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New eBay App Shows Marketplace’s Focus on Content

eBay Marketplaces President Devin Wenig posted on Twitter this week, “Today is one our most important product launches in the last few years. It’s a great foreshadow of what we stand for and where we are going.” He was referring to eBay’s latest mobile app, eBay for iPad.

The iPad app is designed with an emphasis on content “to tell stories” about the over 800 million items listed on eBay and features personalization.

Unfortunately, the app has gotten bad reviews from users.

In successive tweets, Wenig explained, “Ecommerce is split between utilities and entertainment properties. It doesn’t need to be that way. The future is about trust and shipping and loyalty, but even more an incredible, surprising, design led experience. Just getting started. I’m very proud of the rapid evolution of the eBay experience now. Thanks to my product and tech team which is among the best in the world. And for those that haven’t figured it out yet… http://ebay.com/discovery. Download and get shopping! Proud of @rjpittman and his team who made this happen.”

A screenshot of the new app on the page Wenig referred to shows an eBay collectioncreated by “leda-occ”:

Wrap It Up – Get your gifting on the right track
Perfectly curled ribbons flutter to the floor
A brand-new box emerges from shiny wrapping paper. Finally, the present is revealed: a charming train set, complete from engine to caboose. Soon it will be chugging merrily around your living room. Through sleepy villages and snow-covered stations in a make-believe winter wonderland. Get your gifting off to a steam-powered start with this collection of trains and trimmings.

The collection features 17 items, from toy trains to gift wrapping materials, and features two comments from other users: “Women’s items,” and “Pretty nice Xmas items but for now I am looking for a Power plug for my RCA Audio box.”

eBay describes collections as groups of items curated by sellers, experts, and members of the eBay community around specific themes or topics that give buyers a new way to browse a selection of items that have been hand-picked to intrigue and inspire. eBay’s Collections are very similar to Pinterest boards, but are limited to eBay listings – users on Pinterest can “pin” photos and products from across the web.

Chief Product Officer RJ Pittman said in the announcement of the new iPad app, “Our aspiration is to make eBay the most inspiring place to shop. The eBay for iPad app is an important step on our journey. It delivers a better shopping experience for buyers and better merchandising capabilities for sellers.”

The app features simplified navigation and checkout, gesture-based exploration, a refined photography gallery, a more user-friendly My eBay experience (Buying, Selling, Watching, Following), new item detail (View Item) and seller profile pages, and fresh collections across popular categories (Motors, Fashion, Electronics, and Collectibles).

More than half of eBay users (59%) are multi-screen shoppers, the company revealed. “eBay is on a mission to create an engaging, curated and simplified shopping experience for its customers across all devices on which they shop and sell,” the company wrote.

To celebrate the launch, eBay has created exclusive deals in the US for iPad-centric accessories, and “app-cessories” in a set of collections available only through the new app, and eBay said it would introduce additional new features to benefit buyers and sellers in the coming months.

The new eBay for iPad app is available globally in the App Store, where the new version received an average rating of 1.5 out of 5 stars from 1750 ratings compared to 4.5 stars for all versions from 112,004 ratings.

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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/.