EBay is trying to bring the pleasure back to online shopping with "Feed," a curated list of items that the e-commerce giant believes you might be interested in.
The idea behind Feed, which was announced at an event in New York Wednesday and has a decidedly Pinterest-like aesthetic, is to combine the ease of online shopping with the fun of window shopping, said eBay chief technology officer Mark Carges, noting it moves the e-commerce browsing experience beyond a search-based one.
It is, essentially, a newsfeed, but with products. It lets eBay users create personalized homepage profiles by "following" certain categories, such as a favorite musician or brand, and is driven both by what the user tells the company, and a user's purchase and search history. The feed also has a social element, which lets users check out their friends' homepages and get inspiration from them.
It will roll out on eBay's United States homepage over the next 100 days, with a global rollout planned over the next year. The company will also create "shopper personalities," such as the "Fashionista," or "Do-it-yourself Guru," that users can browse to get inspiration from.
Pinterest-inspired design seems to be the aesthetic du jour. This week, Facebook introduced "Collections," a new feature that lets businesses add a "Want" or "Collect" button to posts about products. Users users can then save and share those products to a wishlist.
Online retailer Zappos also offers "Pin Pointing," an app that matches Pinterest users' styles to its own products. You can type in a Pinterest user's name and the app selects images from that user's board to recommend Zappos products.
EBay announced some other changes as well. Same-day delivery service EBay Now, which was being piloted in San Francisco, is now available everywhere in the city, with more locations planned, said Richelle Parham, the company's CMO.
EBay, which now has 105 million active users and 260 million daily searches, also announced a few other enhancements that make the shopping experience on the site more user-friendly. Search has been cleaned up, as have the product description pages, with a larger image and all relevant information kept above the fold. The checkout pages - previously a four-step process - are now streamlined into one. EBay's new logo, designed by Lippincott, also goes live today.