How eBay is Advancing New Shopping, Browsing Models

By: Sebastian Rupley, eBay News Team

We are serving shoppers more relevant product details to help buyers discover and comparison shop.

How do you deliver the best, most relevant choices to today’s online shoppers, while eliminating friction? Our technology team is hard at work answering those questions by delivering enhanced Product Related Pages (PRP) and Search Results Pages (SRP).

Optimizing the Shopping Flow

Today’s online shoppers are inundated with sites offering last-minute deals and incentives. Yet, eBay has found that online shoppers follow some common patterns in proceeding from wanting a particular item to actually purchasing it. These patterns are driving our new product and search-related enhancements.

“When looking at shopping behaviors, we often find that providing too many options can be overwhelming for some people,” said Jason Fletchall, Product Manager for Shopping Experience. “In our research, we’ve found that there are five-stages in the shopping journey: want, discover, compare, decide and buy. At eBay, we’ve started enhancing our product and search results pages that will meet our customer needs at each step in the shopping process. Our goal is to help shoppers quickly make sense of the options available to them, and help them easily compare options so they can decide with confidence.”

topDuring the Discovery and Comparison phases, people want to be inspired; yet, at the same time, they’ll often look at trends, read product reviews, and compare products side-by-side (both for functionality and pricing).

To help bridge the gap, eBay has rolled out key enhancements to its PRPs and SRPs.

The Discovery Phase: Better Searching, Browsing Experiences for eBay’s SRP

As consumers browse eBay, we’ve leveraged machine-assisted and deep learning features to help surface the best items for their needs. 

For many shoppers navigating eBay, they may land on a page without ever entering any single keyword. On this page, showcasing 1080p HD video recording drones, you see what a consumer would see if he or she were  browsing through a simple category tree, which presents a spectrum of comparable item choices.

drone

“I see these enhancements giving our shoppers a much easier time finding the best values for them,” said Fletchall. “Through simple browsing, shoppers will naturally land on these pages which help them narrow down which items they want to view.”

The Comparison Phase and eBay’s PRPs

For people who may already know exactly the type of product they are looking for, we’ve made enhancements for our PRPs. Here is an example:

xboxOn this new PRP, seen above, you’ll see we’ve created a one-stop destination for specific products. Not only does eBay provide a “top pick,” which is based on information gathered from other, similar searches, but we also surface reviews and information on trending prices.

Shoppers will also notice that we provide “Other Options,” which leverage one of eBay’s key advantages: the spectrum of value, meaning shoppers can choose which item best meets their needs – new vs. used, options for free return shipping, expedited delivery, and so on. Once the shopper has identified the condition, they are also given the trending prices, which is based on sales on eBay for that product within the past 90 days.

"The intent of the PRPs is to serve as a companion to the SRPs —not replacing them — for those users who want to take advantage of a more guided shopping experience,” said Jonas Klink, Director, Product Management and Shopping Experience. Collecting all the information pertaining to a given product, and related ones,  in one place is just the first step. Our goal is to make it easier and more convenient to understand the unparalleled breadth of eBay's inventory, as well as quickly cut through this inventory to find the best deal for you. Doing this well involves understanding the tradeoffs between different listings for something you are shopping for."

All these improvements advance our strategy to offer the best choice and the most relevance for shoppers. Look for more news on our enhanced item discovery features and search innovation in the coming weeks!