eBay: meet four objectives in one single mission

Can the integration of behavioural science in a project help you to meet precise objectives? This week, I would like to provide an answer to that question using a case study. 

eBay has numerous tools to help users but had a problem to make them visible, relevant and understandable. 

eBay has 4 well-defined objectives for the help centre of the site in mind. But those 4 objectives had never been met: 

  • Objective 1: increase user satisfaction by 4%
  • Objective 2: increase the support frequency by 15%
  • Objective 3: decrease the number of visitors who leave the support homepage by 15%
  • Objective 4: decrease the number of intrusive phone calls to the call centre by 10% 

eBay has done a lot of background work on help centres, together with usability experts, in order to build screens that could help them meet the 4 objectives above. 

Here’s the support homepage eBay has developed. 

eBay interface before Netway's work

Bottom-line results: 

  • Increase of ratio leaving by 10%
  • Disparate kinds of behaviour
  • Users use the product search zone in the top right zone of the interface
  • Users stay in the Beginners zone, without using the other sections. 

Since the objectives weren’t met, eBay decided to call upon our experts in behavioural science. 

Human behaviour:

Is an entity of data that come from different parts of our brain,

Is for 95% non-conscious…

That’s why we have first of all analyzed the data of the different memories, in order to understand the mental model of users that have a problem on eBay.

Brain and cognitive zones

This research has allowed us to classify the help articles into categories that match the semantic representation of users. 

In order to make objective choices, our experts have used software that was developed in-house with the help of different scientists. These tools can predict the behaviour of users and compare it with our own expertise and knowhow. As such, no risks have to be taken.

This first phase has allowed us to ensure both lexical and semantic memories are taken into account. 

Brain and visual zones

In the next phase we have used our method to build screens that help the user to direct his eyes to the appropriate zones. 

And once again, our tools to predict visual behaviour have been very valuable to help our experts to make decisions that are as objective as possible. 

Here’s the result:

eBay interface after Netway's work

Bottom-line results

  • Objective 1: increase user satisfaction by +4% (result: +16,5%)
  • Objective 2: increase the frequency of support by +15% (result: + 85%)
  • Objective 3: decrease the number of people leaving the support homepage by -15% (result: – 74%)
  • Objective 4: decrease the number of phone calls to the call centre by -10% (result: – 27,5%)

I leave it up to you to make your own conclusions…

Have an excellent week…

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