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April 21, 2006

eBay Express is Live - exclusive tour here!

note: eBay is still rolling out eBay Express - if these links don't work, keep hitting refresh until you get a live server.

eBay Express gives buyers a rapid and easy way to buy eBay fixed-price and eBay store listings (there is NOT a new listing type, but a new way to shop those types of existing ebay listings).

To begin the tour let’s take a look at the home page of eBay Express(EE).

Home Page

http://www.express.ebay.com/

  • The categories are in the top tabs vs the unusual eBay left navigation
  • The home page is very simple – categories and a search box
  • Notice the shopping cart at the top!  Yes, EE has a shopping cart

New Search Engine

The best part of EE is the new search engine.  The new search engine searches based on relevance and is very intelligent.  Here’s an example, if you type: “nike shoe 10 running” EE automatically detects the attributes in the string and uses them in the search versus a doing a 1991 style raw text search like eBay core does.

Here are the results.

Browse/Search results page

The search results page  and browse result pages are important and different as well:

  • They “learn” based on conversion.  Take the computer landing page for example:

At the time of this writing, Laptop PCs show up first, but lets say buyers buy more from “components”, that virtual category will start to rise to the top. This is somewhat like google’s AdRank algorithm.

Item Page

The item page is also enhanced, here’s an example of a UNIQUE item page:

  • Notice the cleaner presentation/header at the top and the tabbed description/related items. 
  • Also note you can see this exact same item on eBay to do an apples to apples comparison
  • Some item pages (book/music/video/games/etc.) have more of a half.com kind of interface where you see the item described once and then the sellers that have the item - example.

  • Notice that items are listed lowest price first (like Amazon marketplace)
  • The default is TOTAL COST which is base price plus shipping
  • This will drive true prices down instead of base pricing down and shipping up.

Here’s an example, on this DVD, look at the base prices.  If you looked at base price only the 4th item would appear to be lowest.  However, when you factor in shipping the 9.99+2.99 item wins hands down!

Shopping Cart

The coolest aspect of EE is the shopping cart.  Unlike ebay where if you want to buy 2 things you have to go:  shop, buy, pay, shop, buy, pay, on EE, you go shop1, shop2, buy/pay.  A much easier process AND for newbies the registration process isn’t until the end and it’s much lighter weight (no paypal if paying with CC)!!  Example

Checkout

The only blemish on EE is the checkout – it’s the usual eBay checkout with the ability to process the cart.  This leaves out some shipping flexibility and other “nice to haves” you would have at a regular ecommerce site.  I’m sure eBay is working on this though.

  1. Checkout step one - change your order - quantities/adds/remove, etc.
  2. Checkout step two - payment (paypal option other is CC only)

Conclusions

Personally, I plan on shopping for all fixed price style items via eBay Express – the time savings is just HUGE.  Look for the widescreen harry potter DVD on core vs express.  I timed it and it’s 2mins on EE (to find the lowest total cost) and it’s at LEAST 10 to do it on core.  If you buy 10 DVDs a month, that really adds up!

It’s early in the game, but I think that most current ebay BIN shoppers will switch to this over time as they learn about it and sellers are going to have to change their strategies to leverage the new way to shop.

Want to learn more - Sign up now for Marathon!!

ChannelAdvisor’s Marathon conference is May 3-4 in Research Triangle Park North Carolina and we plan on having lots of content (tour/strategies/etc.) and discussions about eBay express so if you feel this is important to your business, be one of the first to adopt advanced strategies that will give you a selling edge on eBay Express!  We have a limited set of seats available so sign up now.  eBay is coming with Paypal and even the folks from Google if you want to see what they are up to.

More details at: http://www.channeladvisor.com/express

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