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eBay Australia Catalogue sent to 2m households

By Chris Dawson May 13, 2019 - 5:21 pm

From tomorrow, Australians will start to see eBay marketing plop onto their door mat as eBay step up their marketing. eBay Australia have embraced an omnichannel approach to reaching its buyers by launching its first ever eBay Australia Catalogue featuring brand new products from some of the country’s biggest retailers.

From the latest tech to men’s and women’s fashion, heating, bedding, kitchen and cleaning, appliances, liquor, glassware, toys and gaming, entertainment, backyard and garage – eBay has used the physical paper catalogue to showcase its 40,000 Australian retailers, demonstrating 90% of what’s on eBay is brand new. There will also be a digital shoppable version of the catalogue on site from next week.

“We’re adopting a similar strategy many traditional bricks and mortar retailers have – by having both a physical and online presence. We wanted to find a way to showcase our fantastic range of products. We know retail catalogues have long been the way Aussie shoppers prefer to browse and purchase the best deals. We’re really excited about bringing together the online shopping and physical worlds.”
– Julie Nestor, Chief Marketing Officer, eBay Australia

It’s interesting to see eBay adopting the approach that harks back to yesteryear in the days before the Internet when catalogues were the primary advertising medium for so many companies, notably Littlewoods and Argos in the UK. Even today when you pick up your Sunday papers the supplement will invariably come stuffed with a catalogue from some retailer or other.

In Australia, perhaps due to the vast distances across the country, many Australians still prefer to shop via catalogues and so eBay are appealing to the population in a manner that’s familiar and accepted.

“We’re thrilled to be part of eBay’s first catalogue. A physical channel is a great way for us to get exposure to buyers and to showcase how strong our tech offering is.”
– Aaron Huang, eBay seller, Mobileciti

eBay’s winter catalogue (yes it may be summer in the Northern Hemisphere but Winter is approaching down under) is being distributed to 2 million Australian households (roughly a fifth of all Australian households) from tomorrow. The sale event and digital version of the eBay Australia Catalogue will be live from the 21st of May.

  • John
    4 months ago

    This is crazy. It would be like marketing a PC game to a Mac user. The majority of the people who will receive the marketing will simply throw it away, and the majority of the remainder will be the type of person who has an aversion to technology, so an unlikely online shopper.

    Clearly, eBay still considers Amazon as their biggest threat, but it’s not. They’ve just taken this extremely narrow approach that they have been basically the only marketplace in Australia and now that Amazon has arrived they’re pilfering customers. While Amazon certainly will be, the problem for eBay lies not with Amazon, but the hundreds of thousands of small online retailers who have adopted new and popular payment methods such as afterPay, which allows consumers to buy today and pay off the purchase over 8 weeks, completely interest free. eBay are simply too blind or arrogant to recognise this as a fact.

    Let’s give you an idea of just how popular it is. The founder of afterpay is worth close (probably over by now) $100 million, and he’s under 30. The majority of the growth has been in the time that Amazon has been active in Australia. Massive facebook groups exist with nothing but a focus on afterPay and which retailers provide it, of which it’s now becoming harder to find one who doesn’t than one who does. Afterpay is also now active in 5 countries, and is only growing.

    Until ebay can recognise that Amazon isn’t the problem and it’s their lack of a similar payment option for their consumers, a failure to adapt to the times, these silly type of tactics will prove pointless

    • paddy
      4 months ago

      That read like an (un)paid advertisement for Afterpay….

    • John
      4 months ago

      It probably did paddy, but it’s the truth. ebay needs to retain existing buyers and get new ones, and while the BNPL providers are in play and only becoming more popular, ebay will be in decline until they can offer something similar. Targeting old aged Aldi buyers isn’t ging to keep ebay going for very long. They need menials, plain and simple, and they need to remain relevant. Without BNPL they won’t.

      When I first got afterpay and Zip as gateways about 3.5 years ago 90% of my sales were still through ebay. A year later ebay was still ahead, but only just. Now ebay accounts for about 10% of sales. As a merchant, I’m still paying more than I want to to make a sale, but at least I’m getting sales, and at a rate that’s about half of ebay and paypal.

      There are options, but the division of ebay and paypal sort of screwed that up. Paypal could roll out their BNPL option to Australia and help ebay to a significant degree, but it could be a case of too little too late.

      Let’s look at another problem ebay faces. Much like Facebook users they seem to have forgotten about search engines, specifically Google. As was pointed out to me today, why would a consumer buy `15 different items from 15 different stores when they can do a quick search and buy all 15 from the one store for about the same price or less, and still have that BNPL option?

      ebay have a lot of problems, and I doubt the management have a full grasp of what’s really going on because they’re simply looking in the wrong places

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