eBay USED to be the most exciting marketplace, both as a buyer and a seller. Now it feels stagnant. The continued public focus on UX, has in my opinion, made them forget why buyers shop there. Value, discovery and discounts and the odd dispute.
Amazon is taking over the role as the place to find discovery. eBay and it’s perception, seems to be back where it was in mid 2000’s.
It has been a while since I got excited by eBay as a buyer, in fact my last purchase was over 12 months ago. I used to be a regular. Amazon, on the other hand, delivers to me every month. Despite the new marketing line “we don’t do membership, we do deals”, it is the membership focus and benefits that keep me shopping on Amazon. I assume as part of it, I am getting best in class service and pricing.
It is worth noting eBay, that Amazon welcomed more new prime members to the platform on July 16th 2018, than any other day in their history. Seems other punters, just like me want membership.
Amazon just closed primeday on record numbers (again). Best selling devices revolve around in home, connected, own brand devices.
See full Primeday breakdown here
3rd Party seller turnover on the day exceeded $1B in sales — further evidence of the relevance of Amazon to retailers. Why are not you there yet?
Live streamable concerts were lapped up while people sat at home enjoying their even more than before discounted foods from the Whole Foods Catalogue whilst using their smart home devices.
The response which had 12 months to plan was 20% off. That was the headline, Amazon prime made the news, had a build up, talked to its “maligned” members.
When I last worked at eBay, my colleague (best ecomm trade manager I have ever known) worked with Argos to take over a section of the homepage for free to clear excess stock — 42 minutes after it went live, it was sold out — for 3 days he surfaced inventory, for 3 days it sold out after less and less time. The slot was then dead. And so was born the 2000s version of daily deals, then followed Groupon and the discounter industry at large.
Today I scrolled the daily deals page on eBay UK — it took me 20 scrolls on my mouse to reach the bottom of the curated selection. Imagine mobile!
Then they worked with retailers, expanded verticals, built a team, changed the eBay product and made it a trusted place to buy and sell. Now, on the other side, I find it the most complex place to sell my products. I wish it were different.
eBay needs to reposition itself fast — it has the eyeballs and the size to turn this Titanic around but needs a new emphasis, a new approach. Google, on the other hand, has been quietly moving into retail partnerships across the globe. They would make perfect partners — why?
· Their search algos are cousins from another mother (RPI data change anyone)
· They were both the homeplace for discovery, Google still is
· eBay has a global footprint comparative to Google.
· They both facilitate a transaction rather than hold the inventory — the perfect model
· Google could buy them cheaply.
· Google shopping would love all of that brilliantly indexed data
· Shareholders would be delighted as Google cracks a nut it could not before
What other choices to eBay have? Not many and their inability to part of home devices today is a major achilles heel. They need to have a strategy for this, maybe Google… oh no wait, I’ve said enough already.
I would love to see my old love affair with eBay rekindled and not see it Amazon Kindled — Sorry I couldn’t resist this last pun.