The product manager for eBay's Shopping Experience was quoted this week on the company blog, "When looking at shopping behaviors, we often find that providing too many options can be overwhelming for some people."
At first glance, that might sound condescending. But how many times do both buyers and sellers say they have to wade through page after page of irrelevant listings on eBay? And how many sellers oppose the idea of free listings because they believe it contributes to the problem?
Jason Fletchall said eBay has started to enhance product and search results pages - "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."
But sellers will want to know, is eBay going about things the right way?
One of the enhancements announced was to "Product Related Pages" (PRPs), which eBay calls a one-stop destination for specific products and are shown to both browsers and searchers.
Product Related Pages sound and look a lot like the Product Pages, aka Product Cards that eBay had introduced in 2009.
What's worrying is what eBay said about Product Cards
in 2012, when it removed them from search results: "We have made significant improvements in our item-based search experience in recent years, and have learned that eBay can generate more sales for sellers like you by launching the item-based search experience everywhere. For that reason, we are removing the consolidated view experience (often referred to as "product cards") at this time."
(As we noted at the time: the catalog stayed, product pages stayed, but the search experience in those categories with catalog was changing back to the "old" eBay style.)
The Product Cards were eBay's answer to a catalog approach, which is now in vogue again at eBay. You can see the old Product Pages on this page
(they're referred to as "new" on that page) and the new Product Pages on this page
Have you encountered these search and browse enhancements, and what do you think eBay can do to show your listings to shoppers? Does it have a problem with clutter on search results pages?