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How eBay Inc. Uses Data to Improve the E-Commerce Experience

eBay Inc. – with its 100 million users, 400 million active listings and a trove of data vital to e-commerce research – has become a destination for talented economists, according to a recent Bloomberg story. At the American Economic Association conference in Philadelphia this week, the company will be recruiting for its economic research team, which mines behavioral data for insights to improve eBay’s service for its buyers and sellers.

eBay’s Economics Center of Excellence – part of eBay Research Labs – focuses on applied and theoretical microeconomic research, as well as algorithmic game theory and mechanism design, to expand the frontiers of e-commerce research. However, the work isn’t just theoretical; it also helps with business decision making by:

  • Creating better matches of buyers and sellers
  • Reducing market frictions by increasing trust and safety in eBay’s marketplace
  • Assessing the underlying value of different advertising and marketing strategies
  • Exploring the market benefits of different pricing structures

The Bloomberg piece quotes Steve Tadelis – who started eBay’s economics research team in 2011 after taking a leave from his teaching post at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business – on how companies can benefit from rigorous analysis of big data. At eBay, economists’ work has led to insights that influenced product development for the benefit of the company’s customers.

“It’s fantastic data for research and it’s a fantastic area of study for economists,” Tadelis told Bloomberg.

Read the full article “Human Behavior Trove Lures Economists to U.S. Tech Titans” on Bloomberg’s website.


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By Ana Cantu

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