eBay showed off their new look product feed today – taking some of the key success points that Pintrest use – i.e. massive photos. The changes will be rolled out into Australia in November – just in time for Christmas – ideally presenting products in a better manner for consumers and increasing transactions on the site. The other benefit of the change is that more items can now be seen above the fold – without the user needing to navigate down. The more products the consumer can see on one page – more options they have to buy and compare product offers.
The move to larger photos may have been inspired recently by Pintrest – but the use of photos to help sell has been around for centuries; granted photos didn’t exist – but our ancestors used art and drawings to show products on menus and store walls thousands of years ago. Our good friend at ColderICE John Lawson told a great story about the paintings on Vesuvius bathhouse at the Internet Conference earlier this year.
Coupled with the new display is the added personalization of the account – users can follow brands or products currently selling on eBay – this sounds like a more advanced version of ‘Save Seller’ that currently exists – again a feature that should be well received by both sellers and buyers.
The redesigned eBay look and additional personalization are much more appealing from this early point of view – pardon the pun – the true benefit of the changes will not be known until functionality and usability has been tested by buyers and sellers.
The change from eBay is another announcement from the company who has in recent times released innovations such as their same day service – eBay Now – currently only available in San Francisco. The search functionality has also been revamped recently with a Google style auto finish and auto correct functionality being added of late. It is also rumored that an eBay style Groupon offering is in the pipeworks; at a news conference in New York, eBay’s chief technical officer Mark Carges said a lot of online shopping ‘killed most of the pleasure of shopping” and that “we are reintroducing all those elements’.
Changes, and the new slim line logo being released last month – show that the global online marketplace is revitalized under the leadership of John Donoghue and will be taking the fight to Amazon for market share. Some previous changes such as GTC (Good Till Cancelled) listings, Best Match Algorithm and non-branded listings have been branded as styling the site more like Amazon. However we have also seen eBay flirt with the idea of offering an eBay Jr account for under 18’s, and the changes to presentation of items are most definitely not Amazon styled.
eBay have shown they are comfortable with innovation and lead not only with the platform changes but also with the industry in general – especially in Australia – releasing the yearly Online Business Index, as well as being more actively engaged with federal government to help local online businesses. eBay currently enjoys a 17%+ market share of visitors to online shopping sites according to Hitwise (this jumps to 26% when you add eBay’s US site and the eBay owned Gumtree site), as well as 7 million monthly visitors; it will be interesting to see how the users react to these new changes. What do you think?