eBay.com are about to start testing the most radical change on the site ever!
Up until now whenever eBay have made a category change, introduced item specifics for a product set, or in fact made any change which buyer could search on bar keywords it’s been decided by an employee.
Now they’re about to test item specifics which the sellers can generate themselves. This was announced at eBay Live! in Boston and is the next generation of Finding (or search) on eBay. Sellers will for the first time be in control of what item specifics are required relevant to their product without eBay spending months researching the category and determining what’s required. An example could be a red ipod – when the first red ipods became available it took a couple of weeks for eBay to realise this and add the colour red as an item specific option. Now the seller listing the very first red ipod on eBay could simply add the red attribute to item specific for buyers to search for.
Initially testing will be carried out on about 90 categories which currently don’t have items specifics available. Certain custom item specifics may be offered because eBay have learnt that they’re appropriate, but eventually the site will organically learn which item specifics sellers use and possibly more importantly which item specifics buyers are searching on. Those that are used by both buyers and sellers will automatically be included as standard over time enabling sellers to better specify what buyers are looking for, and of course enabling buyers to find sought after items more easily.
This really is a quantum leap in finding technology for eBay. Just think of the man hours required to decide which item specific attributes are needed for a single category. An example could be printers, just for manufacturers how many are there? Which manufacturers should be included? How detrimental to a buyer searching is it if an obscure manufacturer is missed out? Will the sellers printer be found by buyers?
Multiply that by the thousands of categories available on eBay today and it’s a gargantuan task to manually set available attributes for every product. By allowing sellers to set the attributes they need and learning organically which attributes buyers are actively searching for, not only are countless man hours of eBay employee time saved but the entire site will develop without human intervention.
I’m really looking forward to the time the entire site worldwide has user definable item specifics. This is, in my opinion, the most important enhancement to search on eBay possibly since they first introduced categories in the first place.