For eBay, Refining Relevance Leads to Heightened Customer Experience

For eBay, the world’s largest online marketplace, connecting successfully with global customers is an ongoing process that is refined over time, leading to brand loyalty.

During its fiscal third-quarter earnings call on Wednesday, eBay CEO Devin Wenig talked about how the company continues to engage customers in a more efficient, relevant fashion.

This year, to offer more points of customer engagement, eBay launched several new curated vertical experiences in Fashion, Home, and Garden.

“I’m particularly excited about the improvements we’re making to drive the most relevant shopping experience for our consumers,” Wenig said. “We continue to process more data from our structured data initiative, which enables us to have better insight into the inventory on our site and to build better user experiences. In Q3, we increased the percentage of structured data listings processed to 48% of relevant live listings.”
The ongoing growth in penetration of structured data has enabled eBay to accelerate the pace of its new browsed and product page launches.

“We ended Q3 with over 100 million pages built on structured data that showcased our inventory in ways that were not possible just a year ago,” Wenig explained. “We’re further enhancing these pages by introducing new features, such as multiple top picks, product comparisons, and limited time deals, and we continue to see significantly higher conversion.”

While these early results give eBay officials confidence in its strategy, Wenig cautioned that the new pages are currently being exposed to a very small fraction of the company’s traffic.

“The majority of our business today comes through our organic, on eBay search funnel,” he said. “Over time we expect to start introducing these new experiences to our organic traffic. Now while we're moving at an urgent pace, you can expect us to take an intelligent approach to this transition to ensure that we don’t disrupt our customers along the way.”

Mobile comprises another key customer engagement area for eBay.

“Since the launch of our redesigned eBay mobile apps in May, customer reviews have trended higher as we have significantly improved the speed and the usability of our apps,” Wenig said. “And our ability to rapidly iterate on user feedback has enabled us to keep this positive momentum going. We recently released the fifth update to our new mobile experience in the past five months, and this cadence of improvements is translating into better growth, with Q3 being the second quarter in a row of mobile growth acceleration.”

In addition, Wenig said eBay has started to leverage artificial intelligence to power unique commerce experiences for users.

“Yesterday, we announced the beta launch of eBay ShopBot on Facebook Messenger, a personalized shopping assistant that enables people to find the best deals from eBay's 1 billion listings,” he explained. “Our vision is to make shopping with eBay as easy as talking to a friend, whether you’re looking for something specific or you’re browsing for inspiration.”

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