When eBay launched as a marketplace for one-offs and collectibles, people thought it would fizzle as fast as a dud firework. Eighteen years later, they site has grown to be a major force in the eCommerce world. Still, stocks fell 6% today after the company predicted a sluggish holiday season due in part to that nasty old government shutdown.
Fear not – eBay shall bounce back (and soon I hope because my eBay sales are suffering!) Check out these numbers from yesterday’s conference call:
- 137 million active accounts globally
- In Q3, eBay’s core Gross Merchandise Volume grew 12% over the prior year.
- 2.4 million new users acquired through mobile in Q3.
- Fixed-priced listings accounted for 71% of GMV globally and more than half of all U.S. transactions shipped free in Q3. (There’s that free shipping thing! Customers love it.)
Now eBay is making a bigger push into the local scene with eBay Now. This is their buy it on your phone, have it delivered within the hour service they’ve been testing in San Francisco. Now, just in time for the holidays, eBay is launching “Now” in Chicago and Dallas. Then, in 2014, they’re taking to the streets in London and other parts of the world.
In the UK, eBay is also testing “Click and Collect”. Consumers buy online from one of 50 merchants, then pick up their item at a local Argos store. This reminds me of Amazon’s locker system at Staples. It’s a good way to protect your packages if weather is an issue or you live in a building that makes deliveries tricky.
Since shipping can make or break and order, eBay is also testing a free two-day shipping program with Paypal and a handful of retailers.
Launched earlier this month, initial results are strong, showing increased share of checkout and sharp uptakes in conversion. Share of checkout is significantly greater than competing offers on sites where both exist. This is a great example of how we can leverage our portfolio to deliver compelling offers and experiences to merchants and consumers.
CEO John Donahoe told investors;
Our success is strongly tied to enabling others to win, whether an entrepreneur or a global brand. We don’t believe that commerce is a zero-sum game. It’s not winner take all. Technology is changing the rules and pushing the boundaries of commerce enabling what we call connected commerce, and we believe that creates more opportunity for us and for everyone.
I’m both an eBay and a Paypal fan and though I mourn the days when a Lost in Space lunchbox was worth $3,000 at auction, I do appreciate the opportunity eBay has given me to both shop for unusual items and run my own small business.