eBay Plugs Machine Learning Into Email Marketing

What Happened
eBay is supercharging its own email marketing platform with machine learning so as to send individually personalized offers to subscribers based on their browsing history on eBay’s site. By dividing deals into virtual “buckets” such as shoes, consumer electronics, or collectibles, eBay’s proprietary algorithm is able to insert the relevant deals from one of the “buckets” that a user frequently views. The new platform also monitors user actions and react in real time. For example, when the price changes on an item a customer has viewed, eBay can automatically send that customer an email alert.

What Brands Need To Do
eBay joins a growing list of companies that are experimenting with AI-powered marketing solutions. Last month, Nielsen integrated artificial intelligence into its cloud marketing platform, whereas H&R Block enlisted IBM’s Watson to help with tax filings. As cloud-based services and machine learning technologies continue to mature, brands need to explore the kind of hyper-personalized messaging and experiences that AI-powered marketing solutions can deliver.

For more information on how brands may tap into the transformative power it will bring to marketing, please check out the Augmented Intelligence section of our Outlook 2017.


Source: eMarketer

eBay Dips Toe Into Conversational Commerce With Messenger Bot

What Happened
Following the addition of a visual search engine to its site, eBay continues to modernize its customer experience as it launches personalized shopping assistant “ShopBot” into beta on Facebook Messenger. According to eBay, the chabot is powered by contextual understanding and predictive modeling based on eBay’s massive inventory. Users can text, talk, or send an image to let ShopBot know what they are looking for, and ShopBot will ask questions to narrow the shopping intent and make recommendations accordingly.

What Brands Should Do
With this launch, eBay joins the growing list of brands experimenting with chatbots to optimize customer experiences. The rise of conversational commerce points to changing consumer behavior on mobile and a shift in brand-customer interaction. A recent study found that most consumers now prefer to use messaging to interact with businesses rather than calling. Therefore, brands, especially retailers, should take note and develop a strategy for conversational commerce.

The Lab has extensive knowledge about building consumer-facing chatbots. If you’re interested in reaching your audience on messaging apps, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland ([email protected]) for more information or to schedule a visit to the Lab.


Source: eBay


Header image is a promotional image courtesy of eBay

eBay Launches Furniture Shop With Visual Search Engine

What Happened
eBay launched a furniture and home decor shop on its site called eBay Collective, which comes with a visual search engine to aid product discovery. Leveraging technology from the visual search startup Corrigon it recently acquired, eBay presents shoppers with a “Shop the Room” feature, where they can click on items in images of fully-furnished rooms to see similar products available across eBay’s inventory.

What Brands Should Do
This integration of visual search helps eBay better curate and recommend products on its platform and eliminate the friction of manual search and filter configurations for online shoppers. More brands and retailers need to take note and start exploring new ways to improve the online user experience they offer.



eBay Opens A VR Shop That Lets You Shop With Your Eyes

What Happened
eBay worked with Australian department store Myer to develop a virtual reality shop that allows users to shop with their eyes. Using a system called “Sight Search” that eBay developed, users can choose items by staring at them for a few seconds or add items to a shopping cart by staring at the “Add to Basket” button. eBay says it is also working on a payment solution that will allow customers to pay with their eye movements. The shop contains products sold through Myer, including 3D models for the top 100 items in each category, and it can be accessed through existing headsets such as Samsung Gear VR. eBay is also giving away 20,000 Google Cardboards it dubbed “Shopticals” to spread the word.

Why Brands Should Care
This new VR department store offers a glimpse of the future of ecommerce. To entice and attract shoppers with this type of innovative shopping experience, retailers and brands that sell directly to customers online may consider integrating VR technology into their online user experience.


Source: Engadget

How eBay Is Quietly Staging A Comeback

Read original article on: WSJ Blog

In recent years, eBay has been lagging behind its competitors like Amazon and Alibaba, which was partly why it decided to spin off PayPal last year. Now just months before the planned split, the former ecommerce leader has quietly started to stage its comeback.

New reports claim that eBay is testing an Amazon Prime-like subscription program in Germany. The program, known as eBay+, promises customers free, expedited shipping and returns for just €15 to €20 (about $17 to $22) per year. For sellers, eBay will be offering discounts on selling fees and a subsidy to help cut the cost of shipping and returns.

Moreover, eBay is also reportedly planning a new ad unit called Promoted Listing that will allow some sellers to elevate their listings above others among the search results. Instead of the usual pay-per-click model, sellers only have to pay when a promoted listing translates into sales.

While it remains to be seen whether this comeback plan will work or not, it is clear that the ecommerce landscape will continues to evolve and expand. Brands operating in ecommerce space need to keep up with the constant changes, as well as the new opportunities they bring.

What The PayPal-eBay Split Would Mean For Digital Payment

EBay’s decision to spin PayPal off next year could give it renewed life: as a public company, PayPal would be able to issue its own stock to help attract talent and retain its growth, which is crucial considering the fierce competition it faces. Aside from its old nemesis Square, newcomer Apple Pay is a serious threat to PayPal in mobile apps, while Stripe has recently signed major partnerships with Twitter and Facebook, not to mention Amazon’s low-key entry into mobile payment.

Moreover, this move could make PayPal a takeover target, with Google often brought up as a possible buyer as it is eager to compete with Apple in mobile payment. Either way, it seems like the digital payment industry is due for a shake-up.

Kate Spade Brings Window Shopping Into The Future

We all know window shopping is usually the first step to purchase so why not enable checkouts from the sidewalk? Kate Spade & eBay have installed interactive kiosks that allow you to purchase items, with different products featured in the window display. The products are also delivered in an hour so it has the same quick turnaround as in-store. While it’s buzzworthy during store hours, it should provide utility after closing.

eBay Buys Shutl & Expands Same-Day Delivery

Though a large company snapping up a young startup isn’t anything to turn heads anymore, when eBay purchased London-based Shutl, it meant that it could expand its on-demand delivery service, eBay now, into 25 cities by the end of the next calendar year. The service will start in Chicago, and then expand into Dallas. It comes on the heels of Google announcing a same-day delivery service in the Bay Area, Walmart’s same-day service pushing into Denver, and Amazon Fresh moving into LA. It’s a nebulous, crowded space, and eBay is doing its part to distinguish itself ahead of its competitors at present.