Product

A Tech-Led Reimagination that Enables People-Centric Solutions

By: Pete Thompson, SVP & Chief Product Officer

As we create innovative next-gen experiences, we are setting a modern path toward products that meet our community’s needs and address global challenges.

Twenty-five years ago, we created a marketplace that encourages entrepreneurship and creates economic opportunities for all at a global scale — using technology and features to connect buyers and sellers on an individual basis. Over the years, our customers have traveled with us on our journey, inspiring us to innovate a marketplace that’s tailor-made to fit their needs and interests — even in a quickly changing global economy.

Now, we are building the future of eBay. We are leaning into what makes us unique and modernizing our marketplace as we begin our journey through a tech-led reimagination of our company and products. Our focus is on becoming the seller platform of choice and building lifelong relationships with buyers, offering all our customers the best possible experience.

A Culture of Customer Centricity

Our customers’ experience is central to our evolution. Our goal is to foster connections between people over shared passions, with simpler experiences that are personalized to their interests, and with greater ease of entry for all users — both long-term and brand-new.

Our products are built to this end. Every day, we receive feedback from our buyers and sellers about what they want for future updates and new tools. By fixing these essential customer needs, we lean into not just the broader product solutions but also the everyday matters that can make our customers’ lives easier. Overall, our goal is to help our buyers and sellers navigate to what they want, making their path through our marketplace as clear, simple and as frictionless as possible.

Our customers have told us what matters most to them — and we have listened. For instance, our sellers have shared that it can be a challenge to provide tracking on every type of shipment and yet our buyers want consistent package delivery notifications. We recognized these gaps and we innovated to meet customer needs. We invested in technology that makes Local Pickup more straightforward, efficient and secure with a unique QR code. It also sets us apart as the first ecommerce company to make these types of pickups secure for our customers. eBay has also integrated with the British Royal Mail and Australia Post to apply a unique eBay identifier so that buyers can easily track their packages on eBay at any given time, providing our customers with greater visibility and more comfort about the movement of their items around the globe.

unique ebay identifier with bar code

This drive to innovate on behalf of our customers worldwide helps make our marketplace more simple, intuitive and easier to use. Our product portfolio balances these bigger integrations with targeted smaller efforts that speak to buyer and seller requests — along with unspoken ones that we know will help improve our marketplace. As just one example, we revamped vacation settings for sellers through a series of product updates that streamline and clarify when listings should be shown in search results and estimated delivery dates are automatically updated when sellers schedule Time Away — useful for both buyers and sellers.  We’ve completed hundreds of these essential fixes this year. Each one is small, but taken together, our community will begin to notice the flywheel between buyers and sellers accelerating.

All of our efforts, whether dialing in on the details or creating big changes, will be done in partnership with our customers — all with the goal to empower people and create economic opportunity for all. 

An Enriched Shopping Experience

Our buyers and sellers are dedicated and devoted, and both the breadth and depth of our marketplace offerings provide that proof. From the beginning, we have been driven by community, to build a marketplace for passionate sellers and buyers, and to enable people to connect over collections and hobbies within specific categories. Our goal is to further build on our already strong foundation of trust and confidence with both our buyers and sellers. We are making eBay an even safer, more modern marketplace for the future with our new product capabilities and customer-focused solutions that support the customer journey end-to-end with the knowledge and expectation of a consistent, friction-less experience.

Today, more than ever, we are strengthening this area of our expertise and enhancing these capabilities in new and exciting ways. We have just rolled out an end-to-end set of product capabilities for watch enthusiasts, which increases safety, trust and transparency as we provide an authenticity guarantee to buyers; allow for escrow payments; and provide intermediated returns for sellers. In addition, to enhance this experience through a structured marketplace, these enthusiasts can immerse themselves in eBay Channels through mobile apps, a content-rich journey with curated inventory and helpful articles for a 360-degree experience for watch enthusiasts. Whether it’s sneakers, watches, cars, collectibles or many other interests, we help people find what they need, in ways that speak to how they want to shop. We aspire to create an in-depth, top-notch experience within various categories that speaks to our customers’ exact preferences, with relevant articles, algorithmic and curated inventory, personalized homepages, unique listings and featured seller profiles.

watches on mobile

As part of this investment in a more managed marketplace, we’re proud to take control of the end-to-end payments experience on our platform and scale managed payments globally. This expansion is making the payments process simpler and more seamless for both buyers and sellers alike. All payments will occur on our platform, letting sellers manage their accounts and transactions in one place. We’re also offering buyers more choice and flexibility with new ways to pay. We’ve added a variety of on-site payment options that speak to today’s preferences, locally relevant payment forms and buying habits. A good example of this is Afterpay, an option in Australia that allows buyers to pay in installments while the seller still receives full payment up front. As we experiment with new forms of payment, customers will have even greater freedom in their buying choices.   

We are also working to deliver an experience that is as modern as our customers’ ways of shopping. Because of our investment in a component-based front-end technology, we are able to quickly adapt and zero in on solutions that meet today’s customer expectations. Our mobile search filters now speak more directly to buyers’ preferences with options that easily allow buyers to sort through the richness of eBay inventory while finding the value they desire. Another move in this direction was our launch of Dark Mode on iOS and Dark Theme on Android, making us one of the first ecommerce companies to integrate this feature. As our number one customer-app request in 2020, this product again highlights our attention to customer needs — and our emphasis on innovation.

shoes on mobile

We look at the big picture for our community and smooth the buying and selling experience, so that our customers can concentrate on ecommerce — with minimal steps and maximum ease within a modern marketplace. 

Steps to the Future

Our relationships with buyers and sellers have inspired our 25-year journey. They also continue to be the reason we innovate forward and evolve. We have a clear vision that will build on what makes us unique, and through a technology-led reimagination of eBay, we are committed to becoming the best global marketplace where people from all over the world will gather to buy and sell. 

We are excited to welcome a new generation of customers into our modern marketplace, building on the customers we have, strengthening ties with the addition of 8 million new customers in the second quarter of this year, and enticing customers we aim to have. We started our company as a place where customers could connect all over the world, with the idea that all people are inherently good. We still stand by that premise, and we strive to bring together a global community of all ages and backgrounds that is eager to join us on our journey of reinvention. 

eBay has been working hard, ramping up and getting well equipped for the next decade. We’re excited to show you what we’re going to do — and we can’t wait to help you succeed.