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eBay Is Adding This Budding Tech to Boost Home Decor Business

October 17, 2016, 3:25 PM UTC
The eBay Inc. Campus Ahead Of Earnings Figures
Flags fly in front of eBay Inc. headquarters in San Jose, California, U.S., on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015. EBay is expected to release earnings figures on Oct. 21. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by David Paul Morris—Bloomberg via Getty Images

eBay debuted a new way it plans to take on e-commerce giant Amazon on Monday, focusing on the home decor and accessories market.

The online marketplace, which has 164 million active buyers according to the company, is curating collections of furniture and home accessories sold through the site into a new gateway called eBay Collective. Shoppers can shop by categories, such as tables, beds, or lighting.

Consumers can also shop by certain decorating style, such as “American Classics” or “Eastern Influence.” Additionally, eBay is adding image recognition technology to allow shoppers to flip through images of various interior design schemes, and eBay’s technology will suggest similar items listed on the site based on user preferences and selections.

Dubbed “Shop the Look,” the feature is powered by visual search technology acquired through the purchase of startup Corrigon earlier this year. Shoppers can hover over an image, and eBay’s search engine will rummage through furniture listings to surface inventory matching (or nearly matching) that particular portion of the image.

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eBay isn’t the only company to be focusing on visual search. Social scrapbooking site Pinterest, which is also popular among interior design enthusiasts for home decor inspiration, is working to improve its visual search methods. Amazon does some curation of furniture and home accessories, but it doesn’t have this kind of image recognition technology for suggesting similar items based on photos and images alone.

In February, eBay CEO Devin Wenig said that the company was working to help shoppers narrow down searches through the company’s listings, estimated to total more than a billion.

eBay reports third quarter earnings on Wednesday.