How To

Creating a Description Template

Description Templates are used to represent the look and feel of your products on the marketplace. Essentially, description templates contain the HTML for your ads with special template tags. By utilizing template tags, you can easily list hundreds or thousands of different items with the same description template. With description templates, ChannelAdvisor Complete allows you to easily keep a consistent appearance to all of your listings. This will save you time and help you establish a brand and identity in the marketplace.

To support the Mobile Description feature at eBay, configure the value for your Mobile Description directly on the Posting/Feed Template. This will automatically be incorporated as part of the eBay listing to generate a mobile-specific description when buyers view your item from a mobile device.

Below are some points to be aware of when using eBay's Mobile Description:

  • mobile description won't display if they contain invalid HTML
  • mobile description won't display if character length of 800 is exceeded
  • eBay discourages the use of tags by counting them as 50 characters each

 

Prerequisites


You should be familiar with the following topic before continuing:

 

Tasks to Complete


Complete the following tasks related to configuring description templates:

  1. Create Your eBay Description Template
  2. Using Responsive Design Description Templates
  3. Using Default Template Tags
  4. Using Custom Template Tags
  5. Previewing DescriptionTemplates
  6. Previewing Ads

 

Create Your eBay Description Template

Before you create your Description Template in your ChannelAdvisor account, we recommend that you design your HTML template in an HTML editor of your choice. An HTML editor is not provided within the Description Template section of ChannelAdvisor, so you are required to write the HTML outside of ChannelAdvisor. There are many HTML editors available on the market, suitable for various levels of proficiency; please use the editor that best suits your needs. (If you do not have a preference, refer to the HTML Editor section at the bottom of this page.)

Once you have your HTML design ready complete the steps below to create an eBay description template in ChannelAdvisor:

  1. Navigate to Marketplaces > eBay > Product Mapping > Description Templates.
  2. From the Description Templates view, click Create a New Description Template.
  3. Give the template a name.
  4. Copy the HTML into the box named HTML on the left-hand side. You'll see immediately what your template will look like in the box named Preview on the right side.
  5. Select a template tag to insert into the HTML text of the description template (see the next two paragraphs with detailed info on the usage of template tags).
  6. Check the preview thorougly to make sure that the template appears as expected.
  7. Click Save or Save and Exit.

 

Using Responsive Design Templates

There are 3 pre-loaded templates in your Description Template view. These Responsive Design templates are built to provide an optimal viewing experience based on the device that is being used to view the page. eBay has a very large number of mobile shoppers, so it is very important to provide optimized content to help those shoppers purchase products. The Responsive Design templates will display differently on a desktop, a tablet, and a mobile phone. The content remains the same, however the layout changes dynamically, the template automatically recognizes the screen size of the device being used to view the template and it adjusts accordingly.

Tips for using Responsive Design Templates:

  1. Avoid using complex HTML and lots of branding elements. eBay's research has concluded that buyers want clean, simple, easy to consume content.
  2. Test your description templates by using the Device Preview option on the Description Template page.
    1. Preview an ad by clicking on the magnifying glass icon from the Ads page.
    2. Resize your browser window to watch the layout adjust automatically.
  3. Test a few listings and view them from multiple devices.
    1. Compare the listing to your existing description template.
    2. How does the content render differently?
    3. Have you minimized horizontal scrolling? eBay's research indicates that horizontal scrolling can have a negative impact on conversion.
  4. If trying to add additional responsive elements to your description template, any widths need to be expressed in percentages and not in specific pixels.
  5. When viewing a live listing from a computer, you may not see the layout adjust automatically due to the eBay store "wrapper". That sets the frame that the description resides in to a fixed size. However, you will still see the responsiveness on mobile devices because this store "wrapper" is not added to mobile descriptions.

 

Using Default Template Tags

To make your description templates more flexible, you should use template tags whenever possible. The following steps explain how to use and insert template tags into your description templates.

  1. From the list of tags, choose the tag you need and the tag will appear in the box right next to the dropdown menu. The tag names are fairly self-explanatory. A sample would be for example {{ITEMTITLE}}.
  2. Highlight the tag text in box and copy it (Ctrl-C).
  3. Position the cursor in the exact position in your HTML code where you want to have the tag appear and paste it in (Ctrl-V).
  4. As you make changes in the HTML box on the left-hand side the information will automatically be rendered and displayed in the Preview box on the right-hand side.

