It sounds like a set-up for a joke: What happens when you take six eBay employees out of their cubicles at eBay headquarters in California, and send them to Australia? Before your mind starts wondering what the punch line is, let us answer that question very simply: innovation happens.
Let’s back up for a second. We are referring to the story behind how the new eBay homepage came about. It turns out it was like most things: a conversation between colleagues on how to make it easier for shoppers to find just the right thing to buy on eBay. Sure, some people know exactly what they want to find on eBay, come to the homepage, search for it, and buy it. That problem is easy to solve – put a search box on the top of the homepage, then create some great search algorithms that surface a myriad of products to satisfy their queries. And then, of course, the site should make it really easy for shoppers to checkout.
But this approach does not solve other, more tricky challenges. Take, for example, the chance of making a serendipitous discovery. You know, like when you walk into a mall, then into a store you frequent, and suddenly find just the piece of clothing (or other item) you were hoping to see. Then there is the issue of engagement. You can shop at various offline stores, or several sites around the web, but what keeps you coming back to them aside from great prices and/or selection? And finally, consider the pull of personalization. It sounds like a buzzword, but imagine if, in that imaginary mall described above, the stores you prefer have employees who perceive what you’d like to find even before you really do. When you consider addressing all three challenges – serendipitous discovery, engagement, and personalization – at the same time, it could reduce lesser product managers and engineers to a quivering mess…But not these intrepid six! So it’s no wonder the team sequestered themselves in Australia to come up with a solution you can see today: the new eBay homepage.
Internally, we call it the homepage feed, or, more simply, just “the Feed.” Externally, it is the new eBay homepage. If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s what it looks like the first time you come to the page:
eBay offers plenty of visual and written support on how to use the homepage, and you will even have the option of taking a cool tutorial when you first see the new page. Watch this video for a nice introduction to how the new homepage works:
The team took into account that your interests change over time, of course, and made it really easy to add and/or edit your feed. Just click the edit widget on the homepage, and follow the simple instructions.
You can further refine your interests by Category, Format, Condition, or Price. You decide, you are in control of what you see.
So far the feedback we have received about the eBay homepage has been pretty positive. For example, one of our customers wrote:
“Love the feed on the homepage. It seems like it should have always been there. A perfect fit!”
We hope you are inspired by the new homepage as well. And yes, we have a lot of work still to do over the course of the next months and years, and we’ll never stop improving your experience. But we feel this is a great improvement over what we had before, and we hope you love it too!
You can read all about the new homepage on eBay New. If you haven’t yet seen the new homepage, don’t worry. We are slowly rolling it out to everyone over the next couple of weeks. If you want to jump the queue, head to eBay New, and scroll down to the button that says “Create Feed.” We think you’ll be happy you did.
As the video says, create your feed, and let the inspiration begin.