Monday, June 18, 2007

THE NEW AND MORE DEMOCRATIC EBAY

Under pressure from analysts and investors to speed growth, eBay plans to introduce simplified layouts and bring a more social experience to its users.

eBay hopes the initiative will simplify buying, be more entertaining, and make shopping more like shopping in the real world — adding interactivity and mobility so people browsing from isolated computers feel like they’re going to the mall with buddies.

“EBay’s really feeling the maturation of the market, and they’re desperate to bring more buyers to the site,” Ina Steiner, editor of AuctionBytes.com, a Web site that closely tracks eBay’s merchants, told the New York Times. “They have to do something.”

Along with a simpler, cleaner homepage design (analysts have complained that the current page is the most cluttered in e-commerce), the San Jose company is extending its buying-and-selling platform to run on mobile devices, blogs, networking sites such as Facebook and “widgets” that live outside a browser on computer desktops.

“You will see more changes to EBay’s buyer experience in the next 12 months than you probably have seen in the past three or four years,” eBay CEO Meg Whitman told the Los Angeles Times.

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