markdown Manager (Discounts)
    • Multiple Shipping Options including Click & Collect
    • Image Variation
    • Title Optimisation (Length and Item Specifics)
    • Item Specifics
    • Buyer Protection
  • For some sellers, it doesn’t appear to make sense to actively discount and promote for Black Friday:
    • Commodities and seasonal stock such as IT peripherals and home and garden product lines don’t appear to sell well on Black Friday. This may be due to lack of consumer demand, or a reluctance by sellers to discount and promote such items in the belief this is more likely to displace future sales rather than generate additional growth.
    • For clearance channel sellers, lack of stock depth may preclude participation.

Therefore, while Black Friday can certainly be beneficial for eBay sellers, it pays to consider whether it suits your business, and if you are going to participate. Apart from ensuring the correct offering is available, it also pays to track and manage those key performance indicators which can make a big weekend even bigger.”