eBay India launches shopping cart
eBay India have announced what I think is one of the best developments on any eBay site for a very long time: they’re adding a shopping cart. Going rather against the grain of the current “auctions or bust” mentality, eBay India is promoting Buy It Now, and has added the shopping cart and a new streamlined checkout process to facilitate quick and easy shopping. Rajan Mehra, Country Manager for eBay India, said:
“While auctions will always be an important part of the eBay India business, we’ve also noticed that a large number of our sellers and buyers who trade in new items in categories such as electronics, mobile phones and computers prefer the Fixed Price format.”
The shopping cart will allow buyers to select multiple items from different sellers as they browse the site. Items from different sellers can then be checked out at the same time. The shopping cart allows for much greater flexibility than is normal for eBay: at the moment eBay requires a commitment to purchase far too early on: you either ‘commit to buy’ or you have to move on and risk losing the item (and the watch list is FAR too clunky to use in one shopping session). With a shopping cart, buyers can put something in that cart safe in the knowledge that they don’t have to purchase it yet, they can keep on browsing, and *that* means they keep looking for longer. The longer they look, the more they purchase.
The particularly nice thing about eBay India’s shopping cart implementation is that it doesn’t attempt to split the site like eBay Express does: it simply adds another incredibly useful layer of functionality. Currently, the “add to cart” button appears only on BIN items, but I’d like to see it extended to auction items too: especially teamed with Bid Assistant, a shopping cart could be a great way to keep buyers on eBay by making it easier to build a watch list or a bidding list. Sadly, it’s only available for buyers registered in India at the moment, but this is such a great development for both buyers and sellers, and I sincerely hope it’s implemented on the rest of eBay’s sites soon.