Social shopping with eBay

For many people, women in particular, there has always been a social element to shopping. We plan shopping trips with friends to find an outfit for certain events and having second opinions before buying is key. And with more and more emphasis on social in the digital world, going social with e-commerce is only natural.

Social commerce has been flirted with before, with user photos from Instragram and Twitter being used on product pages, for example, and many sites using Facebook login to offer personalised recommendations based on their ‘likes’. Most recently Facebook itself is trying to get into e-commerce again with the introduction of Facebook Gifts… but for the most part social commerce is more of an add on and hasn’t fully taken off yet.

This is where eBay plans to ‘enable the future of commerce’, using technology to revolutionise the way people shop.

Alongside eBay’s new modern, clean logo and identity, they are launching a new website completely changing the shopping experience on the site. As well as a focus on making eBay shopping more social, with an increasingly popular Pinterest-like layout the site offers users a better browsing experience rather than expecting users to know what they are looking for before they visit eBay.

This redesign is likely to change the way that eBay is used. Chief Technology Officer Mark Carges said: “I’ve been here for four years, and have focused most of my time on making search better, but shoppers have also said they need browsing and inspiration capabilities. We felt now was a time to bring out a way to personalise passions, whether it is their hobbies or things they like to buy – and bring it to life in the feed.”

The social aspect comes with allowing users to create, share and follow each others’ feeds and collections. Very Pinterest, but that’s not a bad thing! The sneak preview of the site at ebay.com/new is very sleek and promises a lot from the revamp. It’ll be interesting to see how the changes are received and what it does for eBay sellers and retailers.