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E-Bay Turns the Experience on Its Head

August 15, 2013

It doesn’t seem like long ago that the web was just a mass of “one size fits all” experiences, it didn’t seem to matter who you were, all sites treated you the same.

We are now seeing a radical shift from that original vision as more personalized and tailored experiences emerge that take advantage of the knowledge sites now have about their users.

There are obviously different approaches to solving for this- the most obvious being the Amazon experience of a similar looking store on the outside with personalized items inside.

E-Bay’s latest initiative with gadgets, “My Gadgets”,┬áis really interesting because it does things quite differently. The way into it is as a “lock box” for a users gadgets; imagine a virtual storage locker where users can just store the details of all the stuff they own. The gadgets live in this locker and aren’t put up for sale until the user decides to.

The neat twist to this experience is that E-Bay adds its knowledge about pricing, so every gadget that users upload gets priced and that gadgets value can be tracked over time. At any moment, a user can decide to put one of their gadgets up for sale. The other neat thing is the cumulative value of the collection is also calculated dynamically, so gadget lovers can see just how much their collection is worth.

It’s an example of a really clever way of thinking about how E-Bay can attract new users to its service, by turning the experience on its head. It’s not about doing the same old thing with a new skin, or taking the Amazon approach to personalization, it’s something fresh and new with a really strong service dimension to it.

Developing a service based experience for gadget lovers is smart because they are such obvious collectors and renewers and offering gadget lovers something of value, something useful; easy access to the value of their gadgets makes it appealing and sticky. It shows that E-Bay have done their research to identify a huge segment opportunity, but have also got beyond the data and spent time researching users to get the experience just right.

Its pretty much guaranteed that E-Bay will start evolving and adapting this type of experience for other categories in the near future.

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