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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Marty Puranik, Marco Meinardi

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eBags.com Lets Mobile Shoppers "Love It" or "Leave It" to Find the Perfect Handbag

DENVER, CO -- (Marketwired) -- 08/13/14 -- The eBags.com team looked for a better way for handbag shoppers to sort through its vast array of over 12,000 handbags. Taking lessons from popular dating applications, it found the answer; think "Hot or Not" for handbag shopping. The leading online retailer launched an engaging, innovative way to find the essential handbag on mobile devices. Swipe right if you "Love it" and left to "Leave it," and ultimately the solution you are looking for appears. The custom-built website feature and algorithm, named "eBags Obsession," interprets responses and quickly presents a new handbag option, all the while keeping track of over 100 variables and each customer's individual preferences. For those gift giving or who want to get a head start in the process, they can pre-inform eBags Obsession about their specific color, style or occasion preferences and needs.

eBags Obsession was created in a collaboration between its handbag merchandising team and its software developers. eBags Obsession came about in an idea generating session aimed at increasing the speed and efficacy of mobile device shopping on eBags.com. The team admired the simplicity, usability, and fun of popular dating mobile applications. This goal became a project for an in-house "Hackathon," where a prototype is built quickly, then tested with user focus groups, adjustments are made, and launched to a select population of mobile shoppers for final-tuning and feedback. After monitoring the results, revisions to the algorithm were made and the Beta version of eBags Obsession was released to a wider audience. Finally, after incorporating customer suggestions and development tweaking, eBags Obsession was rolled out to 100% of eBags.com mobile users in early August 2014.

Initial results for eBags Obsession have been positive, with the average user totaling 75-100 "swipes" before finding the ideal bag. The custom algorithm learns from each swipe and alters the delivery of products shown by analyzing over 100 unique variables. With each swipe, the algorithm hones in on handbags appealing to each specific shopper. eBags Obsession is located on the eBags.com handbag tab for smartphone and tablet users or click here: www.ebags.com/obsession.

Says Mike Frazzini, SVP of Development for eBags, "Having our own custom-built site provides us a great deal of flexibility and allows us to optimize all facets of our customer's experience at any time. We have instituted a formal process for innovation and regular 'Hackathon Contests' to allow our engineering and product teams to better serve our customers and build tools that might not otherwise come out of normal site development. In the case of eBags Obsession, we focused specifically on mobile devices to deliver an enjoyable, effective and engaging way for shoppers to find the perfect handbag. Any developer will tell you it's hard to predict how users will react when using new software, but we knew we had something special with eBags Obsession after our first focus group response."

Says Maureen Shea, Handbag DMM for eBags, "Someone may have a hard time explaining what they want in a handbag, but if you put one in front of them and say, 'Love it' or 'Leave it,' they instinctively know what they like in an instant. Shopping is emotional and entertaining, and we want to make it rewarding. We are thrilled with the reaction when women start swiping their eBags Obsession choices on their mobile devices."

About eBags.com

eBags.com is the leading online retailer of handbags, luggage, backpacks, business cases, and accessories. With over 21 million bags sold and 2.9 million unbiased customer reviews, eBags features over 50,000 products from 500 brands including the eBags brand, Michael Kors, kate spade, Fossil, Tumi, The North Face, JanSport, Herschel Supply, Vera Bradley, and Nike. For more information, please visit www.eBags.com

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