EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 3180 - October 23, 2013     2 of 4

eBay Redesigns Stores, Launches Social Features, Provides Seller Tips

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eBay officially announced social networking features that EcommerceBytes had revealed 3 weeks ago in this exclusive Newsflash story. As we reported, Michael Phillips Moskowitz, eBay's new Chief Curator and Editorial Director, is overseeing the features designed to engage shoppers and help them discover products about which they are passionate. The new features allow shoppers to "follow" collections, curators, eBay members and interests.

eBay also redesigned Stores as part of the initiative. But what does eBay's latest attempt at social networking mean for sellers? eBay set up a page to explain.

"We're introducing new features to promote your inventory, expand your sales, win new customers, and inspire buyer loyalty." eBay is kicking off the new features with 200 "curators" who have created collections of eBay items. Curators include individual fashion bloggers, though some of the examples eBay uses on the seller information page are large brands and retailers, including Wayfair and Best Buy.

Catch Attention with New Collections
eBay advises sellers to create collections. "Create inspiring and engaging collections of products to attract buyers who can purchase items right from your collections. To expand your reach, the items in your collections may even be featured in other members' collections."

Set up a Personalized Profile
eBay also advises sellers to update their profile page, which it has redesigned. "Engage potential buyers with a new personalized profile that shows off your unique taste. To help spread your influence, your profile will show up on your followers' pages."

Update Your eBay Store with eBay's New Look
eBay has also redesigned Stores and has optimized the "new Store experience" for tablets and is available via browsers on mobile devices. "With a sleek new layout that showcases your items like never before, the new eBay Store is designed to turn more browsers into buyers. It's easy to update - just a few clicks and your Store will look amazing."

The new eBay Store features include a new billboard image (to "tell your story" and highlight special offers); larger photos optimized for mobile devices; a prominent "Follow" button ("to keep fans and customers coming back"); and Sharing buttons (to promote your eBay store on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and Twitter).

eBay explained it would send a message to sellers' "Manage My Store" tab in My eBay when the new layout is available to them. Sellers who have not yet updated their eBay Store can find more information and FAQs on this New eBay Stores page.

In an announcement board post, eBay also wrote, "From bigger, bolder listing images to new ways to spotlight inventory and share on social media, subscribers will soon have even more tools available to them to turn browsers into buyers. All sellers will have this option by the end of January 2014."

Curators
The names of the 200 new curators may be new to most sellers, but they are featuring eBay items in their collections.

When we looked at eBay curator Joy Cho (eBay.com/usr/ohjoystudio) on October 1st when we wrote about the new features, we noted she had 0 feedback ratings. Three weeks later, she still has 0 feedback ratings. In fact, most of the featured curators on the new eBay.com/today page had 0 feedback today, with one of the few exceptions being clothing chainstore Aeropostale.

While that doesn't mean the curators are new to eBay since they may have other User IDs, it might give them more credibility with shoppers if they knew the curators were experienced buying or selling on the site.

eBay President Devin Wenig sent an email to users today inviting them to explore the new features to further personalize their time on eBay

You can learn about how eBay seller ShopMyCollectibles uses eBay's new social features, you can view collections on eBay.com/today, and you can meet the curators on this eBay page.


About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.


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