The e-commerce company eBay is remodeling itself in the image of Amazon.
Until now, when shoppers on eBay searched for an item or browsed, they often had to pick through hundreds of individual listings for the same product. Now, eBay’s new product pages group all listings for the same item on one page, and an algorithm chooses which sellers automatically get sales.
Though eBay was a trailblazer in e-commerce, the company now lags behind Amazon. eBay’s revenues grew by 12% — to $2.6 billion — in the first quarter of this year compared with the same time last year. But in the same time frame, Amazon’s net sales grew by 43% and reached $51 billion. (Amazon’s third-party marketplace makes up 51% of its sales.)
“Most of the shopping [on eBay] is mission shopping because a customer comes in with an idea of what they want to buy, sometimes knowing the actual titles of products they want to buy,” Mohan Patt, eBay’s vice president of buyer experience, product, and engineering, told BuzzFeed News. “While it has done really well in our 20 years of history, we’re reaching a billion items, and there isn’t a lot of product discovery.”