Innovation

How eBay is Building Seamless and Efficient Listing Experiences for Sellers

Pete Thompson, SVP & Chief Product Officer

Across the breadth and depth of inventory, we continue to make the experience as smooth as possible from the moment sellers enter the marketplace.

man smiles while holding a cellphone in his hand

This post is the second of a four-part series in which eBay’s Chief Product Officer, Pete Thompson, will introduce our product tech vision and share some of the company’s future innovations for our community of sellers.

At eBay, we connect buyers and sellers across our enormous breadth and depth of stores, listings and inventory. While our global scale and scope are vast, we aim to meet each seller’s individual needs. Every interaction on our platform is a unique moment of connection between a buyer and a seller. Whether it's reuniting people with objects across decades, fulfilling a hobbyist’s wildest dreams or giving new life to everyday items, our technology helps sellers focus on exactly what buyers want. And in doing so, we help sellers grow and succeed. We’re leveraging AI-driven solutions and creating next-gen tools that feel customized to individual businesses — and that work for everyone, everywhere.

The ecommerce journey begins on eBay’s marketplace when a seller first opens their virtual doors. We partner with our sellers on their initial listings and support them as they grow. Whether they’re a casual seller wanting to earn extra income, an entrepreneur establishing their business or a large brand planning to scale, the experience listing on eBay should be as smooth and frictionless as possible. We see and hear firsthand from our sellers what it takes to start a new business and help an established business thrive. That knowledge enables us to evolve.    

With more than 1.7 billion live listings on our marketplace, we are here to help all sellers connect their items with buyers. And their entry point onto our marketplace is crucial to helping sellers thrive in the long-term. It starts with providing a strong foundation for efficiency and ease. We plan to reduce the set-up challenges for anyone trying to get up and running, whatever the seller’s size or scope. With over 20 million sellers spanning 190 markets, our goal is to empower each and every seller to succeed in today’s global ecommerce environment. 

Creating a Seamless Listing Experience for Sellers

In the past, we’ve developed a variety of listing platforms and tools for our wide breadth of  sellers, with different versions of these tools on desktop, mobile web and native apps. Now, we see the opportunity to evolve our technology to further simplify and streamline the listing process and build a foundation to deliver new solutions faster. One that we can easily and consistently update with industry-leading technology capabilities. 

An example in our new product playbook: one straightforward listing platform that works for all sellers, across all devices. As global ecommerce accelerates and sellers realize the need to do business from anywhere, it is imperative that we address our sellers’ needs as users. By building this unified listing platform, we can better ensure quality and consistency in the selling flow; add new features faster with greater velocity; remove friction; and provide a more seamless experience overall. And for new sellers, they will have less of a learning curve.

Within this listing platform, we have created a suite of applications powered by cutting-edge machine-learning models. eBay has a massive reservoir of data mined from the millions of transactions and searches on our marketplace. Using our AI technology, we are harnessing powerful marketplace insights gained from that data to help sellers better inform their listing decisions. And we are presenting the results in a simplified and more intuitive way. As sellers move through screens in the listing process, our tools will help them determine the best prices for their items for sales velocity. We’ll show them the types of photos they should take — and help create high-quality images on clean, white backgrounds through our background removal tool. We’ll guide them through shipping choices and help them describe the condition of their items. 

By offering everyone marketplace insights, we are empowering individuals, small businesses and global brands alike to achieve their unique goals. And by giving buyers higher quality and more complete item images and details, we help provide confidence and trust in their purchase. This new, more powerful unified listing experience is currently available to business sellers who wish to opt in. We look forward to expanding the new platform to all sellers in the coming year.    

Spotlighting Every Unique Seller Item

We embrace the world’s inventory. Century-old luxury watches, top collectible trading cards, refurbished iPhones and vintage “I Heart Mom” mugs are all found on our marketplace. Our goal is to optimize the listing tool so that it’s easy for sellers to list anything — and simple for buyers to browse, search and discover exactly what they’re looking for. Our new approach allows us to help organize the world’s inventory while reducing friction for sellers, thereby making their items easier to find on the site — and improving their sales velocity and conversion. 

For the most popular products on buyers’ minds, we are focused on helping increase sales velocity through speed of listing. Last year, nearly 45 million trading cards were sold on our marketplace. Our new high-speed image listing tool allows sellers to start their listings using the camera on their mobile device as quickly as possible by scanning top trading cards using our mobile apps for iOS and Android to create a listing in half the usual time. Currently launched in specific card segments, we are using this tool as a springboard to further advancements. Imagine the possibilities. Whether sellers are listing trading cards, the newest PlayStation, hot sneakers or any other product in our curated catalogs, we want our Computer Vision and AI capabilities to make eBay the most efficient place for them to list. 

In terms of longer-tail inventory, we are innovating on ways to quickly match sellers’ items to existing listings on eBay to maximize accuracy and speed for listings. When sellers search for comparable items to theirs, we’re creating ways to automatically fill in key information, which sellers can then edit or customize to suit their specific item. When sellers are listing their one-of-a-kind items, we are building products that allow them to simply and quickly create a new listing from scratch.   

And for all inventory, Seller Hub sellers will be able to try out the initial beta version of the next generation Bulk Listing Tool to relist their items in bulk starting in July. This experience is built on our latest technology and aims to be more streamlined and easy to use. We’ll be listening and learning from seller feedback to make further improvements.  

From Listing to Growth  

Creating an easy entry onto our marketplace with our technology is only the first step in our partnership with sellers. After our sellers have established themselves on our marketplace, we are helping empower their long-term success. We’re focused on converting browsers to buyers — and buyers to repeat buyers — as we help sellers grow. And we’re finding ways to support them in their journey through our marketplace. We’re doing this by developing tools that increase sales velocity; creating tech that helps sellers strengthen trust and engagement; and otherwise innovating to help all our sellers better meet the needs of their customers. I look forward to sharing more of the details around this in the next blog.