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eBay Continues Investment in Visual Shopping and Image Search


eBay logoeBay will continue working on improving its Visual Shopping feature and will expand it to additional platforms, according to a post on the eBay Tech Blog written by software engineer Ravi Pitapurapu.

eBay launched image search last year and, in July, it announced new drag-and-drop search functionality for mobile search.

Pitapurapu discussed the challenges of serving up similar items when buyers are shopping, since “similar” can have different implications. For example, a buyer who knows exactly what they want may find an item that is a fit but wants to see all buying options and price points.

Compare that to a buyer who has some idea of what they want – in that instance, “similar” could mean different listings from different manufacturers, different quality, or different aspects.

Another challenge is the sheer number of shoppers, searches, and listings – with each listing have multiple photos. “eBay has over a billion listings across a wide variety of categories that millions of buyers search every day.”

Pitapurapu said eBay’s new visual shopping Drag and Drop Image Search experience is now available on the native iOS and Android eBay apps. “The idea is to make use of the rich content that our sellers put together and trigger an image-based search while keeping all the aspects in the search context, thereby delivering results that clearly match the users’ interests.”

“eBay will be the first ever ecommerce platform that engages the user with this image-based search that adds a fun factor to the search process,” he said.

The question sellers want answered: are the resources eBay is putting into features like drag-and-drop search resulting in more sales for them? eBay sellers might wish to see adoption and conversion rates before weighing in on features like Visual Shopping.

The question of where eBay spends its resources becomes even more relevant given the number of technical glitches eBay’s has experienced this year.

The bottom line: sellers expect a stable platform and look to eBay to boost their sales.

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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/.

2 thoughts on “eBay Continues Investment in Visual Shopping and Image Search”

  1. But Ebay is DYSFUNCTIONAL.
    They should get it all ironed out before proceeding.
    No one likes unpleasant surprises while trying to have a good time “eCommercing”.
    Sellers are being unhinged by Ebay.
    Bring back 100% FUNCTIONALITY to Ebay.
    We’ve had enough.

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