eBay in Australia is the biggest and most successful online shopping destination online – having been an early player in our region – it has built on the early success and maintained their marketplace situation – improving the strong stance if anything. In Australia eBay has been responsible for bringing companies like DealsDirect, OO.com.au, Selby Acoustics and plenty more into the realm of eCommerce leaders.
Whilst eBay has been viewed in the past as an auctions hot bed and the place to grab a bargain recent brands who have opened a store on eBay include Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and Jockey being promoted in the Fashion Outlet – locally Seafolly, Bra’s and Things and Bardot are amongst the brands to embrace eBay’s push for branded items in store. And there are many reasons why business like moving onto eBay;
- It has huge traffic volumes
- Their products re probably already being sold there
- They can view market trends easily when involved
- eBay is transparent
- Customer acquisition
eBay has changed dramatically in the past few years however – as Amazon in the states dominated eCommerce; eBay made changes that were largely seen by those in the industry as ‘becoming more like Amazon’ moves such as GTC (Good to Cancelled) listing, reducing the presence of stores, adjusting search algorithm to Best Match rather than ending soonest, these changes along with fee changes, gallery changes and a move by the buying market to favor BIN (Buy It Now) style listings over auctions have resulted in a vastly different market to what it was just a few years ago. Changes also seen in the US but not here in Australia are the non-branded listing – very much a similar layout to Amazon; and the next eBay initiative might be the eBay shopping cart allowing for multiple purchases from different sellers – paid for in one transaction. eBay has also invested heavily in mobile technology and their apps for smart phones are a terrific way of engaging the new ways consumers shop.
Recently reported in the Wall St Journal and The Australian – it appears eBay are looking for new ways to innovate and capture further market share by opening up ways for 12-18 year olds to buy from eBay. The basis for this decision is that many in this age group already by on eBay using their parents account – and that if they moved forward with this, ‘Jr’ eBay accounts would be linked to ‘Senior’ eBay accounts – allowing for transparency and a final say by an adult. This remains an on the table item for eBay; and may not get much further than just a discussion – but the fact that eBay are again looking for new ways to bring in revenue shows they are looking to take back market share they lost to Amazon in the massive US market.
The above announcement came on the back of eBay reporting to Wall St via the New York Times – their recent increase in earnings much to the surprise of industry analysts – some of whom were suggesting eBay may go the way of the Dodo or for an industry specific example; myspace.com. eBay’s turn around is largely on the back of innovations and being able to adapt to market changes – their mobile phone app is the best example of this. The eBay business PayPal has also delivered in spades for the business, as it increasingly becomes the payment method of choice for online shoppers the world over.
eBay plays an important part in Australian eCommerce and Online Market Experts encourage businesses to use this presence to their advantage – eBay have shown they aren’t going to sit back – whilst bargains and value for money are sought by buyers – eBay will remain a prominent destination.