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eBay, Redesigned
By: E. V. Perkins Jr.
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eBay unveiled its website redesign last week. It includes a Pinterest-like homepage feed, auto-complete search, and same-day delivery service. These new features go along with their updated logo and daily deals service, which were released over the past few months.

The new logo has a simpler font, the same color scheme, and no bouncing letters. President Devin Wenig said the new eBay will be cleaner with a more consistent user experience, and the logo reflects that.

The new feed is designed to encourage users to “discover new products instead of searching for specific items.” Users can follow brands or types of products, which can be interpreted as an expanded version of the “watch this item” feature. The move makes sense when you consider how many times you’ve lost an auction and had to search for another one with that product. Much like any Facebook-inspired feed, products will come to you rather than you going to look for them. It mimics Pinterest by having larger photos and more white space, which fits the “cleaner and simpler” direction eBay is aiming for. The feed will roll out over the next few months.

Auto-complete search is an expected upgrade. As with Google’s search, the goal is to have more relevant results. It’s absolutely necessary for a product-driven site like eBay.

eBay Now, the same-day delivery service, is only available in San Francisco right now. At first I questioned how that applied to individual sellers, but they’re focusing on products from local stores.

The daily deals service, eBay Lifestyle Deals, raises a few eyebrows. Customers are worn out from the proliferation of daily deals sites and emails. Some businesses that use these deals to attract new customers aren’t seeing the ROI. Groupon, the daily deal darling, lost “three-quarters of its value” after going public, punctuating comments that this isn’t a successful business model. It’ll be interesting to see how an e-commerce veteran like eBay will do in this industry. You have to wonder if they’re a little late to the party on this one. You may even ask, “Why did they even bother to show up?”

I’m curious to see how these changes play into the mobile experience. Chief Technology Officer Mark Carges said the redesign was “largely inspired by customers’ increasing use of mobile devices for retail purchases.” At the time of this posting (October 17, 2012), the new mobile website featured the new logo, but the mobile app did not.

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About the Author
E. V. Perkins Jr. is a marketing and new media specialist in the Milwaukee-area. Learn more about him on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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