What to look forward to in eBay’s evolution #LinnAcademy2017

By David Brackin September 20, 2017 - 10:28 am

David 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 Linnworks annual Linn Academy conference this week and here are his thoughts on Kit Glover, Director of EU Seller Experience, eBay‘s presentation:

What to look forward to in eBay’s evolution

Kit is well-known within the eBay seller community in the UK and it’s always a delight to hear him speak as he offers good insights for how sellers are going to be affected by changes at eBay. At the Linnworks Academy conference on Tuesday he laid out how he saw eBay’s evolution for buyers and sellers.

Kit described how the big consumer and technology trends are pushing us more towards AI and image search and he announced a new app-based search tool that allows buyers to search using shared images from their browsing or photos captured by their phone’s camera. Snap a photo of a pair of sunglasses and get an eBay search page for similar looking eyewear. See a celebrity wearing a pair of shoes that you fancy and you can search eBay for similar pair. The technology looks impressive and anything that helps buyers find and buy listings in the 1.1bn items live in eBay inventory must be a good thing. Perhaps – I can’t help wondering – there’s a tacit acknowledgement here that the goal of trying to barcode the entire planet simply isn’t obtainable, and that GTINs have little or no relevance to everyday shoppers, but style and looks certainly do.

Kit continued explaining that the overall strategy for eBay remains unchanged with a focus along three lines: offering best choice, providing the most relevance and offering to sellers the most powerful selling platform. On this last point, eBay would like to be thought of as bit like the hosts of today’s conference – the technology partner for sellers: being the organisation that can take the big and complex technology and consumer trends and bring them to smaller sellers who could never develop these things for themselves. This is certainly something that they have proven repeatedly over the past few years with services such as the Global Shipping Programme which allows inclusions of hard-to-serve international destinations for very little hassle for the seller.

The latest seller tools are based on processing the “big data” that eBay has gathered and serving it up in retailer-sized portions. This initiative helps retailers understand what stock that they might investigate buying, what to restock and also gives pricing guidance. Now, I must say I’m pretty sceptical about the idea that eBay is going to provide more valuable information about buying stock than the actual retailers who live or die by their sourcing choices. However this move lacks the threatening overtones that Amazon might have were it to be talking about sourcing stock lines and so I see no harm in remaining open-minded as to whether the initiative is useful and has an impact for sellers. Perhaps it’s one to try out when it is released. eBay’s own analysis of the early data from their trial suggested solid positive impacts. We’ll look forward to hearing sellers own reports in due course.

  • Northumbrian
    3 years ago

    Snap a pair of sunglasses
    And you will get a blind fold or blinkers
    If the current eBay search method is an example

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