EBay ramps up its search functionality

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As part of a series of recent­ly announced steps to improve the overall customer experi­ence, eBay will be improving the search functionality on its site this year.

“The onsite experience hadn't kept up with buyer expecta­tions,” said Usher Lieberman, senior communications manag­er at eBay, about moves which include a reduction in the fee for listing items and a fee increase when an item is sold.

Over the past 18 months, eBay has “invested in its infrastruc­ture,” making improvements to its backend and technology in order to improve the integra­tion of data analytics and search functions.

Other changes include improv­ing the relevancy of the results that a customer gets back when conducting a search for an item. For example, right now when someone types in “iPod,” 10,000 results may come, 90% of which are accessory items, even though eBay's research shows the per­son is most likely looking for a actual iPod.

“EBay has always collected a tremendous amount of data, but the company hadn't employed [them] to [their] full capabil­ity previously, particularly in search,” Lieberman said.

In addition, the default sort option for searches will switch from “time-ending soonest,” referring to auction times, to “best match.” Sellers with higher customer ratings also get better search exposure.

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