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eBay Runs Sweepstakes to Engage Shoppers – New Feature Imminent

With the runaway success of social-networking website Pinterest, where people create and share visual “pinboards” containing photos of items they’ve found around the web, eBay launched its own version last October called “collections” – featuring products from eBay’s own website, of course.

Next week eBay will add a new feature to increase user engagement called comments. In addition, the marketplace kicked off a sweepstakes this week to reward shoppers for creating sharable collections. Users who create a collection and use a weekly theme hashtag in their collection title will qualify for a chance to win a weekly $500 eBay shopping spree – the first week’s theme is #SpringDecor.

Six months after launching collections, it now has well over one million collections on eBay.com, according to spokesperson Ryan Moore. And that’s good for sellers since it brings shoppers to the site and keeps them their longer – in other words, collections make eBay more “sticky.”

“We’ve found that for those users who create or follow collections, engagement increases in terms of their frequency of visits to the site,” Moore said. Collections are an extension of the eBay feed experience, and the collections you choose to follow have an impact on what you see in your feed, he explained. “The feed provides additional ways for users to customize and personalize their shopping experience. Our data shows that for those users who engage with the feed, they come to the site more often, and stay on the site for a longer period of time during their shopping sessions.”

eBay also encourages sellers to use collections to market their inventory to shoppers. “We have many sellers that have created amazing collections, helping lead to purchases and “follows” that position their items within a user’s feed.” He pointed us to this eBay help page containing advice and tips for sellers related to building collections. Naturally eBay suggests sellers share their collections on social networking sites to help drive traffic to their listings – good for the seller, and especially good for eBay.

On the tips page, eBay explains that when a user follows a seller, they’ll see a link to the seller’s profile in the left-hand navigation of their home page, and they may also see updates to their home page feed when the seller creates new collections or updates existing ones.

It’s not just buyers and sellers creating collections – eBay hired Chief Curator Michael Phillips Moskowitz who heads a team of curators.

Next week, eBay will enable members to post comments on collections. “Now, when you come across a collection you love, you can post a comment to the collection and share your thoughts and stories with the entire eBay community,” eBay explained. “This new feature is especially great for sellers who create collections, as it gives you yet another opportunity to both engage with your potential buyers and highlight your unique expertise.”

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.