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Official eBay App Update Elicits Strong Feedback

Like seemingly every other brand in existence, eBay wants a place on the smartphones of consumers with its native app. The official eBay app promises an effective shopping experience, but some feedback for the company’s most recent update suggests some features may not be ready for prime time.

One EcommerceBytes reader told us, “As a buyer, I find it extremely tedious to keep going back and forth between the list and individual item just to find out what the heck it is. As a seller, I’m expecting a decrease in sales.”

Another reader said he observed a mounting backlash among users he knows in the collecting world, and said he believed the new update was going to significantly impact eBay revenue. “In particular eBay has gone from an approach controlled by the user into app that tries to curate what they think I might like. Many of the key features for both buyers and sellers have been virtually eliminated.”

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Similar negative sentiments have risen to the top of the reviews listed for the Android version of the eBay app; an iOS version for Apple devices is also available.

Criticism ranges from changes to the layout (“Where did everything go oh it’s hidden in layers of menus now…”) to performance issues (“The pages either never load to the item I want to view or it just freezes…”) to functionality (“New update hasn’t saved all my followed searches or sellers… very annoying…”).

An announcement from eBay on the latest app update touted engagement with the userbase via the public beta program utilized this time. “The feedback from early testers has been quite positive, honest, and invaluable. We greatly appreciate our customers’ insights about key features and functionality, and their input on the design and overall experience,” eBay said.

Unfortunately, additional feedback listed from Android users for the first few days after the app update has been uniformly negative, with one and two star reviews the norm. Feedback from Apple users appears similarly unimpressed with the 4.0 app release.

The eBay app emphasizes numerous features as well as support for multiple languages. eBay obviously understands the tremendous global adoption of smartphones and the sales potential they represent.

ComScore’s recent whitepaper, The Global Mobile Report, highlighted several salient points. In the United Kingdom, people split their digital media time 56 percent mobiles and 44 percent desktops. Canada split 52-48 in favor of mobiles, while in the US the split favored mobiles 61-39.

If eBay has aspirations to attract the 18-34 age group in those three markets, the comScore assessment suggests a smartphone strategy is a must, as the whitepaper noted 90%+ smartphone penetration for that bracket. An eBay app that presents too many challenges to that market segment, as current feedback indicates is possible, could prove costly over time.

Have questions about the new eBay app? The company put together a page with FAQs here.

And you can find two thread set up on the eBay forums: This page is for the Android App. And this page is for the iOS app.

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David A Utter

David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. He has covered technology topics from search to security to online business and has been quoted in places like ZDNet and BusinessWeek. He considers his appearance on NPR’s “All Things Considered” with long-time host Robert Siegel a delightful highlight. You can find him on Twitter @davidautter and on LinkedIn.


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