eBay may well have been one of the pioneers of ecommerce, but in 2017 and beyond, it faces an increasingly competitive landscape. This means that eBay has to continually develop its offering and its business to survive and thrive in the modern online shopping marketplace. It’s something that eBay Chief Executive Officer Devin Wenig has been speaking about recently following its split with Paypal and a program of repositioning its offerings which has seen some major overhauls of existing technology:
“We’ve been working on an ambitious replatforming of eBay to drive the best choice, the most relevance and a powerful selling platform. This includes a work we’re doing on our mobile platform, building product catalogues on structured data, launching new browse inspired shopping journeys, re-invigorating our C2C business and sharpening our brand.”
Currently, eBay is healthy financially, with them $2.2 billion up (4%) for the quarter ending March 31 as well as reports that they had added 2 million active buyers across its platforms which gives them a total of 169 million active users across the globe. However, there is increasing competition from other platforms such as Alibaba and Amazon who are both looking to encroach on eBay’s market share. This has led to eBay making a greater focus on enhancing its customer experience. This has been done by rolling out a new homepage as well as using AI and structured data to create a more personalised shopping experience.
They’ve also focused more on the mobile experience. 50% of all eBay transactions are now done on a mobile device and this is set to grow over the coming years. In view of this, they have updated their mobile app to provide a significantly simplified consumer selling experience that uses our growing structured data catalogue coupled with a more efficient listing flow”.
In separate developments, eBay has recently signed a deal to invest in Flipkart, India’s biggest online store for tech, fashion, books, jewellery and other goods. As part of this deal Flipkart will acquire eBay India, a deal which they are both now working to close towards the second half of 2017. Speaking about the deal, Devin Wenig said:
“I’m very excited about this new exclusive partnership, which enables us to increase our penetration in India by making eBay’s global inventory accessible to a significantly larger set of Indian consumers. We’re committed to winning in India through this partnership.”
Commentators see the deal as very savvy from eBay’s point of view. Although they were one of the first into the ecommerce market in India, they lacked customer focus and the delivery infrastructure to compete with Flipkart. This deal sees them rejuvenated in the Indian market, one of the fast growing ecommerce markets in the world. Chief Financial Officer at eBay Scott Schenkel warns that the positive results of this deal will not be seen this year.
“We expect this deal to close early in the second half of 2017, and upon deal close we will no longer report active buyer GMV and related financials for eBay India. We do not expect the GMV or financial impact to be material to our overall 2017 results.”