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3 eBay seller-focused strategies: ‘Velocity, protection and comfortable selling’

By Sasha Fedorenko June 3, 2019 - 10:28 am

Sellers want velocity. Sellers want protection. Sellers want a place that they feel comfortable selling,” is what Devin Wenig says are three eBay seller-focused strategies.

Speaking at eBay shareholder meeting, Devin Wenig, chief executive officer of eBay, discussed the development of the marketplace as a hub for sellers. He attributed the future success of the three targets to “inventory,” “relevance” and “striving to be the most powerful selling platform.”

‘Highlights from the last year’

Devin said that last year’s changes to the marketplace saw improvements in the buyer experience. These developments include:

  • Homepage.
  • Conversion.
  • The way eBay use machine learning and artificial intelligence to drive relevance for merchants’ consumers.
  • Seller experience.
  • The tools and data that eBay provide to sellers so that they can make informed choices about how to sell their inventory more effectively on our marketplace.

‘Very exciting 2019 plan’

Devin said that eBay have a “very exciting 2019 plan” for sellers. The comprehensive strategy focuses on improving customer experiences so sellers would benefit from higher conversion rates. These enhancements are linked to the three seller-focused strategies:

  • Website browsing
  • Discovery of inventory
  • Product relevance

‘Focus on retail standards’

Devin said that retail standards are vital to eBay. He explained these as a set of standards customers expect from their shopping experience. Consumers want their package cheaply. They want fast delivery. They want confidence that they’re going to receive it and can return it if something goes wrong. He said that eBay have been “making a lot of strides to guarantee delivery, to shrink delivery times and delivery cost, and to give consumers confidence when they shop in our market place.”

Relevant data for sellers

Devin described the relevance of data as the sellers’ world class tool. This year, eBay focused on improving the data and tools that sellers have at their disposal. He says that one of the most powerful aspects of the marketplace is the data that resides in it. It helps eBay determine what’s selling and know what consumers want. He said that eBay know when an item becomes in demand. The data allows sellers to make informed choices about inventory and about pricing that inventory.

He promised that: “Sellers can expect us to provide more data, more analytics to put the power in their hands.”

‘Sellers want protection in the marketplace’

Devin pointed to the importance of sellers feeling protected in the marketplace. He says that eBay have improved protection fo the marketplace sellers. He said that sellers can also expect more progress in this area.

Managed payments

Devin said that this year will take the US payments intermediation from what they’re allowed to do under their operating agreement with PayPal, which is 5% until July. In August, eBay will move that 5% progressively up towards 10%. He said that eBay also hope to launch their payments initiative in Germany.

First-party advertising

Speaking about eBay advertising business, he points to the unprecedented seller satisfaction with the programme. He said that first-party advertising business enables sellers to trade-off a bit of margin for a bit of velocity.

Devin concluded by saying that “these are the core initiatives that are in our marketplace that [eBay] tend to speak more about this year.”

  • Dav
    6 months ago

    Wenig as usual with the lies and smokescreens. This man is a joke. Anyone that actually uses the site or used in the past wouldn’t agree with ANY of this nonsense he spews. The problem being that this is the kind of garbage that’s fed to Wall Street on earnings calls and shareholder meetings. They seem to lap it up and believe it without any hard questions or real knowledge of what’s really going on at eBay. Their only interest is money, and if eBay can provide any of it by pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes why should they care?

    “Sellers want protection” FROM EBAY! Not buyers, it’s eBay that’s ruining sales/sellers and they seem hell-bent on continuing in this direction. There’s going to be a turning point soon where the gouging of sellers by eBay will be too much. Mass exodus will follow. Then we’ll see what kind of fabricated numbers eBay will produce.

  • Jonah
    6 months ago

    Seller protection on eBay? There is NONE!!
    Velocity on eBay- what BACKWARDS!!??
    Feel comfortable selling- what with all the hoops and nonsense to jump through? It might help if the site actually functions correctly.

    Are there two eBay platforms? Because the one Wenig describes is completely different to the one we have used for best part of 20 years or so now.

  • Toby
    6 months ago

    ‘making a lot of strides to guarantee delivery, to shrink delivery times and delivery cost, and to give consumers confidence when they shop in our market place.’
    So what he is really saying is everyone needs to pay more for guaranteed, faster and signed for postage so ebay can rake in more money from the 10% fee on it. Shrink delivery cost for who? It is the seller that pays for it and they won’t see costs coming down… They will pass it only buyers whether shown or as ‘free’ , so the buyer will then pay for it. Where exactly do ebay pay for it!? Oh and the icing on the cake…. more confidence for buyers!!! More confidence? Ebay already scream at them they can scam the living daylights and get away with it.
    We are getting a big increase in returns for ‘seller fault’ reasons since the auto acceptance came in. Now if i can see that from my figures surely ebay can see it?
    The real joke is you can’t even appeal a claim until the case is closed. So the buyer already have their money back. The very best you can hope for is ebay refund you as well…but still the buyer has ‘got away with it’.
    Sellers are afraid of challenging buyers claims as it will almost definately end up with ebay just refunding the buyer and the seller being punished for even daring to raise a red flag.
    Sorry, but this is just pure bull and the fact he thinks anyone still believes it is beyond a joke. Even my elderly mum who is not a online shopper, said the other day that it is ‘just inviting fraud and they are practically advertising it as a selling point!’..
    Our figures for last year that show reported INR, not as described and faulty, return claims show this…. INR are over 72% higher on ebay than the next highest other platform. not as described was over 61% higher and faulty was over 34% higher.
    So on all 3 points they were massively higher and that is taking it in proportion to sales so as to make it a level playing field with volume influence. we look at this every year and for the last 4 years it has been creeping up and up. If that doesn’t tell you a story then nothing will.
    Oh well we are slowly filtering our business away from ebay, can’t come quick enough.

  • steve
    6 months ago

    First party advertising? I see, trade “a bit of margin for a bit of velocity”? eBay already have higher fees than most other platforms. Now they try to tell you they are offering a fair trade? eBay creates a problem, and then sells you the solution. In other words, they hide your product, then offer you a pay to be seen solution. Then on the page you have paid to get people to visit, eBay then entices them to another seller’s item … Unprecedented satisfaction. Total double speak.
    Protected? Pay ‘protection’ money?

  • 6 months ago

    3 alternative things sellers want that could be done quickly and easily by ebay, but currently are not:

    1) Search filter for next day delivery, including the display of costs and the cut-off time.
    2) Duplicate listings to be easier to report in bulk (eg, just point them at the seller) and actually dealt with.
    3) Full listing visibilty, all the time. By ebay saying they can choose to not show listings sometimes, it breeds distrust, contempt and a negative attitude towards the platform. That’s not good, because sellers are also potential buyers!

    I could do more than 3, but they’re better than Wenig’s 3.

    • steve
      6 months ago

      Yes, but Wenig doesn’t get paid $17 million to make changes sellers like.

  • Dav
    6 months ago

    In total there’s not a single thing that eBay says or does that benefits anyone but themselves. They’re looking for money and by any means possible at that. They seem desperate or at the very least insanely greedy.

    Scheming against sellers with multi-layers of fees and policies that lead to more fees-Check.

    Feeding Wall Street and shareholders the complete BS which Wenig spews so the eBay executives can cash in with more $ for themselves-Check.

    eBay is only about these things and nothing more.

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