At the Highline Stages in New York this morning, eBay launched its eBay Now app, which lets shoppers order items and get them delivered in about an hour, although its only available in San Francisco for the moment, with more markets to come. It also unveiled a new site with features focused on personalization and a new logo. "Today is about the future of commerce," declared eBay president David Wenig, "What makes today unique? Speed. Smartphones. Access. During the last election, mobile commerce was a novelty. We now expect $10 billion of shopping annually on eBay mobile apps."
There are now 100 million active users and 25 million sellers moving $70 billion worth of merchandise on eBay each year. Arriving at the eBay site now gives users a much more personalized list of products, powered by eBay's acquisition of startups like Hunch and Svvply, which focused on building a taste graph for users and recommending relevant items. As Hunch founder Chris Dixon told me when his company was purchased, "There is only so much you can teach your system with the big academic data sets that are publicly available," Mr. Dixon said. "With eBay's data behind us, expect Hunch to get much, much better."
eBay isn't shy about what they know. "We know what users searched for, what brands they love, what device they are on, what their friends have purchased. We enter a convenant with our users," said CMO Richelle Parhman. "They want us to use all this great data to provide them with the most personalized experiences and products." An interesting example of this kind of personalization is the eBay Motors app, which lets you add your vehicle and shows you just the parts for that specific make and model during search.
You can get a good look at the new eBay interface here. There is a new feature rolling out to the main site starting today called "the feed" that shows users a personalized Pinterest style stream of images. "We've solved one of the long standing problems of the internet, which is that search killed the joy of serendipitous shopping," said CTO Mark Carges. "You can still find exactly what you want and compare to get the best price. But you can also browse and discover as you would walking through a classic department store."