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eBay Uses Community and AI to Power New Questions Feature


eBay logoeBay informed sellers about a new feature earlier this month called Questions & Answers, explaining that sometimes shoppers need a little more information before making a purchase decision.

Today eBay announced the new feature broadly through a post by Senior Product Manager Brian Livingston.

The Q&A feature appears on Product pages where anyone can ask and answer questions about a particular product. Read how eBay will use Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to make the feature more powerful.

Announcement follows:

Is It the Right Product for You? eBay’s Newest Feature Lets You Ask
By: Brian Livingston, Senior Product Manager

We’ve all been there – shopping for that certain something online, reading product descriptions, reviews, clicking through images of the item – and we still can’t tell if this is the right product for us. Maybe it’s running shoes and you want to know how many uses you can get out of them. Maybe it’s a vacuum and you want to know how quiet is quiet? Or maybe you want to know if that toy is appropriate for your 6-year-old. These are the details we all search for but you can’t really find in product descriptions and images.

Out of the 171 million buyers in the eBay community, someone knows the answer to your question – all you have to do is ask.

Starting today, we added Questions & Answers to complement Reviews and help you feel good about your purchase because sometimes all you need is a little more information to know that the product you are looking at is the right one for you. You’ve always been able to ask the seller questions, but now you can get even more details from someone that has actually purchased the item within the eBay Community. This new Q&A section, found on the product pages, lets you ask your questions and even find a question that someone else has already asked so you can feel even more confident in what you are buying. It’s a way to pay it forward and help out a fellow buyer.

While any eBay user can answer the question and help, we are also using machine learning to find experts in our community who have had relevant experiences with the product you have questions about.

The eBay community has contributed millions of reviews and guides and they are already beginning to help answer questions from other members. As we receive more questions, artificial intelligence will power this feature and get smarter, all while our data scientists continue to figure out not only who might be best to answer certain questions based on their expertise on given products but also to understand what questions might be the most helpful for future buyers.

Q&As are currently live on mobile web and desktop in the U.S. and will be coming to our app soon.

So, next time you have a question about the product you’re looking at, ask away! eBay’s active community of buyers and sellers are ready to help.

SOURCE: eBay Corporate Blog Post

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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/.

One thought on “eBay Uses Community and AI to Power New Questions Feature”

  1. We no longer answer questions…..What for…..Waste of time as the person rarely buys anyways and when they do they usually turn into a pita.

    And you get tired of answering stupid questions like ” What color is the red sweater in the listing “.

    Ebay has gotten to the point that buyers now have to be diaper changed, feed and burped.

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