Enhanced Shopping Experiences: Being the Destination of Choice

By: Shervin Moghaddam, Senior Director, Shopping Experience

There are many new experiences and navigation enhancements rolling out on eBay.

At eBay, our aspiration is to be the place where the world shops first, and both buyers and sellers help us advance that goal. In addition, we are making profound platform enhancements, leveraging our structured data and new shopping experiences that making shopping on eBay ever more relevant and personalized.

In the past year, we have rolled out many of these new experiences and browsing modules, and you can see some of them in this post. Our working thesis at eBay is that one type of shopping experience does not fit all. We want to bring next-generation, customized and personalized shopping experiences to life.

Many shoppers do begin their journeys at eBay, but we also know that some don’t. For example, some users do their product discovery, research and comparison elsewhere and come to eBay to compare prices. 

We are building out highly personalized browse experiences that can inspire shoppers, help them choose products, and help them select the right offer across the entire spectrum of value that eBay delivers. 

Specifically, we are executing on our vision in the following ways: 

  • Creating a simple, personalized, inspiring homepage 
  • Creating highly engaging and personalized browse pages and modules
  • Building out enhanced Product Pages and Search Results Pages (SRP) 
  • Ushering in millions of user reviews and encouraging buyer/seller questions and answers on our platform
  • Encouraging sellers to help with structuring listings and data

Replatforming eBay Enables Enhanced Guidance

Structured data remains a very central part of our platform strategy, and, importantly, it functions as an enabler for other innovative tools and components. In a recent blog post titled “Replatforming eBay: How We Are Delivering the Shopping Destination of Choice,” eBay’s CTO Steve Fisher highlighted this:

"We have embarked on an ambitious, multi-year evolution of our shopping platform at eBay that aims to deliver relevant, persistent and personalized experiences for consumers…Herein lies the opportunity to leverage structured data to catalog our inventory -- a transformative step that will drive discoverability, insights into supply and demand, pricing trends, among other things. This long-term initiative will help surface deals, seasonality, and more, and allow us to build a great shopping journey based on deep inventory insights.”  

Structured data has been helping eBay deliver several types of new browsing modules and approaches to surfacing relevant items that go far beyond traditional keyword search results. We are able to instantly surface listings filtered for great savings, best-selling products, and more, and present them in easy-to-navigate ways. As an example, consumers may wish to shop for skateboards by brand, by best value, or by seeing what others have been buying recently.

skateb2Or consider browsing for soccer cleats, as seen below. These modules provide inspiration, by surfacing items that consumers may not yet know that they want. In fact, some users are completing their shopping experiences, including comparison shopping, without entering keywords.

cleatzOur focus on improved browsing experiences is influencing our approach to mobile technology as well. Beginning last year, we added Google’s cutting-edge AMP technology to our mobile experience, greatly speeding up and improving browsing on the go. We’ve been steadily increasing our involvement with AMP and eBay now has close to 16 million AMP-based product browse pages.

We’ve also been steadily iterating and enhancing our mobile apps, imbuing them with advanced search and navigation features, and more. 

Sellers Complete the Equation

These examples illustrate that eBay is leveraging personalization, structured data and new mobile technology to create customized experiences. However, while technology and data matter a lot, people represent the other important part of our strategy. We are counting on our sellers to help us expand our ongoing structured data efforts as they create their listings. As they structure their listings in orderly fashion, the eBay ecosystem gets a boost in structuring our overarching, enormous data set.

We are also counting on sellers to actively engage in product questions and answers with prospective buyers, enhancing the interactivity and personalization of our shopping experiences.  As far as online customer reviews go, literally millions of them have been added on eBay in recent months.

Over the next year, you’ll see greatly increased personalization and flexibility features roll out across our entire platform. It’s all about making eBay the place that the world shops first, and delighting our customers.