See below how your original HTML code would look like versus your HTML code with template tags:

Original HTML CodeHTML code with Template Tags
<H1>My Item</H1>
<P>Below is a picture of my item</P>
<IMG SRC="..\images\item_image1.jpg"
     HEIGHT="25" WIDTH="50">
<P>Buy this item now for $5.00</P>
<H1> {{ITEMTITLE}} </H1>
<P>Below is a picture of my item</P>
<IMG SRC=" {{IMAGE(ITEMIMAGEURL1)}} "
     HEIGHT="25" WIDTH="50">
<P>Buy this item now for
      {{ITEMBINPRICE}} </P>

 

Generally, any difficulties you encounter creating description templates are caused by images. Remember that static images, such as your company logo, should appear when you preview the description template, but item specific images inserted with template tags will not appear.

 

Using Custom Template Tags

In addition to the default template tags already in your account, you can also use custom template tags. These custom tags are automatically created from the attribute names in your inventory. The custom tags are simply the attribute name in all capitalized letters enclosed in two sets of curly braces (e.g. {{MY TAG}}).

Your custom tags will appear in the 'Select Template Tags' text box when you create or edit an description template. If you insert those tags into your description templates, then the information from the inventory item will be inserted into your ad automatically.

For more information about Template Tags, please also refer to the Advanced Template Tags page.

 

Previewing Ads

Once you have created ads using the description template, you can see how the actual ad will appear in the marketplace. To preview a complete ad:

  1. Navigate to Marketplaces > eBay & Auctions > Product Mapping > Ads.
  2. Click the Preview icon.

This will again open a pop-up window containing the ad but unlike the description template preview, all template tags will be replaced with relevant data about the item. We recommend that you preview all ads before scheduling them to post to the marketplace.

Example:

 

HTML Editor

As instructed above, you are required to create your HTML Description Template outside of ChannelAdvisor, as an HTML editor is not provided within the Description Template section of the application. If you currently do not use an HTML editor and are looking for a recommendation, we suggest downloading KompoZer (a free and open-source HTML editor) from its website, http://www.kompozer.net . (KompoZer is not affiliated with ChannelAdvisor, but our Support and Services teams have found success using it for designing Description Templates.)

After KompoZer is downloaded to your machine, follow these instructions to create the HTML for your Description Template:

  1. Copy the HTML from the Description Template in ChannelAdvisor, and paste it in the Source tab found at the bottom right of the KompoZer window.
  2. Switch to the Normal tab to edit the template in KompoZer.
  3. Once you are finished editing, copy the contents from the Source tab back to the Description Template in ChannelAdvisor (and continue to follow the Create Your eBay Description Template instructions above).

Description Templates are used to represent the look and feel of your products on the marketplace. Essentially, description templates contain the HTML for your ads with special template tags. By utilizing template tags, you can easily list hundreds or thousands of different items with the same description template. With description templates, ChannelAdvisor Complete allows you to easily keep a consistent appearance to all of your listings. This will save you time and help you establish a brand and identity in the marketplace.

To support the Mobile Description feature at eBay, configure the value for your Mobile Description directly on the Posting/Feed Template. This will automatically be incorporated as part of the eBay listing to generate a mobile-specific description when buyers view your item from a mobile device.

Below are some points to be aware of when using eBay's Mobile Description:

  • mobile description won't display if they contain invalid HTML
  • mobile description won't display if character length of 800 is exceeded
  • eBay discourages the use of tags by counting them as 50 characters each

 

Prerequisites


You should be familiar with the following topic before continuing:

 

Tasks to Complete


Complete the following tasks related to configuring description templates:

  1. Create Your eBay Description Template
  2. Using Responsive Design Description Templates
  3. Using Default Template Tags
  4. Using Custom Template Tags
  5. Previewing DescriptionTemplates
  6. Previewing Ads

 

Create Your eBay Description Template

Before you create your Description Template in your ChannelAdvisor account, we recommend that you design your HTML template in an HTML editor of your choice. An HTML editor is not provided within the Description Template section of ChannelAdvisor, so you are required to write the HTML outside of ChannelAdvisor. There are many HTML editors available on the market, suitable for various levels of proficiency; please use the editor that best suits your needs. (If you do not have a preference, refer to the HTML Editor section at the bottom of this page.)

Once you have your HTML design ready complete the steps below to create an eBay description template in ChannelAdvisor:

  1. Navigate to Marketplaces > eBay > Product Mapping > Description Templates.
  2. From the Description Templates view, click Create a New Description Template.
  3. Give the template a name.
  4. Copy the HTML into the box named HTML on the left-hand side. You'll see immediately what your template will look like in the box named Preview on the right side.
  5. Select a template tag to insert into the HTML text of the description template (see the next two paragraphs with detailed info on the usage of template tags).
  6. Check the preview thorougly to make sure that the template appears as expected.
  7. Click Save or Save and Exit.

