Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon June 13 2016 21:58:25

eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are

By: Ina Steiner

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Not only does eBay guess what shoppers are looking for, it plans to reach out to them wherever they are, whether it's on social networking sites or via messaging apps, within a few years. Creepy? Presumptuous? Or merely what Millennials want in today's high-tech world?

eBay CEO Devin Wenig revived talk of a "fabric" during an interview with CNBC's Jon Fortt. There's a fabric that lives beyond eBay that will find you where you are, Wenig said, and in three to four years, eBay will find you and show you what you might be looking for. 

How does eBay know what a shopper is looking for? Wenig had more to say about that in another recent interview when he talked about predictive modelling - eBay knows if you want a $7 scarf or a $70 scarf, he said. He also acknowledged that listings aren't getting seen on eBay because of the sheer number of listings and its lack of structured data.

eBay had talked about fabric back in 2011 - it was working on a "commerce operating system" that encompassed online, mobile and offline retail and would allow third-parties to plug in to the fabric. But, as developers later noted, talk of eBay's fabric went poof by 2013.

These days, eBay is gung-ho on Artificial Intelligence. Check out Tuesday's Newsflash article, "eBay to Follow You Around, Guessing What You Want" (available now), and let us know what you think of eBay's plans to show you what it thinks you want, where ever you happen to be.




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Perminate Link for eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are   eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon Jun 13 22:27:29 2016

As usual, eBay is dead wrong in their belief that users will accept being hunted and chased down anywhere they happen to be on the Internet.

If ever there was a strategy to alienate buyers, this AI plan is number one.

eBay has been anticipating what they believe buyers are looking for for several years. The result is that the eBay marketplace is showing single digit GMV growth which is not reflective of actual increases in merchandise turnover, but rather, the fact that shipping costs many sellers include in their selling price has increased.

IF or when eBay beings hunting users across the Internet, eBay should expect a significant decline in their user base shortly after the program begins.

If eBay really wants to help buyers find what they are looking for, simply fix the search engine so that it returns results relevant to the specific search terms users enter, and eliminate the algorithm that makes all the assumptions which cause non relevant items to be presented.



Perminate Link for eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are   eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 13 23:49:34 2016

Personally, I dont want that weird looking guy following me anywhere.

Look, he cant even get eBay right, how is he going to manage ANY AI?

He had to call out Ole' Griff to BEG then THREATEN sellers to put UPC data in their listings ... jeez - eBay isnt a leader in ANYTHING.

If anyone cares to argue (and they can by all means) I point to TWICE's top 100 etailers list ..... eBay isnt anywhere to be seen. Its as invisible to the industry and it is to sellers (and buyers).

RIC (Of course) is %101 correct with his comments on how they love to alienate buyers .... its a shame no one in San Jose listens to  what he says.

"Wenig said eBay didn't need help understanding the customer" THAT ladies and gentleman is the lie of the decade (right before you will save $2500 a yr on Obamacare).

What a looser.

Perminate Link for eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are   eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Mon Jun 13 23:51:37 2016

Creepy. More like stalking. Maybe users should file for a protective order or class action for invasion of privacy. Ebay has already taken the fun out of auctions and this relentless hounding will end any desire to shop. Nobody likes to be told what to do and nobody wants items they are not looking for shoved in their face 24/7. Heck, buyers don't even want the items they ARE looking for shown repeatedly over and over to the point where they become disinterested resulting in not making a purchase and/or cart abandonment.  

Perminate Link for eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are   eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Tue Jun 14 00:19:38 2016

A little sample of eBay's supposed Artificial Intelligence. I got an email over the weekend that stated:
Hello Bill, would you like to take another look? We've picked this out for you
It was for my own listing that I had looked at to see how it was showing up.

They are spending millions on this pile of dung they call AI and not doing anything at all to get buyers and to make the search easy to use.

eBay is dying and as it is the rats are jumping the ship and dumping their stock as fast as they can. IE: Mike Jacobson

Perminate Link for eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are   eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Tue Jun 14 00:24:36 2016

This is infuriating, and it's already begun.

I buy occasionally on ebafia but what really demonstrates ebafia's utter ineptitude is that they're showing me MY items!

Another spot on demonstration of ebafia's inexperienced and incompetent foreign "programmers."

Perminate Link for eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are   eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are

by: nothingnew This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 14 00:25:42 2016

Gee I thought It was against ebay rules to contact or buyers after a sale on their site?  But now they think its ok to stalk the shoppers? Of course do what we say not what we do.  Ha!  

Perminate Link for eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are   eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 14 01:02:16 2016

Oh goody - Oh joy - can't wait. Like they don't already have enough obnoxious pop up ads in your face. let's continue to run off what's left of the buyers.

Perminate Link for eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are   eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 14 01:36:25 2016

Yep time to shop elsewhere. Don't need some creepy old man following us around.

Willing to bet Fleecebay Artificial Intelligence isn't any smarter than the fool who thought up this moronic idea.

Moving on with our buying and leaving the creepy crawler to those that don't know better.

Bye Bye Buying Elsewhere.

