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eBay to Overhaul Site and Make it ‘Magically Easy’ to List

eBay CEO Jamie Iannone wants to “reinvent the future of ecommerce for enthusiasts – only at eBay,” he told Wall Street analysts during Wednesday’s 2nd-quarter earnings conference call. The slogan, which doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, was featured in an accompanying slide deck.

eBay CEO Jamie Iannone told Wall Street he has now set his sights on an even more ambitious vision than when he joined the company 3 years ago when he had announced his “tech-led reimagination” vision for the company.

Iannone told analysts to expect a “comprehensive overhaul” of eBay’s user experience and design that would be rolled out in phases over the course of 2023 and beyond.

In fact, the CEO said eBay had begun rolling out changes already – “in recent months” – by testing a “more modern and intuitive View Item page” that offers “a streamlined appearance, larger and higher resolution images, and an optimized information hierarchy.”

Early tests indicate a measurable uplift in GMV versus the current design, he said. The new design is meant to appeal to Gen Z shoppers.

Over the next few quarters, eBay will continue to roll out an evolved look, feel, and experience, including updates to the View Item page, header, homepage, search results, and other landing pages.

eBay is also investing in new capabilities for search including deep learning and visual similarity “to improve ranking and retrieval, reducing queries with low or no results to surface more of our amazing inventory for customers.”

Iannone said his ecommerce reinvention strategy would rest on three pillars: Relevant Experiences, Scalable Solutions, and Magical Innovation.

The CEO touted a feature recently launched that offers sellers the ability to add AI-generated item descriptions, calling it an early version of its “magical listing” experience powered by AI. About 30% of users tried the feature and 90% of them accepted AI-generated descriptions. Iannone said 80% were satisfied with the feature, among the highest customer-satisfaction rate for any new feature launched in recent memory.

He said sellers have told eBay that the AI feature would unlock more of the unique inventory in their closets, and he said that on average, description lengths doubled when sellers used the new generative-AI feature. “But we are just getting started,” Iannone said.

Iannone also provided some information about international sellers in response to an analyst’s question about China dropshippers. “We’ve been working with some of our sellers to be forward deploying of our inventory, which has just helped diffuse some of that supply chain pressure,” and he said eBay was making it easier for sellers to export items throughout the globe.

The webcast is available on the eBay Investor Relations page.

Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She’s a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of “Turn eBay Data Into Dollars” (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, “Blogging Heroes” (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 – present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 – present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

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