EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2526 - April 21, 2011     2 of 6

A Closer Look at eBay's New Shopping Experience

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eBay has been designing the shopping experience on its site to be closer to that of Amazon.com's, especially in certain categories such as consumer electronics. Similarities now include eBay's use of catalog (with all listings for the same product combined under one product page). And, just as Amazon.com displays a "Buy Box" on the product page, eBay features the "Value box."

But eBay is putting its own twist on shopping to capitalize on its strength in the secondary market (liquidation and used goods).

For example, do a search for "apple ipod nano 6th generation" and click on one of the product pages, such as this one. Compare that page to one of eBay's more traditional product pages.

You can see in the new product page some of the ways eBay is differentiating itself from Amazon.com's shopping experience.

1) Condition
eBay sellers offer items in a range of condition, from brand new to used - and even broken. A look at the consumer electronics category product pages shows eBay is highlighting the different conditions of the items available on product pages, letting shoppers filter results by New; Refurbished; New other; Used; and "For parts" using prominent tabs on the page.

2)Format: Side-by-Side Comparisons
eBay is using the auction/fixed-price side-by-side comparison feature, which it's been testing for 3 years, on the product pages. It's not clear if eBay will continue to limit the side-by-side feature to product pages, or if it will roll it out to regular search results pages.

3)Local
The new Local tab displays in-stock availability of inventory at local brick-and-mortar retailers. This feature utilizes technology from Milo and positions eBay to compete with Google in search, particularly helpful in mobile-search.

4) Pricing Trends
eBay also includes up-to-date pricing trends on its product pages, calculating median selling price of the product on eBay for the previous 15 days.

What Sellers Should Know about eBay's New Shopping Experience
eBay describes its new shopping experience here, and features a screenshot here - click your mouse to zoom in.

To have your item appear on eBay product pages, you need to list using product details in the Sell Your Item form, Turbo Lister, File Exchange, or the eBay API used by third-party vendors. In certain categories, eBay also requires the use of catalog and certain mandatory item specifics when listing products.

eBay is giving more prominence to the Value box, and in order for an item to be eligible for the value box, it must meet the following requirements:

  • Offered by an eBay Top-rated seller;
  • Fixed Price format (Buy It Now);
  • Priced competitively.

eBay is currently focusing its attention on Consumer Electronics, Clothing Shoes & Accessories, and eBay Motors Parts & Accessories, and that's where buyers and sellers should expect most new features to debut.


About the author:

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). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.


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