eBay is testing a new buyer experience that brings content and commerce together on eBay. During this week’s eBay for Business podcast, Mohan Patt, Vice President of Buyer, Ads & Retail Standards, described the program.
Here’s a link to the podcast, it picks up around minute 32:33, where Patt explains the concept:
“And then the last thing I want to share, which I’m super excited about and we shared this today, doesn’t even have a name. It’s a new experience that we’re trying to build of bringing content and commerce together. Which is really allowing our buyers to stay engaged on the platform.
“If you’re into comic books, if you are into trading cards, if you’re into baseball cards or if you’re into clothing, if you’re into camping. It’s bringing interesting articles, content, videos, that’s off platform outside of eBay, allowing our buyers to read about it. But then showing items that they read about it in the article. How to have your first camping trip with your son. Great article. Here’s 10 things you need. Here are all the items to buy on eBay.
“Now we’re doing this as a small pilot in certain areas, but my ultimate goal is to give that to sellers, so you as sellers can write about the areas that you guys are honestly the experts. We’re not the experts. You are the experts.
“You can write about anything out there that you’re passionate about, that you know more about. And you can actually say and here are the items that if you really like this you can buy to go learn something or you can put a recipe to go sell the goods that you’re selling.
“That is where I think really the community comes together. The sellers are providing content that points to their items and buyers are coming to eBay because the content is fresh.
“This is where the community at scale can really, really help us.”
A seller asked about the program during Wednesday’s chat session, asking if it was possible to learn more and see any examples from the pilot.
The eBay moderator responded (message #30 in the weekly chat thread) as follows:
“What Mohan showcased on stage was a new category experience that is in the works for to the eBay mobile app.
“Say for example that you are into comics – you will be able to switch from today’s classic view of eBay on your app to a comic focused eBay app, with a totally new look & feel. The comic feed will pull in content and articles, some from eBay staffers, some from outside eBay and it will showcase items that you may find interesting.
“The new experience is not yet live, so there’s nothing that I can point you to today.
“Keep an eye out on announcements for more information on this.”
It’s interesting that a couple of sellers pointed out that the program sounded like the guides eBay discontinued last April. The user-generated guides (often written by sellers, but some written by buyers and some commissioned by eBay) had served not only to engage shoppers, but were supposed to help with search engine optimization. It will be interesting to see if buyers and sellers will be as generous with their time to help platforms as they had been in years past.