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January 31, 2008

FP+auctions - eBay testing split screen system?

On some of the interviews around earnings, JD and Meg hinted about some secret sauce that would allow a buyer to see auctions and fixed price items in a 'special eBay kind of way that only eBay can provide.  There are only a couple of ways to do this that I've ever seen:

  • Mixed - some kind of mixed listings with icons/etc designating the two types of listings
  • Tabbed - currently on eBay you get mixed results and then you can segregate with the auction only or BIN tab.
  • Split screen - you can split the screen horizontally or vertically for top/bottom or side/side viewing of two 'lists'.

At a roundtable at the e-commerce forum, an eBayer hinted about a split screen view that is roaming around the playground.

Today I noticed that the mystery person at onlyebay has snagged a screen shot and it's definitely a split view.

After studying this a while, I have mixed thoughts.  On one hand it's neat to see both together, but is this really the best buyer experience?  I could see how it would be very overwhelming to newer buyers, but perfect for power-buyers.

This is the kind of thing that you'd need to A/B test about 10,000 iterations of to make sure you nail it and also see how it performs against BestMatch/ending first.  No matter how snazzy it is, if it can't beat those 'views', then it shouldn't make it to production IMO.

eBay strategies readers - love it?  hate it?


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