eBay ‘Why to Buy’ signals now on mobile

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eBay have added ‘Why to Buy’ signals to their mobile apps. The signals aim to quickly highlight the reasons you should buy the item you’re looking at. The ‘Why To Buy’ signals are currently live on desktop, iOS and Android in the US, UK, Germany and Australia and will be rolling out to mobile web soon.

The ‘Why to Buy’ signals artificial intelligence uses data and machine learning to help buyers confidently make their purchase. Machine learning is the “brain” behind these signals and constantly optimizes along dimensions such as price, popularity and rarity.

“By highlighting relevant, accurate signals, we can make it simpler for you to decide on a purchase.
eBay Mobile ‘Why to Buy’ signals Chanel Sunglasses
For example, you can see that the Chanel sunglasses above are sold by an experienced seller and that they are selling fast with the “Limited quantity available” signal – showing that they are a popular item and that, if you really want them, you should jump on the deal because they might not be available much longer.”
– Sasi Somasundaram, Group Product Manager, eBay

Which ‘Why to Buy’ signals work best?

eBay have also revealed what type of messaging works best for ‘Why to Buy” signals. If you have similar functionality on your own website these are some pretty valuable insights worth noting:

General inventory

Overall, eBay say that they have seen signals such as ‘Free in-store pickup,’ ‘Experienced seller’ and ‘Limited time remaining’ perform the best across all of our inventory.


For fashion listings, signals that indicate popularity, rarity and return options matter.


For electronics listings, savings, urgency, good shipping and return signals are critical.


For rare inventory such as collectible items, trusted seller, savings and lower charges for customs matter, especially while buying across regions.

eBay say that as the ‘Why to Buy’ signal intelligence expands to additional platforms, they continue to address the most challenging questions such as what is the ideal signal criteria, number of signals, order and interaction effect, and will continue to test different machine learning models.

5 Responses

  1. if these are anything like the tripe you get when searching for a hotel room they are annoying rather than helpful

  2. Interesting…. I have seen many items with ‘limited quantity remaining’ which blatantly only had a few in the first place. Not to mention the ones that claim to be best sellers, yet have only sold a couple. I have on occassion seriously thought it was just applied randomly! Sadly i have no faith in ebays ‘brain’…. it will be the same one that takes an item identical to yours, same title, title specifics, price, description, not top rated etc, but with only one sale in the last year…. and put it ahead of yours in best match, despite the fact that yours has many sales, free postage, top rated seller etc etc… Yeah that’s how the ebay brain works!

  3. Great ebay offering another useless piece of tech. I love the free in store pick up bit.. As when customers asked us where we were located i got suspended for telling them.

    Great !!!!

  4. artificial intelligence?
    its a basic function of a computer system designed to perform such functions.
    it’s not the first time you’ve regurgitated nonsense about ebay using “AI”, but it makes you sound like a neanderthal pointing and gasping at fire and calling it magic.
    do you think a spreadsheet is “artificial intelligence”? do you realise how ridiculous you’d sound trying to convince computer-literate people that it is, in a professional capacity? because what you call ‘AI’could be knocked up in excel without breaking a sweat.
    there’s a HUGE difference between artificial intelligence and a calculator, or a spreadsheet, or even seemingly-complex computer procedures. please try to at least recognise these differences for your own credibility’s sake.
    – or go the other way and just say it’s the magic goblins inside the computery box.

  5. Could be good if done well. Might stop the lazy useless sellers who just copy our listings and sell garbage for quick profit. You can report the listing, oh now wait…eBay have removed the feature to report duplicate listings…

    Act quick eBay because you are spiralling into an endless pit of bargains and fraud.

    Maybe a filter for genuine business sellers?


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