EBay to evolve homepage with Pinterest-like design

October 10, 2012  |  Shareen Pathak for Advertising Age  |  Comments

Fresh off its logo redesign, EBay has re-imagined its front page with a curated “Feed” of items its algorithms predict users will like. Pinterest users will find the design familiar.

The idea behind Feed, which was announced at an event in New York on Wednesday and has a decidedly Pinterest-like aesthetic, is to combine the ease of online purchasing 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 news feed, but with products. It lets eBay users create personalized home-page profiles by “following” certain categories, such as a favorite musician or brand, and is driven both by what the user tells the company and by his or her purchase and search history. The feed also has a social element, which lets users check out their friends’ home pages and get inspiration from them.

It will roll out on eBay’s U.S. home page 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,” which users can browse for inspiration.

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 can then save and share those products to a wish list.

Also, online retailer Zappos 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 in pilot stage in San Francisco, is now available everywhere in the city, with more locations planned, said Richelle Parham, the company’s chief marketing officer.

EBay, which now has 105 million active users and 260 million daily searches, also announced a few other enhancements to make the shopping experience on the site more user-friendly. Search has been cleaned up, as have the product-description pages, with larger images 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.

To read the original story in Advertising Age, click here.

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