The eBay community has a strong history within eBay. eBay itself is considered a community, but the actual eBay community has been around nearly as long as eBay, 20 years.
Entry submitted by: Doug Smith (Community Tech Manager)
Community: The eBay Community
Lithy category: Digital Design Excellence
eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) is a global commerce leader including the Marketplace, StubHub and Classifieds platforms. Collectively, we connect millions of buyers and sellers around the world, empowering people and creating opportunity through Connected Commerce. Founded in 1995 in San Jose, Calif., eBay is one of the world's largest and most vibrant marketplaces for discovering great value and unique selection. In 2016, eBay enabled $84 billion of gross merchandise volume. For more information about the company and its global portfolio of online brands, visit www.ebayinc.com.
The eBay community has a strong history within eBay. eBay itself is considered a community, but the actual eBay community has been around nearly as long as eBay, 20 years. The eBay Community has gone through many different versions, platforms, providers, and teams. For quite some time, the eBay Community was largely left to function on its own with little eBay Community involvement. In 2016, eBay decided to shift focus to Community, and dedicate a team to community growth and development.
We have integrated our eBay for Business Blogs and announcements into the eBay Community, so the eBay Community will become the source for eBay updates. Members can learn, share, and participate in the conversation around general updates as well as around major Seller Updates, where blog posts will be integrated with dedicated discussion boards, manned by eBay employees ready to answer questions.
We currently have far more eBay Community employee involvement than we have seen in years, and we are piloting programs where employees from all areas of the business will participate in chats, write blog posts, film videos and answer questions—including top-level eBay executives.
Our online customer service channel integrates directly with the eBay Community. eBay buyers or sellers can ask the community a question via online customer service tools, which will be posted in our Ask the Expert board for an answer. We have also piloted a program with Lithium Response to make management, engagement, and metrics measurement and reporting more efficient.
Our experts program helps empower our most active eBay Community members to help with CS call deflection, by answering questions funneled to them directly via online customer service channels.
Our Knowledge Base provides a searchable database of curated answers from our community experts and eBay employees, providing search friendly content to funnel traffic to the eBay Community.
We have worked through a multi-phased redesign to bring the platform current and responsive, incorporating Lithium best-practice recommendations, eBay employee feedback, and community expert and member feedback. Our re-design phases have incorporated eBay for Business blogs and announcements to make the community an eBay news resource, super user integration as part of our experts program, social sharing integration, integration with our online customer service flow, as well as responsive design for mobile integration.
The eBay Community has an improved, cleaner design, more white space, and more graphics and color throughout. The eBay Community home page features carousel images that link to category pages, can be used for announcements, and help us integrate more with the eBay brand.
Our improved menu structure incorporates drop-down menus, making it easier to navigate deeper into categories including Seller News, which houses our eBay for Business blog and our Announcements, our Knowledge Base where users can find our Questions and Answers sections, as well as our Discussion Boards and Groups.
Improved search options feature a prominent search bar, allowing members to search the eBay Community, a category from within that category, users, or private messages. Our search also features an auto-suggestion that brings up relevant results as terms are entered in the search bar.
Breadcrumbs and pages numbers at the top and bottom of posts help make navigation around the eBay Community simpler and more efficient.
Our blog pages have been improved with enhanced posting features, sharing, and subscription options.
Improved member-to-member support, with enhancements for our experts who help answer the majority of questions filtered to the community via our online customer service integration, as well as questions posted by members.
We worked with Lithium professional services on a phased re-design of the eBay Community that incorporated best-practice industry standards, community member and expert feedback, as well as input from eBay employees and management.
A clean design that integrated with the brand, and improved navigation was important, as well as a design that was responsive and integrated with other eBay mobile assets.
We have also worked with Lithium to pilot Lithium Social Media Management for S to help us more effectively manage the eBay Community, and track metrics and analytics.
We knew in October 2016 that when the eBay Community switched to a responsive platform, we would see a downturn in traffic, but since then our traffic has continually trended upwards.
Our Community Health score is best in class according to Lithium standards. We regularly score over 800, and 650 is the average CHI among Lithium e-commerce customers.
Forums are our most popular destination, but most other areas of the eBay Community are trending upwards as well.
Our Helpfuls given (Kudos) trend since our October re-launch:
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