EBay Motors is reaching out to the enthusiast crowd with a new Web site devoted to aftermarket customizers and car lovers looking for muscle cars, classics, and automotive odds and ends. The online community and personalization platform is called eBay Garage. The idea is that auto enthusiasts can use the vertical to show off their wheels and get props from other enthusiasts. It is also meant to whet visitors' appetites for such vehicles, not to mention aftermarket parts and accessories.
The eBay Garage platform uses the functionality of eBay's My Vehicles platform, which the company says has about two million vehicle profiles. Kind of like a Facebook for cars, the site lets visitors "like" a vehicle, follow a customizing project someone else is doing, follow conversations, etc. The company says people can tag vehicles to create groups. The site also has mobile functionality, per eBay.
EBay is also pitching the new auto channel via a promotion with pro golfer Bubba Watson, wherein eBay Garage users will have a chance to win Bubba Watson’s Ford 2012 F-150 SVT Raptor. Users get one entry for every picture added to a public profile, every “favorite” garnered during the promotion period, or for converting a private profile that has pictures to a public profile.
Danny Chang, head of marketing and site experience at eBay Motors, says the company is promoting awareness of eBay Garage through the eBay Motors site, where eBay Garage has its own home page driving visitors to engage with the experience. He tells Marketing Daily that the eBay Garage home page also hosts a video that describes the eBay Garage experience, adding that on people who either download the eBay Motors iPhone app for the first time or update their app to the latest version are prompted to create their first vehicle profile for their eBay Garage, and can use eBay Garage. "eBay channels like the eBay Ink blog, the eBay Motors Facebook page and the eBay Motors Twitter handle combined have more than 582,000 fans; they have also been used to promote eBay Garage," he says.
Chang says the goal is to deepen engagement with eBay Motors community members "by providing a more personalized, social, visually enhanced experience. We’re helping connect car fans with others. And eBay Garage also helps us better tailor a customer’s shopping experience on eBay Motors. When we know what vehicle a person has saved in their profile, we can target their search results and only include parts that fit their specific vehicle," he says. Down the road the platform’s ability to target aftermarket can be applied to other aspects of a more tailored shopping experience, "such as special promotions on parts specific to the cars you own," he says.
Over the past year, more than two million vehicle profiles -- both public and private -- have been created using My Vehicles, the previous iteration of eBay Garage, per Chang. "With the launch of eBay Garage and the more robust, personalized features, we expect to see this community continue to grow, and engagement to deepen, based on the more social, multifaceted experience that eBay Garage now offers to car buffs."