eBay leverages Google's AMP for faster mobile shopping

Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages are geared toward news content, but eBay sees its promise in the ecommerce space.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

eBay has turned to Google's open-source Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project to help build a faster mobile browsing experience for its customers.

The AMP version of the new browse experience is live, and there are roughly 8 million AMP-based browse nodes available in production, eBay Engineering Director Senthil Padmanabhan wrote in a blog post.

Geared toward publishing-based content, AMP delivers mobile-optimized content with minimal data requirements.

"Although the AMP project's initial focus was more toward publisher-based content and news feeds, the AMP component list was still sufficient to build a basic product for viewing ecommerce pages," Padmanabhan wrote. "Users will not be able to do actions on items (such as 'Add To Cart'), but they still get a solid browsing experience."

The list of AMP components is "growing day by day," he noted, becoming more relevant to the ecommerce world, with sidebar and carousel components, among other things.

Leveraging AMP will improve the eBay browsing experience for users coming to the site from external platforms, Padmanabhan explained in a separate blog post.

"Lots of users search for items in search engines, and many of them do so for price comparisons when they are in a physical store," he said. "Sometimes, when users are exploring products from a mobile device, they have a hard time getting the information they need because mobile networks can be slow. This is where AMP comes into play. It helps us to deliver a speed-optimized mobile browsing experience."

Calling AMP effectively a collection of "best practices", Padmanabhan said eBay incorporated some of those best practices into its regular product-development cycle, which lessened the differences between developing AMP and non-AMP pages.

Meanwhile, eBay is in the early stages of thinking about leveraging AMP technology for its search, similar to the way Google handles AMP results.

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