Ben is a lifelong Nintendo fan who likes to build websites, and make video games. He buys way too much Lego.
eBay is the most popular online auction site – yet in all the years it has been online the way you interact with the site has remained the same. That’s all about to change.
Recently eBay asked me to take a look at their new collections functionality – and set up a few collections of my own. The layout of eBay Collections give a clear nod to Pinterest and this is no bad thing. Pinterest has had a big impact on the online world with many retailers taking inspiration from their design, creating more visual ways for people to buy things online.
Collections are much like Pinterests boards – giving you a way to create lists of things you want. Unlike Pinterest you can make the most of the eBay platform by using the auction system to buy the things you have collected, or have seen in other peoples collections.
Creating collections is really straight forward. Just browse eBay as normal and when you see something you like you can press the “add to collection” link. You can then create a new collection or add it to an existing collection.
eBay has had wishlists for a while – but they are private, and passive, acting like bookmarks. Where Collections differ is that they allow you to create visual lists that you can share with others. Also you can browse collections made by others. This is particularly helpful when you’re looking for inspiration, or recommendations from others.
Collections can be created when you want to make lists of items for things you are doing. For instance I purchased my house a couple of years ago and have been renovating and decorating it ever since. The next room I want to decorate is my office – and so I created a home office collection where I keep ideas for my new office.
I have also created collections for video gaming and movies – 2 of my favorite past times. My wife loves cooking (and I love eating) so I made a cooking collection – and we both enjoy camping so I’ve got a collection all about the great outdoors. You can check out all my other collections on my eBay profile.
In addition to the collections eBay have now added user profiles (you can see mine here), giving eBay the feel of a social network.
Along with the profiles comes a feed view for the homepage – showing items recommended specifically for you. I would guess the feed is created by searching for collections that contain items you have purchased. My homepage feed is full of Lego! 🙂
Will it Work?
I imagine that in the future there will be three groups of people on eBay. Those who just buy stuff as they always have, those who create collections, and those who browse. I think I’ll fall into the third group – and I’m very interested to see how the features develop and what other social elements are added to eBay in the future.