eBay announced last week a collaboration with media and entertainment company Mashable to create “shoppable” stories across the U.K. and U.S. According to a post on the eBay blog, the pilot partnership lets Mashable’s audience use eBay to shop, browse and purchase products matching those featured on the news site without ever leaving the Mashable site. More specifically, Mashable journalists will select and match fashion and other items available on eBay’s global platform to the images used in the stories or articles they're writing, and then readers can shop the looks by clicking on shopping tag icons embedded within the Mashable stories. Every product highlighted on the Mashable image is independently selected by Mashable journalists, and when a reader buys something featured, the journalists may earn affiliate commissions.
Total Retail's Take: The concept of shoppable content isn't new for retailers and e-commerce sites. Instagram, for example, was working with Target and Nordstrom on the idea of shoppable images back in 2014. However, this move is significant since this is the first time eBay has enabled such a capability outside of its own website. By introducing the eBay widget to Mashable, the online retailer will be able to understand whether elements such as seller reputation and delivery times matter as much to consumers as they normally do on the eBay platform. eBay's marketing team will use the data and learned consumer insights from the pilot to accelerate business growth and deliver scalable solutions. "We know a lot about how people shop on our site, but less about how they shop off it, so we wanted to bring a simplified shopping experience that brings products to Mashable’s passionate audience rather than expect them to come to us,” said Dan Burdett, head of eBay EMEA Marketing Lab, in the blog post.