Live from eTail: What’s Ahead for eBay

Washington—A pioneer on the e-commerce frontier, online auction giant eBay is always coming out with something new. What does eBay have up its sleeve in the coming months? It’s testing different home page paged for different buyer segments and shopper personas, according to vice president, buying experience Jamie Iannone.

In his Aug. 8 eTail conference session “One Size Does Not Fit All: Revolution of the Online Buyer Experience,” Iannone noted that eBay’s customer personas include shopping-driven passionates, convenience-driven enthusiasts, and price-driven shoppers seeking values and bargains. The company is working on segmenting its buyers and personalizing the eBay experience, he said. The new home pages it’s testing are tailored based on performances.

Another new feature in beta testing now is the eBay Countdown, which enables users to experience the thrill of auctions. The Countdown “lets you bid very quickly at the end of the auction,” he said, and also allows users to see where others are in the bidding process at the bitter end. “It’s an attempt to bring some new UI experience” to the auction process, Iannone explained.

EBay is also getting into the social shopping scene. Last year it launched MyWorld, which connects shoppers with other people that share mutual interests. For instance, Iannone said, it enables users to find other eBay shoppers interested in magic tricks or World War II memorabilia. The new version of MyWorld has a guest book feature so that users can leave comments, he added.

Providing a personalized experience requires relevant and actionable segmentation, Iannone said. That means digging deeper so that you can segment customers according to activity levels, intent, needs, and success rates. And Web merchants should “focus relentlessly on site design,” he said. “Keep the simple things simple, keep the complex things possible.”

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