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FAQ — Category Research and Hot Research

The Hot Categories and Hot Research tools are legacy Terapeak research tools that provide category-related and niche-related insights into marketplaces that are not currently provided by Product Research 2.0.

When I search using Category Research, what do the results mean?

When you search for a keyword using Category Research, the results show the percentage of sales matching that keyword that appear in various eBay categories.

In other words, search by keyword in Category Research to find the categories where two things together most often happen:

  • Sellers create listings using the keyword(s)
  • Shoppers make purchases through those listings

The percentages shown are percentages of listings across all of eBay. If, for example, a search in Category Research shows a metric of 74 percent for a category, this indicates that 74 percent of matching listings with sales occurred in that category.

What do the colored dots in the Category Research heat-map mean?

The colored dots represent relative levels of sales activity in each category, with red dots representing the highest levels of sales activity and gray dots the lowest.

Note that these rankings represent relative performance within a single parent category, rather than across all of a marketplace. Each containing category will have a top-ranked (red) subcategory, a next-ranked (blue) category, and so on.

This means that the colored dots do not correspond to absolute sales figures. For example, a gray dot (lowest rank) in a very high-activity area of eBay such as "Cell Phones & Accessories" may represent more absolute sales activity than a red dot (highest rank) in a lower-activity area of eBay such as "Pottery & Glass."

Why do Category Research charts show percentages, not dollars?

Certain very large categories represent aggregate dollar values large enough to have a practical material relationship to e-commerce as a whole, to brands and interests within it as a whole, and to e-commerce marketplaces as a whole. For this reason, there are legal and regulatory concerns at issue in revealing absolute dollar amounts for categories overall.

For this reason, Terapeak shows category-level summaries and trends without providing aggregate sales figures for entire categories.

For the data points shown in these charts, 100 percent represents the peak sales volume over the period in question, with other data points indicating the proportion of this peak sales rate that occurred on any given day.

This enables us to provide sellers with sales cycle information (long-term increases or decreases, seasonal peaks and valleys, and so on) despite being unable to reveal aggregate dollar amounts.

When sales figures in dollars are required for a particular product or niche, the Product Research 2.0 tool can be used instead to target and generate metrics for the particular product or niche in question.

Can I filter the data shown in the Category Research tool?

No. Because of the incredible volume of data that must be processed in order to provide category-level metrics, it is not currently computationally plausible to offer filtering tools in the Category Research tool.

What do the category "hotness" levels mean in Hot Research?

In the Hot Categories view of the Hot Research tool, the following rankings appear under the "Hot" column header:

  • Hot
  • Very Hot
  • Super Hot

These three groupings represent the relative activity growth levels in each ranked category over the last 7 days. "Super Hot" categories have seen the greatest increase, "Very Hot" categories the next greatest increase, and "Hot" categories the least greatest increase from amongst the hottest categories.

All categories ranked in this view appear in it because they have recently seen significant activity growth.

What do the category "sales ranks" mean in Hot Research?

In the Hot Categories view of the Hot Research tool, sales ranks show the relative ranking of each category, from amongst all hot categories, in terms of total sales volume.

The hot category that is ranked #1, for example, has the highest sales volume from all hot categories, the hot category ranked #2 the next highest sales volume, and so on.

How do the "hotness" and "sales rank" metrics differ in Hot Research?

The "Hot" and "Sales Rank" columns both appear in the Hot Categories view of the Hot Research tool.

The hotness metric is a measure of how quickly a category's sales are growing, while the sales rank shows how much total activity is occurring in the category, relative to other hot categories.

What does the Best Selling Products view in Hot Research show?

The Best Selling Products view shows the particular clusters of keywords, listed in particular categories, that are currently selling best on eBay.

For each cluster of keywords used in a particular category, you'll see:

  • The sell-through rate for listings that use them
  • The average sale price of listings that use them
  • The number of items sold by listings that use them

As a whole, this tool enables sellers to target particular product niches (rather than merely makes and models) that are performing very well on eBay, in order to identify products to sell in them—that is to say, using the same or similar keywords, in the same category.

What does the Best Selling Titles view in Hot Research show?

The Best Selling Titles view shows the particular listing titles that are generating the largest amount of activity on eBay right now according to several sortable metrics:

  • Total sales volume
  • Number of listings (listing volume)
  • Sell-through rate
  • Average sale price
  • Number of bids or purchases

Note that this view can be narrowed by category using the category breadcrumb near the top of the tool, to help sellers to identify the best performing listing titles, in terms of any of these metrics, in a particular category.

What does the Hot Media view in Hot Research show?

The Hot Media view shows which DVDs, CDs, video games, and books are seeing the highest sales activity on eBay right now, along pricing data and how each has increased (or decreased) in sales relative to the previous month.

Note that to be included in this list, items must be listed with their matching UPC code, to identify them as a particular title from a particular publisher or label.

The "Success" column in this view shows the percentage of listings for this media product that have resulted in a sale over the periods being measured.

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