 

Using Responsive Design Templates

There are 3 pre-loaded templates in your Description Template view. These Responsive Design templates are built to provide an optimal viewing experience based on the device that is being used to view the page. eBay has a very large number of mobile shoppers, so it is very important to provide optimized content to help those shoppers purchase products. The Responsive Design templates will display differently on a desktop, a tablet, and a mobile phone. The content remains the same, however the layout changes dynamically, the template automatically recognizes the screen size of the device being used to view the template and it adjusts accordingly.

Tips for using Responsive Design Templates:

  1. Avoid using complex HTML and lots of branding elements. eBay's research has concluded that buyers want clean, simple, easy to consume content.
  2. Test your description templates by using the Device Preview option on the Description Template page.
    1. Preview an ad by clicking on the magnifying glass icon from the Ads page.
    2. Resize your browser window to watch the layout adjust automatically.
  3. Test a few listings and view them from multiple devices.
    1. Compare the listing to your existing description template.
    2. How does the content render differently?
    3. Have you minimized horizontal scrolling? eBay's research indicates that horizontal scrolling can have a negative impact on conversion.
  4. If trying to add additional responsive elements to your description template, any widths need to be expressed in percentages and not in specific pixels.
  5. When viewing a live listing from a computer, you may not see the layout adjust automatically due to the eBay store "wrapper". That sets the frame that the description resides in to a fixed size. However, you will still see the responsiveness on mobile devices because this store "wrapper" is not added to mobile descriptions.

 

Using Default Template Tags

To make your description templates more flexible, you should use template tags whenever possible. The following steps explain how to use and insert template tags into your description templates.

  1. From the list of tags, choose the tag you need and the tag will appear in the box right next to the dropdown menu. The tag names are fairly self-explanatory. A sample would be for example {{ITEMTITLE}}.
  2. Highlight the tag text in box and copy it (Ctrl-C).
  3. Position the cursor in the exact position in your HTML code where you want to have the tag appear and paste it in (Ctrl-V).
  4. As you make changes in the HTML box on the left-hand side the information will automatically be rendered and displayed in the Preview box on the right-hand side.

See below how your original HTML code would look like versus your HTML code with template tags:

Original HTML CodeHTML code with Template Tags
<H1>My Item</H1>
<P>Below is a picture of my item</P>
<IMG SRC="..\images\item_image1.jpg"
     HEIGHT="25" WIDTH="50">
<P>Buy this item now for $5.00</P>
<H1> {{ITEMTITLE}} </H1>
<P>Below is a picture of my item</P>
<IMG SRC=" {{IMAGE(ITEMIMAGEURL1)}} "
     HEIGHT="25" WIDTH="50">
<P>Buy this item now for
      {{ITEMBINPRICE}} </P>

 

Generally, any difficulties you encounter creating description templates are caused by images. Remember that static images, such as your company logo, should appear when you preview the description template, but item specific images inserted with template tags will not appear.

 

Using Custom Template Tags

In addition to the default template tags already in your account, you can also use custom template tags. These custom tags are automatically created from the attribute names in your inventory. The custom tags are simply the attribute name in all capitalized letters enclosed in two sets of curly braces (e.g. {{MY TAG}}).

Your custom tags will appear in the 'Select Template Tags' text box when you create or edit an description template. If you insert those tags into your description templates, then the information from the inventory item will be inserted into your ad automatically.

For more information about Template Tags, please also refer to the Advanced Template Tags page.

 

Previewing Ads

Once you have created ads using the description template, you can see how the actual ad will appear in the marketplace. To preview a complete ad:

  1. Navigate to Marketplaces > eBay & Auctions > Product Mapping > Ads.
  2. Click the Preview icon.

This will again open a pop-up window containing the ad but unlike the description template preview, all template tags will be replaced with relevant data about the item. We recommend that you preview all ads before scheduling them to post to the marketplace.

Example:

 

HTML Editor

As instructed above, you are required to create your HTML Description Template outside of ChannelAdvisor, as an HTML editor is not provided within the Description Template section of the application. If you currently do not use an HTML editor and are looking for a recommendation, we suggest downloading KompoZer (a free and open-source HTML editor) from its website, http://www.kompozer.net . (KompoZer is not affiliated with ChannelAdvisor, but our Support and Services teams have found success using it for designing Description Templates.)

After KompoZer is downloaded to your machine, follow these instructions to create the HTML for your Description Template:

  1. Copy the HTML from the Description Template in ChannelAdvisor, and paste it in the Source tab found at the bottom right of the KompoZer window.
  2. Switch to the Normal tab to edit the template in KompoZer.
  3. Once you are finished editing, copy the contents from the Source tab back to the Description Template in ChannelAdvisor (and continue to follow the Create Your eBay Description Template instructions above).
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