Unlike other big internet retailers, eBay has failed to easily organise its over 900 million listings in a consumer friendly way. Users of the site are often overwhelmed with the sheer number of items available and often have difficulty finding exactly what they are looking for.
This has led many consumers to forgo the site altogether and do their shopping on competitor's sites such as Amazon, where it is tremendously simple to search for and find products.
eBay is well aware of this problem and with the hope of rectifying it, the company announced on Thursday that it will be buying the 10-year-old Swedish company Expertmaker, which specialises in using artificial intelligence and machine learning to organise large sets of data.
The two companies have been working together since 2010 and recently collaborated on a 'structured data' project that consisted of making eBay's site less cluttered and easier to navigate. Currently, Expertmaker is also responsible for automatically adding additional information to products such as their colour and model number which makes it easier for sellers to list their items.
Financial terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed but all of the company's employees will be joining eBay's structured-data team. Lars Hard, the founder and CEO of Expertmaker, will be assuming the role of director of data science.
After spinning off PayPal, eBay has made a number of small acquisitions in an effort to boost its business which has faced increased competition from Amazon. Last year the company acquired Twice to build up eBay Valet and Cargigi to build up eBay Motors.
eBay has certainly recognised a great deal of areas where it can improve and the acquisition of Expertmaker will certainly help the company reorganise its site in a way that appeals to consumers.