No matter how future proof you try to make any kind of e-commerce advice, it’s an industry that’s constantly changing and things can become obsolete or out of date in a minute. Anytime I finish an e-commerce book and put it out into the world, there’s always this tension. When will something happen that makes part of the book obsolete? How bad will it be? How much will I have to rewrite or scrap? It’s like waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Changes to Vendio’s stores caused me to have to rewrite a large chunk of Beyond Amazon, eBay and Etsy. We’ve also discussed at length on this blog how eBay’s changes to the Trading Assistant program caused me to have to rewrite Sell Their Stuff three freaking times from scratch. When STS was finally released, I thought I’d made it as future proof as possible. But then GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping switched to a paid service mere days after the book came out forcing me to do a rewrite and revision anyway.
I finished my latest book about eBay on April 26th and sent it off to the editor. While I haven’t officially announced this one yet, as you’ve probably guessed from my recent blog series, it’s about marketing and increasing traffic. Imagine how annoyed I was when not even five days later, eBay announced:
Store traffic reports to be retired on June 30
As an eBay Stores subscriber, you have access to a number of powerful marketing tools, including Sales Reports Plus and Store traffic reports. Starting June 30, you’ll no longer be able to access Store traffic reports. Later this year, we’ll introduce new features to replace the current Store traffic reports.
We’re committed to notifying you 60 days in advance of any changes to features included with your Stores subscription. We apologize for any inconvenience this change may cause. Know that your access to Sales Reports Plus is not affected and that in the weeks ahead, we’ll let you know all about the new reporting features we’ll soon offer.
As always, thank you for selling on eBay and for subscribing to eBay Stores.
The eBay Selling Team
UGH, eBay. Why do you keep doing this to me? Of course Traffic Reports are in my book, you butts, and now I have to rewrite that section. I hate you all. Especially since you’re being all nebulous and vague about what kind of a replacement you’re giving us for them so I can’t even elude to these changes in a general way, I have to remove all mention of the old program and then wait and write a new section when you finally tell us what this new program is. A pox on all your (computer) mouses!
Anyway, taking off my writer hat for a minute, I’m not too keen on this as a seller either. For starters, I don’t like having something taken away from me without knowing what, if anything, I’m getting back in return. Secondly, I have years and years of data stored in that account. Will this new feature let me transfer all that old stuff over into the new? I don’t fancy having to start over from scratch. Traffic reports only become more useful with time, losing that history would be a very bad thing.
Unlike that Sales Reports, which largely suck, the Traffic Reports were actually useful and I used them often. But the fact that they started this email out being like, “Did you know you get this reporting stuff with your store? Well, too bad because we’re taking it away!” makes me think that not many sellers were aware of them, let alone using them.
Will you miss the Traffic Reports once they’re gone?