Auctiva's latest release greatly simplifies the creation of multi-variation listings, and sets the company as one of the first eBay Certified Developers to support this complex feature.
Released in beta today, Auctiva's new Multi-Variation Tool builds the option to add variations to a listing right into its One-Page Lister, making the process easier and requiring fewer steps than other tools, says Auctiva Product Analyst Rebecca Miller.
"Where other solutions require you to you click, click, click, click, we combine those pages into one," she notes. "It's always our plan to make things easier for sellers, and we think we've done it."
Supporting multi-variations was a top priority for Auctiva, says Senior Product Manager Tony Maxey. Customers have been clamoring for multi-variation listing support because it can save them a lot of time and money, since they create one listing with multiple attributes, instead of multiple listings. eBay has also announced that multi-variations will expand into other categories in the future. Currently sellers can create multi-variation listings in Clothing, Shoes & Accessories, as well as Home & Garden.
Ease of use was the name of the game as Auctiva's developers brainstormed how to tackle multi-variations, according to Maxey.
"When we focused on how eBay itself implemented multi-variations—the steps users had to follow to create multi-variant listings directly on eBay—we said to ourselves, 'Auctiva is known for being easy to use. Let's apply this approach to multi-variations, and make it as simple and easy as we possibly can,'" he says. "Interestingly, eBay told us they had high hopes that we would deliver a really good user experience."
We said to ourselves, 'Auctiva is known for being easy to use. Let's apply this approach to multi-variations, and make it as simple and easy as we possibly can'
Auctiva is among the first third-party developers in its price range to support multi-variations. That should come as no surprise, since developing a feature that would support this takes a lot of time and resources, Maxey notes.
"The reality is that multi-variations is hard to implement," he explains. "It takes a lot of time to understand the technicalities, and a lot of skill and creativity to design a user interface that is clear and easy to use. We invested in building this functionality the right way; others are still working on it, from what we hear."
Auctiva developers tried to keep the workflow as similar as possible to the standard listing process. Sellers begin creating a multi-variation listing just as they would any other, but when they choose a category that supports multi-variations listings, they get a message asking if they want to create a multi-variation listing, and a link to click into the Multi-Variation Tool.
Once they click on the link, they'll be able to create variations by either entering them manually, or by using the Variation Generator, which allows sellers to use up to five attributes and easily generate up to 120 variations at a time.
"We evaluated what eBay was doing and tried to simplify the process and still give [customers] all they needed to create their multi-variation listings," says Development Manager Shawn Crossley.
While the Auctiva team is happy with the implementation of this important new feature, multi-variation listing is brand new and will continue to evolve, Maxey adds.
"We know that once sellers begin using it in real listings they will discover things that we can and need to do to make Auctiva's Multi-Variation Tool better," he says. "That's why we have labeled this first release as 'beta.' It's fully operational and usable, but we will be closely monitoring its use and the feedback we receive in order to improve it as necessary."
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Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.