I’m not an avid user of eBay, and I don’t follow closely the design changes brought on the eBay product. However, an in-depth series of articles by eBay Strategy about what eBay calls its “new product shopping experience” got me interested. Basically, this new experience is about product pages at this stage, and I was really impressed by those. eBay Strategy rightfully pointed out some bad/ugly points in the implementation, especially regarding the data served through those product pages; I encourage you to refer to eBay Strategy to get more details. In this article, I will focus on some design choices that make me think those pages can potentially be the best product pages ever (yes, strong statement!).
Why do I believe eBay may have released the best product pages ever? Because they have acknowledged that the way we shop products is different from one category to another, and they have slightly customized those product pages on category basis. They are leveraging product data in a way that truly makes sense to the customer.
For sure, the experience offered through these pages is heavily reliant on the accuracy of product listings, which may be questionable at this point (see the article from eBay Strategy). Also, those new pages are currently available on a limited set of categories (MP3 Players, GPS units and DVDs). It will be interesting to look at those pages in a couple of months once the bug fixing will be done and they will be rolled out in more categories.
The Apple iPod example:
The "Back to the future" DVD example: