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Dive Brief:

  • Alongside other major retailers adding AI features, eBay has introduced its “magical listing” tool, which uses artificial intelligence to analyze and summarize details about products from images, according to a Thursday blog post. The company also improved its image background removal tool, enabling sellers to share better product images.
  • Sellers can take or upload a photo in the eBay app and then use AI to generate titles, descriptions, release dates and other important information.
  • The company has released the tool to employees in beta, but it plans to release it to the public in the coming months, per the press release.

Dive Insight:

The AI tool is meant to streamline the process of writing detailed, accurate and in-depth product descriptions to attract more customers. EBay wants those same listings to be faster and easier for sellers to generate, in part to help with the “cold start” issue, wherein first-time sellers can feel overwhelmed with creating a competitive listing.

EBay said it plans to integrate more artificial intelligence into its operations.

The company did not say how long it has been developing its magical listing tool, but its previous version allowed sellers to write a title for their listing and categorize the item, but they had the option to use AI to generate a product description. With that first version, eBay said 30% of U.S. sellers using the app on iOS or Android tried the tool at least once, and more than 95% used the AI-drafted descriptions.

“These AI description tools were merely a first step on our path towards seamless, magical listings. We’re thrilled to reveal the next version of this magical listing tool, which takes the old adage ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ and makes it literal,” the company wrote in its announcement.

Other major retailers have been weaving artificial intelligence into their businesses. In August, Amazon announced that it uses generative AI to summarize customer reviews from verified buyers. That same month, Walmart debuted its My Assistant tool, which uses AI to help non-store staffers write drafts, sum up large documents and manage other tasks.

In addition to enhancing its technological capabilities, eBay has made key acquisitions to improve its collectibles market. In August 2022, the company made a deal to buy TCGplayer, a tech platform catering to the collectibles industry, for $295 million.