You may not realize it, but since 2015, eBay has added “Why to Buy signals” to its desktop searches. These little clues are designed to help shoppers make better decisions on the products they are searching.
Now, this same feature is available in the mobile app for iOS and Android in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Australia and will become available on the mobile site soon.
The experience uses machine learning to help shoppers make a decision uses phrases such as “Free in-store pickup,” “Experienced seller,” and “Limited quantity remaining” to increase conversion.
But it has a variety of other phrases it displays and eBay noted some trends from their desktop experience with this feature:
- 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.
The company states they want to simplify the buying process and the why to buy signals are an integral part of that strategy.
eBay’s developers continue to experiment with better machine learning algorithms and strategies on this feature, making it difficult for sellers to game the system.
“The ‘Why to Buy’ signal intelligence uses data and machine learning to help you confidently make your purchase. Machine learning is the “brain” behind these signals and constantly optimizes along dimensions such as price, popularity, and rarity.”
Sasi Somasundaram, Group Product Manager at eBay
It also appears eBay uses previous sales and conversion data to help guide shoppers. This may benefit long time sellers but also makes it a bit more challenging for new sellers in a crowded category.
One key factor for this why to buy experience appears to be structured data or item specifics. The machine learning algorithms lean on these snippets of data to display appropriate signals to shoppers.
Sellers need to look at their listings to ensure that all recommended items specifics data is included for each listing. Also, sellers should add any relevant additional items specifics data to help the eBay system understand the product better.
With more machine learning algorithms being used by eBay in Image Search, navigation, and in providing “buy signals” to shoppers, it becomes really imperative that sellers use listings tools to maximize the potential of their listings.
What do you think about eBay “guiding” shoppers in this way? We love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.