The Interests tool in eBay’s app allows shoppers to tailor their experience on the marketplace based on their hobbies, styles and favorite brands.

EBay Inc. today launched a new personalization tool on its eBay app called Interests.

Interests allows shoppers to tailor their experiences on the markeplace based on their hobbies, styles and favorite brands. The marketplace giant says it uncovered things consumers search for every day and created hundreds of shopping themes “through data and algorithms” to help its 171 million active customers better navigate the more than 1 billion listings offering goods for sale.

In eBay’s app, shoppers can select their interests by scrolling through four questions:

  • “What do you love?” From gaming (Nintendo, tabletop games) to collecting (comic books, fossils) and tech (photography, robotics).
  • “What are you a fan of?” From movie and music genres to sports teams.
  • “What’s your style?” From women’s and men’s fashion styles to home décor and art.
  • “What are your favorite activities?” From the outdoors and fitness to parties and food.

EBay’s technology will then use a shopper’s selections and her browsing history to select items to show her. Shoppers can browse items in their selected interests and add more or edit interests any time from the home tab on the mobile app. Interests narrows the focus to help shoppers “discover things you love—and things you didn’t even know you might love,” eBay says.

“Our shopping experience should be as individual as each shopper on eBay,” says Bradford Shellhammer, head of personalization for eBay. “By asking people to tell us a little bit about their interests, we’re delivering a personalized store built around the things you care about most.”


More e-retailers and online marketplaces are seeing the value in adding personalized elements—such as a product recommendation engine based on browsing history at Inc., or Walmart’s location-specific services on its recently redesigned website.

Online fashion marketplace—and eBay partner with its own eBay storefront—Spring offers a similar onboarding questionnaire on its mobile app to personalize a shopper’s experience as she navigates through its more than 1.5 million SKUs. “When you’re on a small device, it’s important to put relevant information in front of you, otherwise it can be overwhelming,” says Katherine Prime, chief customer officer at Spring. “You have a short window to prove to them you are able to deliver what’s valuable to her because the competition for her attention is incredibly high.”

Interests is currently available on eBay’s U.S. mobile app for iOS and Android. In the coming months, eBay will roll the new feature out to mobile web, desktop and other regions.


EBay is No. 4 in the Internet Retailer 2018 Online Marketplaces.