Perminate Link for eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are   eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Tue Jun 14 03:00:43 2016

eBay's infantile form of AI is already hunting everyone; I only have to look at an item on eBay, then, most irritatingly, ads about that product literally follow me everywhere.

These people are naive in the extreme; worse still, they are stupid ...

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the unscrupulous, the malevolent, the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid. ...

Perminate Link for eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are   eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Tue Jun 14 03:02:33 2016

HEY WENIG > "Ebay" is just a platform, a venue.
Do us all a favor : do an "undercover boss" routine and BE a seller.
Lose the polished look and go around to yard sales gathering up stuff to sell on "Your" Ebay.
Travel miles and miles 3 or 4 days a week, for TWO months. Keep a log of time and money spent.
Then figure out what you need to do to sell the stuff and successfully  get it delivered to the eventual buyers.
You can't "reach us", the PROCESS has to "reach" you. Only then can you begin to get it.
At the end, when you sell the LAST item, total up all of your expenses, and subtract from your income.
What's 'a matter? Afraid you'll be in hock ? You're a big boy, you can handle reality, can't you ? Now go ahead, no short cuts or B.S....Let us know how it goes...

Perminate Link for eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are   eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Tue Jun 14 03:05:16 2016

Oh, I'm sorry, you don't realize Ebay customers are the SELLERS. That's your first mistake....

Perminate Link for eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are   eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Tue Jun 14 03:12:26 2016

Scoot over and let me show you how Ebay should work.....

Perminate Link for eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are   eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 14 03:27:37 2016

When I hear wenig talk like this all  can do is sigh and shake my head....

Just give me the results of a keyword search and I will figure out the rest.  I don't need any predictions of what I want, I know what I want and I know how to find it.

Perminate Link for eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are   eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are

This user has validated their user name. by: gettingby

Tue Jun 14 03:39:32 2016

Like Ming, I am constantly seeing my own items.
I have to say, it's not just eBay, though. AZ haunts me, too, among other e-tail sites. I do most of my shopping online, and I comparison shop to find just what I want. I then get swamped with ads on many different (not shopping) sites for the same or similar item to one I've viewed or purchased. This is a real annoyance to me. If I wanted it, I bought it.

I make a purchase, and see "we also thought you'd like", or "come back and buy" ... Why on earth would I need more of the same "hard-goods" product I just bought? Does AI think that within days I've already ruined or lost the canopy... coffeemaker... camera...  lamp... cylinder square... bracelet... or whatever?
God forbid I purchase a gift for someone whose needs or size or taste are much different from mine. I bought some infant clothing for our granddaughter, and suddenly I'm swamped with ads for size 6 month baby clothes. Umm... She won't wear that size very long!!
What if I'd like to gift someone with a $50 scarf, but prefer a $25 one for myself?

AI can't determine the reason for a purchase, or that it might be a one-time purchase. Even with a gift for the same person, it might be in a significantly different category -- since I already gifted them a coffeemaker (or whatever)!

Perminate Link for eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are   eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are

by: OnlyPollyPocket This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 14 05:52:11 2016

Wow!  The supreme arrogance is stunning!  How DARE ebay decide my "intent"?

Sheesh!

Perminate Link for eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are   eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 14 06:24:50 2016

listings aren't getting seen on eBay because of the sheer number of listings and its lack of structured data.

^^
Well now I know why one month my sales go dry and the next month the sales roll in.

Perminate Link for eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are   eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Jun 14 06:57:46 2016

Here's what he fails to realize--so many eBay sellers HAVE STOPPED buying on eBay. They refuse to buy on eBay. Sellers can't control eBay policies, but they certainly can choose not to buy on eBay.

And here is what Mr. Stupid doesn't understand--if you check the price of something that you are thinking of selling, you are not looking to BUY it. Therefore you don't need to see it again.

And Ming is right. We are seeing our own items.

eBay is out of their league. They are like someone with a 50 points IQ trying to operate a TI 84 Plus.

Perminate Link for eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are   eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are

by: rhawk This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 14 07:39:29 2016



If they simply had a search engine that showed every item available that you searched for, and let sellers compete on a level field, ebay could rebound.

But, they choose to keep trying more disruptive innovation....more utterly stupid ideas.

I shut my ebay down last week. Sales dried up....no visibility.
So glad I did.

Wenigogue....good luck to you.  You and ebay are failing miserably.

You deserve it.

Perminate Link for eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are   eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are

by: Lois This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 14 08:16:26 2016

This is incredibly annoying to me! Harassment to the ultimate. Too bad we don't have an eBay 'do not call' option. Just leave me alone. I'm a grown-up; I don't need some 'artificial intelligence' telling me to buy buy buy. My response is no no no.

Perminate Link for eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are   eBay Wants to Reach Shoppers Wherever They Are

by: Owen This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 14 08:34:54 2016

Great, just what we all need is more sites following us around guessing at what we want. Every time I even look at something for sale online, it magically pops up on every screen in the future for several weeks. We're all pretty darned sick of that. I never click on stuff like that unless it's an accident.

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