Fast Company

Embracing The Grid Helps eBay's CMO Lead The Visual Feed

Facebook acquired Instagram for $715 million. Pinterest hit 2.5 billion monthly page views. We’re living in image-obsessed times. How should businesses adapt? Experts provide a snapshot.

Richelle Parham

Chief marketing officer, eBay

Parham oversaw the recent relaunch of the eBay home page. The Feed, as it’s called, has a grid design that emphasizes products based on the user’s browsing and purchase history.

The Shopping Expert

“One of my philosophies: Put the customer decision-making process front and center. EBay is all about connecting people to things they love. We have an inventory of 350 million items, and we want to help people make the right buying decisions. In designing the Feed, we mapped out the customer’s journey toward a purchase, from the moment he’s aware of a product to how he researches it and then decides to buy it.

When I arrived at eBay, I created a customer research department. I wanted to infuse the organization with an insights-driven culture. The problem in pure customer research is often data; the challenge is cutting through the noise to identify real insights. We took all the information from customers, such as product reviews and videos, and created an internal app. Everyone, even the CEO, has it downloaded on their iPads. The app allows employees to get a peek into who our customers are. You can read, in the customers’ words, what they like and what they want to buy.

We found the number-one thing customers care about is curation. We also learned that big, rich photos really matter. That’s why the Feed is all about creating a visual envi­ronment of the things you love.”

[Photo by Gabriela Hasbun]

Fast Talk: The Visual Shift:

Joe Stewart, The Creative Visionary
Akshay Kothari, The Headliner
Edward Flynn and Chris Jacobs, The Collaborators
Alexandra Bylund and David Los, The Monetizers
Smart Talk: Gannett, Airbnb, Pixable

[Ed note: The number of items in eBay's inventory has been corrected since it originally appeared in the print version of this story in Fast Company's April issue.]

Add New Comment

0 Comments