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Anchor Stores – are they worth it?

by trevor. Average Reading Time: almost 2 minutes.

 
 

I have always wondered if Anchor Stores were worth the extra £270 a month over featured stores. To recap, the advantages of a Anchor store over a featured store are:

  • More emails – 5000 vs 2500
  • More custom pages – 15 vs 10 (but who is ever going to use that many)
  • Logo on the store homepage
  • More frequent exposure in the related shops box on the eBay search results.

A full comparison shop subscription levels can be found here

Out of these the only thing for which might be worth paying £270 is the chance of more traffic to your listings and shop homepage.  The problem is there is has been no data available on whether having an anchor shop actually has any effect….until now.  Being the scientific types we are at Auctioning4u we did an experiment to establish if having an anchor shop had any affect on our traffic.

Before I get into figures, I should first point out that as Auctioning4u is constantly changing its stock and the number of items listed, it is difficult to make a comparison over time.  It we have more items listed then it is likely that our listings will get more traffic overall.  What I have done is divide the traffic by the number of listings to try and massage the results.  Still this is far from perfect.

Anyway we ran the trial for month of April.  The following table compares April’s figures (as reported in the eBay traffic reports) with the preceeding two months and here are the results:

 

February 

March 

April 

Bids per listing 

5.79

6.29

6.8

Page Views per listing

172

196

195

Homepage views per listing

29.44

37

41.43

Unique visitors per listing 

32

36

35

As can be seen the results are far from conclusive. The number of bids and homepage visits has gone up but not massively and the nubmer of visitors per listing has actually gone down.  Sell through rate and average selling price (not shown) were also not significantly changed.

Going by these figures, I would say the the case for getting an anchor shop is unproven at best.

4 comments on ‘Anchor Stores – are they worth it?’

  1. Randy Smythe says:

    Trevor, I have personal experience with Anchor stores through Glacier Bay DVD. We were an anchor store from the beginning but the reason had little to do with increasing traffic instead it was an effort to brand ourselves. Having our logo show up on the homepage or on more pages had a benefit in regards to name recognition but it did little to increase sales.

    On today’s eBay, branding has even less of an impact then when I sold. I wouldn’t recommend Anchor store. A seller would be better off spending the additional money on increasing the number of listings. We know that increase sales.

  2. Chris says:

    Trevor the way I would view it is on a cost per item basis. If I sell 500 items a month a Featured shop costs me 6p per item which is sustainable. If on the other hand I sell 5000 items per month an anchor shop will only cost me 6p per item so what the hell… might as well have it.

    Whilst a featured shop has verifiable benefits over and above a basic the advantages of Anchor are questionable…. but if it’s costing a minimal amount per month what the hell 🙂 Justify it as a cost per item and if it’s affordable go for it.

  3. I had an anchor shop for six months last year as a result of an eBay competition. My traffic rose *very* slightly, and sales in line with that, but like you, the change was nothing significant, and nothing that couldn’t be achieved with simply listing a bit more – if you have £270 extra to blow on eBay fees, spend it on 27 Featured Pluses instead. Until they start pushing the Shops hub a bit harder at buyers, I see no advantage in an anchor shop at all.

    (And I do always think that including the email marketing costs in their comparisons of the different shops is a bit of a cheek by eBay. 2500 emails paid for would be twenty five quid!!)

    One other thing – UK anchor shops are very expensive compared to the rest of the world. The .com site slashed its price from $499 to $299. In France, a Boutique Premium is EUR59,99 (about £40).

  4. trevor says:

    Chris,

    True, but I don’t think that this approach looks at the return on advertising investment, £3600 over the course of a year is a lot to spend without any noticable upside

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