EBay also has added more functions to its home page, including the ability to move back into the browsing process more easily, and view deals and best-selling products on the home page. In addition, ratings and review entries have been expanded to display more information from other customers about specific products being viewed.
The holidays certainly are a good time to make changes that promise better shopping experiences, but these updates aren’t just about giving shoppers something new for the holidays. They also represent the latest step in eBay’s ongoing effort to move away from auction-oriented shopping to more closely resemble the personalized, flexible and feature-rich shopping experience championed by Amazon. The recent launch of eBay’s Collective marketplace was another component in the company’s effort to change its market profile, and at the same time create a more personalized approach.
After some sluggish times for retailer mobile apps, both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar merchants have spent recent months tweaking various aspects of their apps as they continue searching for the right approach that will actually convince shoppers to complete sales within their apps. As eBay has gone down that path, many of its changes have focused on the same theme — simplifying browsing and searching, making it easier for customers to find products more quickly. That was a big part of the reason why eBay recently acquired Corrigon and its visual search technology.
Are app updates and shifts toward more personalization enough to help eBay distance itself from its auction past and become more like Amazon? It may not be as easy as that. EBay recently gave a soft outlook for the current quarter after reporting a revenue increase, but a net income decline for its previous quarter.
Add to that the reality that eBay is not the only retailer trying to refine its mobile approach, and trying to achieve a personalization bond with customers. Refining browsing capabilities, product pages, customer reviews and other features should help eBay keep pace with other retail mobile apps, but app changes are just one piece of a larger puzzle.