by Jon Swartz, USA TODAY
SAN FRANCISCO -- EBay is hurtling into the digital age with a new logo, major redesign and aggressive plans to wade deeper into daily deals, search and shipping.
The most striking change is the visual, Pinterest-like home page "Feed," which lists brands that users follow and makes suggestions based on their browsing history and past purchases.
Feed rolls out to U.S. customers over the next 100 days, with international launches beginning in early 2013.
EBay's decision to mothball its stodgy, stale old site in favor of larger photos and more white space is a reflection of the changing tastes of younger, mobile-savvy users. Some 105 million people actively use the site.
The moves underscore fundamental changes in eBay's business model. Today, more than 70% of 350 million items listed are new. "It's the evolution of our service and how customers use it," eBay President Devin Wenig said in a phone interview.
Industry watchers say the changes are necessary, as more consumers opt for smartphones and tablets instead of PCs. "We believe every online experience will become organized around individual users and their preferences," says Jon Ehrlich, co-founder of social-commerce company Copious.
The Feed announcement comes after eBay in August launched Lifestyle Deals, a Groupon-esque daily deals service in San Francisco, Chicago, New York and elsewhere.
On Wednesday, the company unveiled eBay Now, an app that offers "on-demand delivery service" of goods from local stores. The service is available only in San Francisco, but more cities are expected to be added soon.
Amazon offers "local express delivery" for some items in major cities.
EBay's search also underwent a makeover, with an autocomplete feature similar to Google's. Users can personalize their search results for particular items.
The news sent eBay shares up 1.2%, to $46.76, in trading Wednesday.
Wenig hinted that more is to come. "We will continue to make shopping more intuitive, more convenient and more relevant," he said. "This is just the beginning."