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eBay enhances product, search capabilities

BY CSA STAFF

eBay Inc. is attempting to streamline how it serves content to consumers.

eBay has found that online shoppers follow some common patterns in proceeding from wanting a particular item to purchasing it. These patterns are driving the retailer’s 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, eBay. “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.”

During the discovery and comparison phases, eBay analysis indicates consumers want to be inspired. But at this time, they often look at trends, read product reviews, and compare products side-by-side for functionality and pricing.

In response, eBay is leveraging machine-assisted and deep learning features to help surface items targeted to a customer’s individual needs. This will allow shoppers navigating the retailer’s site to naturally land on product category pages without having to enter a keyword.

For shoppers who already know exactly what they want, eBay has also enhanced its product-related pages to provide top picks based on similar searches, as well as reviews and trending 90-day price information. The retailer is also offering an “other options” feature that lets customers select items based on aspects such as new or used, free return shipping, and expedited delivery.

"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,” said Jonas Klink, director, product management and shopping experience. “Doing this well involves understanding the tradeoffs between different listings for something you are shopping for."

eBay said it will announce more enhanced item discovery features and search innovation in the coming weeks.

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