When shopping online, consumers don’t always walk to the beat of the same drummer. With that in mind, eBay is unveiling several types of new browsing modules and approaches to surfacing relevant items that go far beyond traditional keyword search results.
The new modules take advantage of structured data that is now foundational on the eBay platform, allowing us to instantly surface listings with great savings, best selling products, and more, and present them in easy-to-navigate ways.
“Our new browsing modules provide users with extra levels of guidance and more flexibility in surfacing the most relevant items for them,” said Dominique Bouchon, eBay’s Director of Search Front-End Product Management. “For example, the modules expose ‘shop by brand’ options, great savings, and best selling products, all by leveraging our structured data. Structured data is the key to unlocking this new experience, as it allows our platform to reveal patterns in buying and selling.”
The new modules help shoppers who navigate our site and category pages without using keyword searches. “Many users want to click to browse through items that they are interested in rather than rely on keyword searches,” Bouchon said. “If we only surface a long list of listings, we miss the opportunity to surface the most interesting products and listings. We now have an algorithm that can instantly and intelligently surface them to our users.”
For example, if a user is interested in a Nikon digital camera, an algorithm that leverages eBay’s structured data can instantly identify listings on these cameras where the listed price is lower than trending prices. This is how the new ‘Save on’ module is populated with the best-priced listings.
The new ‘Best Selling’ Products module is also interesting because it surfaces relevant products and not just listings. “We can now take a product category like digital cameras or guitars and instantly surface the most popular models,” Bouchon said. “New eBay users, especially, appreciate this kind of functionality based on popularity.”
Notably, the ‘Shop by’ guidance module at the top of many of our new results pages offer a ‘guided tour’ type of experience. It helps navigate our very large selection of items by highlighting the key aspects we’ve learned that most people use to drill down from tens of thousands of results to the most relevant results.
“Another goal of the new modules is to better serve potential customers landing on eBay directly from Google,” added Bouchon. “Sometimes people who arrive on eBay pages from Google don’t have much context and need some guidance to make sense of the unique eBay inventory. With our new approaches, we can instantly engage them with items and value propositions that they will find relevant.”
In surfacing relevant items across a range of filters, such as our new ‘Save on’ and ‘Best Selling’ products modules, the new browsing modules and pages help to fuel the spectrum of value that makes eBay such a unique marketplace, with unmatched selection. Spectrum of value refers to offering shoppers a range of products to choose from, helping to serve them whether they are most focused on low price, the most advanced features, or other metrics. Through eBay’s spectrum of value, shoppers can evaluate new items versus used ones, options for free return shipping, expedited delivery, and more.
All of the new search, browsing and interface improvements advance our strategy to offer the best choice and the most relevance for shoppers. Look for more news on our enhanced browse modules and search innovation in the coming months.