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eBay Brain Sends Signals Telling Shoppers Why to Buy


eBay logoeBay said it has added “Why to Buy” signals to its mobile app to tell shoppers the reasons they should buy items they are look at – the feature has been running on the desktop version of the site since 2015. The “signals” highlight certain information about a listing that eBay believes will help spur a shopper to hit the buy button, such as highlighting that a listing offers free and fast shipping. Other signals may help provide a sense of urgency.

eBay uses data and machine learning to determine which “Why to Buy” signal to display that include how many items are in stock; popularity; rarity; savings; and return options. Top signals include “Free in-store pickup,” “Experienced seller,” and “Limited time remaining.”

For rare inventory such as collectible items, eBay has found the following signals matter most to buyers: trusted seller, savings, and lower charges for customs when buying across regions.

eBay product manager Sasi Somasundarum wrote about the signals in this post published on Thursday and said, “Since we launched these signals on desktop in 2015, we’ve learned which signals give buyers more confidence to make their purchases. Now, we’re expanding these signals to eBay’s mobile apps and honing in on what’s most important to buyers.”

eBay equated the machine learning technology as being the “brain” behind the signals and said it constantly optimizes the signals shown to shoppers.

The Why To Buy signals are currently live on desktop, iOS and Android in the US, UK, Germany, and Australia and will be rolling out to mWeb soon.

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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/.