eBay Deepens Search Options

Natasha Sholl By Natasha Sholl | 21 Aug 2018

In a battle for user experience, eBay has introduced new search features, banking on speed and the visual element to get ahead.

With heated marketplace competition, eBay has no choice but to continually evolve in an effort to improve user experience. Its latest expansion of search is Shop by Diagram. This is eBay’s latest motor tool which lets users search and shop for parts visually using interactive diagrams.

The feature aims to mimic what happens in a physical auto parts store. After a customer enters the car they’re shopping for, they then select a vehicle system (for example brakes or suspension….spoiler alert, these are the only two car parts I could actually name off the top of my head…but I’m not the target market…) and then eBay will show all the original equipment and aftermarket parts available that fit that vehicle.

This is the next stage of the evolution of search, following on from image search, Find It on eBay and Interests. Making search more interactive and visual is key, especially in categories where consumers have still been relying on bricks-and-mortar stores because of the touch and feel element or customer service requirements.

The technology pairs structured data with diagrams, taking schematics from thousands of North American vehicles from 1985 and combining these with scalable vector-based graphics and using Elasticsearch for a fast user experience. The tool works with existing listings, allowing consumers to zoom in and out when required. Shop by Diagram is available on mobile and desktop but is currently only available in North America. It is unknown if the tool will be available globally, but based on the use of data and schematics to create a better user experience, it may have wider applications in other categories apart from the motor industry in the future.

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