As Ebay rolled out its new homepage for buyers this week, the reviews started trickling in. While some think that the new homepage fails to impress, others believe that its about time eBay got away from their antiquated look. Before we get into some of the changes, I will say that after viewing the new homepage I do see some potential there for eBay to do great things. It’s just not quite there yet.
If you haven’t seen the new home page, you can access it here: New eBay Home Page. If you just want to know how it all works, however, it’s really quite simple. Once you open your home page, eBay asks you to choose five “Interests” to set up as your Feed. This is where things gets rather amusing, especially for those of us that are sellers.
See, eBay looks at everyone as if they were a buyer. This means that initially the types of items that you have researched (most likely to sell) actually come up as your Interests. For instance, if you researched “ugly clown statue” because you have one to sell and you actually typed “ugly clown statue” in for a search, eBay now thinks that you have an interest in ugly clown statues. So, instead of following your real interests, the Feed actually just curates a glamorized version of everything that you have recently searched for. Fortunately, you can “Unfollow” eBay’s recommendations for you, so it’s not such a big deal.
Once you pick your initial five Interests and launch your Feed, this is where things get interesting. eBay says the Feed is “a connection to the things you need and love.” The online site Tech Crunch even went so far as to say that the new homepage is “essentially about you,” Instead, what I found was a hodge podge of images that may or may not relate to what I would consider my interests. As an example, a search for “Pookie,” which is Garfield’s stuffed Teddy Bear actually brings up anything and everything named or related to the word “Pookie” This includes pajamas, old records and even a hideous alien figurine.
Still, I do see potential with the page. The images are nicely displayed in a way that is similar to Pinterest (and it really drives home the the point I have made in the past about the need for sellers to take great photos). eBay also lets you tinker with the settings, so you can sort by price, category, auction or store and so on. Rumor has it that at some point in the (hopefully) near future, you will also be able to follow sellers that you like and possibly even interact with them on a more personal basis (think eBay meets Pinterest meets Facebook).
At the moment though, eBay wants us to believe that we are participating in what is being dubbed as “social discovery.” Their pitch is that the purpose of the Feed is to introduce us to things that we don’t yet know that we want. While I’m not too sure about that, it has brought some new life to eBay and sources say that eBay has observed higher traffic along with buyers spending more time on the site. I guess for now that’s a pretty good start.
About our Guest Blogger
This guest post is by Kat Simpson. Kat is a trusted eCommerce author, speaker, educator, and entrepreneur. Kat Simpson has been a successful eCommerce merchant for over 10 years; is an eBay Education Specialist and Gold Level PowerSeller, as well as a successful Amazon merchant. Currently Kat is the hosts the popular weekly eCommerce Podcast That Kat Radio.