EBay takes a page from Pinterest with visual-heavy app update

EBay has updated its mobile applications and mobile Web site with new features that enhance browsing, shopping and selling capabilities.

The online marketplace’s new apps and mobile site play up images and pictures to make it easier to shop. Additionally, several new features, such as a personalized feed, improved browsing visuals and in-store pick-up options have been added.

“At our core, eBay is about connecting buyers and sellers,” said Kevin Hurst, eBay vice president of mobile products, Atlanta. “Consumers want a streamlined mobile experience that’s also beautiful and inspirational.

“We focused on these consumer needs by increasing customer engagement by making product discovery more inspiring while also adding features that make the users experience more intuitive,” he said.

Technically speaking

For the iPhone, a personalized feed displays products that are curated to consumers. These images appear larger in the news stream to catch a consumer’s attention.

Previously, eBay’s mobile app relied on catchy text and less on photos. Now, the platform has seemingly realized that capturing a buyer’s attention is a more effective way to market products.

Emanating from Pinterest, eBay now allows curators to create and show off collections of items they love. Shoppers can follow the curators to keep current on the latest collections and products.

The app’s features also speed up browsing time, and Android users have quicker access to auction notifications.

Brands including Best Buy, AutoZone and Toys “R” Us are included within a new in-store program that lets them pick up online sales. This in-store feature is coupled with store information, such as directions, hours and order numbers.

Another new feature includes reviews for catalog items.

Mobile past

Ebay has invested significantly in mobile over the years and in offline retail as an extension of its auction-based online space (see story).

For example, same-day delivery service eBay Now in Chicago, Dallas, New York and San Francisco areas lets consumers place orders from local retailers via a mobile app that are then delivered in about one hour.

Additionally, eBay has worked with retailers including Kate Spade and Toms to roll out mobile-enabled storefronts that let consumers shop products instantly.

“EBay is focused on delivering seamless shopping experiences across multiple devices and platforms. Today’s shopper hops from desktop to tablet to smartphone to brick and mortar and the most successful retailers address their needs across all channels,” Mr. Hurst said.

“No other commerce provider has delivered as many innovations across as many devices in as many countries as we have.”

Final Take:
Michelle is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York