TechDogs-"Ecommerce Giant eBay Introduces New AI-based Feature For Sellers!"

Emerging Technology

Ecommerce Giant eBay Introduces New AI-based Feature For Sellers!

By TD NewsDesk

TD NewsDesk

Updated on Fri, Sep 8, 2023

Overall Rating
Guess who's stepping into the spotlight today?

It's none other than eBay!

They've got a new trick up their virtual sleeve, so let's dive in and discover the magic behind its Ecommerce sorcery!

EBay, the global ecommerce business, launched an AI tool to automatically create listings for a product based on a single image!

The feature, which is only available on the iOS version of the eBay app at the moment, will soon roll out to Android users as well. The AI tool can generate a title, description, category, subcategory, list price and shipping cost, all from a single photograph of the item. How cool is that?

Incorporating AI into the selling process is something eBay has been working on for a while now, with initiatives like AI-generated product catalog descriptions and a background removal tool for photographs.

"The 'photo-to-listing' technology was developed in-house, and the staff will use the generated listing data to 'train' the model internally.” A representative for eBay stated to TechCrunch in an email that "we have a license to use listing data" per the rules and conditions. “At eBay, we’re using AI to reduce friction across the platform and transform the listing process. With this tool, it makes the seller’s job of listing items incredibly painless, easy, and even fun.”

In a blog post, eBay's U.S. head of business, Adam Ireland, revealed the company's plans to release a plugin that will enable sellers to automatically produce item descriptions using content currently available across the web, with the use of an OpenAI language model.

“There’s no need to work through a cold start with AI: as soon as you’re ready to sell, your listing is ready to post,” eBay writes in a blog post. “We’ve been hard at work on the next version of a new, magical listing experience, which uses AI to analyze, research and extrapolate information from a small amount of data provided by the seller.”

TechDogs-"Image Of eBay Logo"  

Why Aren't eBay's Merchants Pleased With This Move?

One forum user, vssoutlet, claims that eBay's AI-generated text is misleading and in some cases downright untrue; this is just one of many complaints about the poor quality of eBay's description generator in limited tests. Vssoutlet cites an example listing for a Pentax SLR camera, in which eBay's AI-produced description incorrectly states that the camera comes with a lens kit.

Someone selling on eBay under the alias IJustWondering complained on the subreddit /r/Flipping, a Reddit forum dedicated to the practice of flipping high-profile merchandise, that the eBay description generator often "re-states the item specifics and the title" and only "adds fluff." In a similar vein to vssoutlet, Hardcorelogic says that the AI-written explanations "contain mistakes" and "[are] too long."

"By the time I got done fixing [one of the descriptions] and shortening it, I could have written it myself," writes Hardcorelogic.

eBay sellers appear to be taking issue not only with generative AI's propensity to spout untruths and hallucinate but also with the use cases that eBay envisions for it. eBay is aware of this; the new listing-generating tool includes a disclaimer warning that the text might not be completely accurate.

According to eBay vendors, the descriptions supplied by the platform's AI aren't specific enough for most customers. They argue that even for simple things, the description generator is overly wordy and repetitious. Furthermore, the automated text does not detail the features and shortcomings of the products being sold.

Is eBay The Only Online Marketplace To Use AI?

eBay is not the only marketplace embracing AI to address challenges and problems. Shopify has also enabled features for AI-generated product descriptions. Amazon is testing AI tools for AI-generated review summaries and to automatically create titles, descriptions and bullet points for specific products. Amazon's new tool, in contrast to eBay's, will "strictly regulate" the information included in the generated product listings rather than rely on images.

TechDogs-"Image Of eBay's U.S. Head Of Business, Adam Ireland"
So, will eBay's latest photo-to-listing AI wizardry turn out to be a genius move? Or will tech leaders like Amazon, Microsoft and Google rule the roost?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

First published on Fri, Sep 8, 2023

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