eBay’s Emma Grant on Initiatives to Help Retailers

David-BrackinDavid Brackin is a regular contributor to Tamebay and is the co-founder of Stuff U Sell. He has sold over 250,000 different items on eBay.

He was at the Internet Retailing Expo this week and reports on the talk by Emma Grant from eBay UK.

eBay initiatives to help retailers

Emma Grant, Senior Manager of Seller Experience at eBay UK, is well known in the seller community and well-liked for her engagement and willingness to investigate issues for sellers. Today she was at IRX to set out eBay’s stall about how they make it easy for retailers to offer a modern buying experience.

Emma started by pointing out that things have changed over the years at eBay. With 800m listings globally now and 79% of sales being new items (and 84% being sold at fixed price), it is “no longer the fleamarket eBay of old”: the steady move from C2C sales towards B2C sales (including the bigger brands and retailers) has helped the site improve its image in the eyes of the buyer.

The other big change is that buyers are demanding a more modern buying experience: they expect to be able to research and transact across a range of offline locations and online devices, all seamlessly across borders. Traditionally retailers focus on their key strength of product sourcing — and eBay’s proposition is that it will do the development work and find partnerships to make the rest of it easy. The main purchase steps, according to Emma, are:-

1. Awareness
2. Research
3. Purchase
4. Fulfilment
5. Loyalty

Across each of these areas, eBay has initiatives to help retailers out: they are spending money on marketing and the recent 20% coupon was a great draw of customers to the site. The recently resurrected reviews functionality helps provide shared content for the research step. Purchases have moved onto the mobile apps without sellers needing to lift a finger, and the Global Shipping Programme allows international shipping with no more bother than shipping to Derby. Finally the feedback and sense of community have always been a strong feature for eBay.

As a small (or even a larger!) retailer, it would be hard to do all this on your own and keep it up to date, so eBay’s pitch is that they provide much more than just another checkout.

What do you think? How are eBay doing at supporting each of Emma’s 5 steps?