Improvements to make your listings mobile-friendly

From July 2016, we’re updating the way we display information on your listings on mobile. This will ensure your listings are easier to find and better optimised for buyers using mobile devices.

At a glance

  • We’re introducing item description summaries to mobile versions of your listings.
  • From 2017 we’ll be limiting the use of active content such as JavaScript.

What's changing

Mobile description

With more than half of all transactions on eBay viewed on a mobile device prior to purchase, you may be able to improve sales by making your listings mobile-friendly.

To help you get there, we’re changing the way that listings appear on mobile. From July 2016, we’re adding description summaries that will complement your current descriptions and will only appear on our mobile site and app. These summaries contain the relevant information for mobile shoppers and are optimised to help surface your listings in search engines.

How it works

By default, we’ll automatically generate these description summaries based on the description you’ve included in your listing. If you prefer, you can customise the summary text by editing your listings’ HTML tags.

You don’t have to make any changes to your account or your listing processes as the new description summaries will be automatically generated based on your full item description. 

For item descriptions which are less than 800 characters and use basic HTML, CSS or text-only, we’ll display the entire description.

If you’re comfortable working with HTML, you can decide which content to use for the description summary by using a special HTML tag as described in the frequently asked questions below. Using HTML tags requires some technical knowledge.

Best practice for optimising your listings for mobile

Here are some tips to help make your listings more mobile-friendly:

  • Consider keeping descriptions under 800 characters and stick to text, basic HTML or CSS.
  • Use our photo uploader to upload up to 12 photos for free.
  • Give your buyers more detail with item specifics, such as size, colour and European Article Numbers (EANs).
  • The listing frame feature is great for letting buyers search your eBay Shop.
  • Be sure to use the appropriate fields for payment, postage and returns information.

Upcoming changes to active content

The use of active content in listings, including JavaScript, Flash and form actions can inhibit purchases on mobile devices and can lead to abuse in the marketplace. From spring 2017, we’ll limit the use of active content in all new listings across all devices and it will not appear by default. Later in 2017, we plan to remove or block listings with active content. We encourage you to limit your use of active content now.

We will provide more information later this year about which functionality will be limited and provide the specific timing in early 2017. We also are working closely with our third party partners in cases where they use active content on your item descriptions.

Remove active content today and you’ll enjoy the following benefits:

  • Faster load times.
  • Optimisation for mobile devices.
  • A more secure marketplace.

Frequently asked questions

What is a description summary?
What text will appear in the description summary on my listings?
How do you decide what information is included in the description summary?
Will the description summary replace my full item description?
How do I create a custom description summary?
Do I need to take any action regarding active content?
Does active content affect listings security across devices?
How is active content used by any third party listing and postage services that I might use?
What can I do if my item description or eBay Shop includes features which use active content?

Need more help? Get in touch with our Customer Service team.