Comparing yourself against the market is a great way to assess if you alone are experiencing an up-lift or a downturn. It’s a good start to identify how to troubleshoot sales issues and it gives you a big picture of how everyone else, in the same boat, could be going.
Here are the steps in building a market comparison.
1. Define your market segment.
If you’re a specialised online seller, for example – selling Bee Keeping goods – then defining your market segment could be pretty easy. The eBay subcategory Bee Keeping, or the search term “Bee Keeping” could very well define your market.
If your online store and inventory are not so narrowly defined, look up several subcategories or search terms that can be used to summarize the top performing products you have in your range.
Go with the 80/20 rule. Select subcategories or product groups that drive most of your revenue. Consider your foundation products and your transient fashion or seasonal products.
For example, your foundation products could be camp gear, but for this season, your revenue could be strongly supplemented by a few palates of Ugg boots. You might want to define your market, especially for that season, with data about camp gear and Ugg boots.
You need to feel comfortable with your definition of your market so run a few Top 500 Live Listings Reports to assess whether you’ve found the best comparable sellers and products. Refine your report criteria with keywords and categories until you think you’ve found the best representation of the market you compete in.
2. Assess how your newly defined market segment is performing.
Now that you’ve defined a market segment to compare yourself to, run that same report criteria with the Recent Sales Report.
The Recent Sales report presents 30-day sales data for the top 100 ranked listings, representing the first 2 pages of eBay search results where the majority of purchases will occur. The most important metrics for this report are:
#Sold: The number of items sold during the time period specified.
$Sold: The revenue from sales achieved during the time period specified.
Click through to the chart view to see how sales have been distributed over the last 30 days. This visual will gives you a quick perspective on whether the overall market is experiencing an upward or downward trend – or holding a consistent level of sales.
3. Compare yourself to the market.
The simplest way to compare yourself to the market, and to your direct competitors, is to find yourself in the market segment Recent Sales Report. There are three key metrics to focus on:
Your share of listings within the top 100. The Recent Sales Report is based on eBay’s Best Match rank. You will want to have more share of the top 100 because it will mean that eBay will give you top visibility to buyers.
Your sales revenue within the top 100. Visibility aside, in some categories, a handful of listings drive the dominant part of revenue. You may want to break the share of sales further to listing by listing within the top 100 to see which listing is outperforming everyone else in terms of revenue.
Your sales volume within the top 100. Depending on the report you generated and the category you sell in, price ranges may very greatly. This is where sales volume (by Sold Items - #sold) is a great metric to see the type of product buyers engage with the most. Comparing this metric across the market is a great indicator of the type of buyer that is in market, and the type of products that appeal to them.
Regularly checking yourself against the market is a great way to assess performance and to get an idea of how you are tracking against everyone else. It can give you signs for areas for improvement or validate any business decisions you may have implemented.