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eBay is looking to improve its stickiness for buyers by creating 600 social networks around items for sale on the site.

The ‘Neighborhoods’ feature amalgamates shoppers’ photos, reviews, tips and responses in a bid to provide a fuller experience than the site’s existing discussion forums.

Apparently thought up by an ‘engagement’ group within eBay’s buyer experience team, it aims to tap into the benefits of social commerce and provide more resources for 'passionistas', the high-value consumers web companies are increasingly looking to target.

It comes after a fall in the number of items being listed on eBay in the second quarter of the year, and will aim to address criticism of the site’s usability.

Jamie Iannone, the eBay vice president in charge of buyer experience, told AP:

"People who are passionate about certain brands, trends, celebrities or products have been discovering and trading with one another for years.  Neighborhoods makes this even easier."

eBay said it would also be revamping its checkout process and rolling out other new features before the end of the year.

Related research:
Social Commerce Report 2007

Related stories:
Word of mouth has most influence – Nielsen
Q&A: Rick Bruner, director of research at Doubleclick
Social media’s influence overstated?

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Published 10 October, 2007 by Richard Maven

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