In their bid to make their shoppers spend more money on their site, eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) has launched new browsing modules and search features. The site’s new features rely greatly on structured data.
In an announcement on May 18, the online auction house disclosed that they will be introducing enhancements to the platform throughout 2016. The new features are part of the company’s thrust to provide a better experience to shoppers. Structured data will allow eBay’s platform to trace the users’ buying and selling patterns in order to surface items that are targeted and relevant to specific users. Because of the modules’ enhancements, there are now options to browse by criteria such as savings, shop by brand or best-selling products.
The search experience is also being developed in tandem with browsing experience since a lot of consumers still rely on the search function of the site to look for items. Because of the new developments to these experiences, suggestions can be made based on keyword searches that influence browsing guidance modules. Conversely, browsing modules can also be influenced by keyword searches.
eBay has recently acquired Expertmaker, an artificial intelligence and analytic company from Sweden that has been working with them since 2010. Since Expertmakers’ forte lay in big data, machine learning and artificial intelligence, they may be able to help eBay analyze and structure their data. The acquisition will help the integration of Expertmaker’s technology to eBay’s platform and make sense of its large number of listings. Developments due to the partnership can already be seen in the increase in adherence to the structured data rules of the items listed on the site.
eBay has also recently partnered with Australian retailer Myer to create the first virtual reality department store. Buyers can experience shopping like they are really at the department store through virtual reality. The experience requires downloading the app and a virtual reality headset like the Samsung Gear or Google Cardboard. During their launch, the company gave away 15,000 “Shopticals”, which Google Cardboard headsets made specially for the virtual reality store.