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eBay Surveys Users on Changed Perceptions after Security Breach

eBay is conducting a series of focus groups in August and September, EcommerceBytes has learned. It appears one area of interest is how users’ perceptions of the site have changed over the past 6 months – an indication eBay wants to measure the impact of a security breach that took place earlier this year.

eBay required all users to reset their passwords, so, even if they missed the media attention garnered by eBay’s revelation of the cyber attack, all users were impacted the next time they tried logging in to the site.

The password reset was a gamble on eBay’s part since the passwords were encrypted. eBay called it a best practice and said at the time, “We are making this decision out of an abundance of caution.”

It seems likely eBay now wishes to measure the impact of that decision.

The company wrote to a subset of users recently asking them to complete a survey if they wished to be considered for participation in the market research study. The incentive for participating in a focus group session – an “opportunity to come to the eBay campus and get paid $150.” The sessions lasts one and a half hours.

In the survey, eBay asked respondents how their perception of eBay has changed over the past 6 months, and whether they use eBay more often, less often, or about the same now versus 6 months ago.

eBay then asked if there was anything outside of using eBay that changed their perception or usage of eBay in the past 6 months, providing examples such as any major life events or income changes.

eBay also wanted to know on which other sites respondents shopped frequently, and it wanted to know if respondents used those sites with any different frequency now than 6 months ago. The sites listed were the following: Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, Walmart.com, Target.com, Zappos.com, Etsy.com, Overstock.com, Nordstrom.com, Macys.com, Costco.com.

eBay wanted to know approximately how many items respondents had purchased on eBay in the last 6 months, including fixed price and auctions, and how many items they had sold on eBay in the last 6 months.

Other questions centered on purchase intent. eBay asked respondents to select categories they had plans to shop for during the next few weeks and to describe specifically what they planned on shopping for and why they are looking for those items.

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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/.