makes you wonder who got a more artificial bump from covid – wayfair or eBay?
eBay remains a head scratcher. I think their focus on verticals where eBay can win makes sense, but also doesn’t allow for meaningful growth overall (the ‘non-focus’ categories will continue to wither, offsetting any growth in the focus cats). BUT, they can continue to generate tons of free cash and meaningful operating income.
They won’t do it (because stock buybacks are ‘sexier’), but almost makes you wonder if they should pivot to being a high dividend paying stock like old school CPG companies were. “Don’t buy eBay because you want to beat the Nasdaq index, rather because you like 7% dividend yields.”
IMO, Ebay somehow needs to split into multiple audiences with relevant experiences
Products which need complex purchasing journeys. Car tires is a good example (targeting niche companies like blackcircles in the UK, which allows you to order, get delivery to a nominated installer, and make the install appointment). Car parts ditto; the next elaboration would be to start buying parts fitment diagrams from OEMs (which will make car dealers scream!), maybe tying up with Haynes to allow you to buy the digital version of the relevant Haynes guide online
Better UI for “power buyers”, e.g. people into collectibles, antiques, vintage, equipment for niche hobbies etc. People who know what they want but have to scroll through too much cruft to find it because eBay is not rigorous enough in product data (also better ability to show a blended search of “shipped” and truly local “collection only”, to weed out the options. And product verification programs, to better weed out clones and counterfeits in collectible areas.
Competing more strongly with etsy, vinted, realreal, maybe lower end C2C like depop, schpock
and General retail supported by adverts, including better abilities for traditional retailers to clear items (including store inventory for collection, shipping). Needs to partner with MACH, shopify, squarespace, OMS vendors, POS vendors etc. to simplify the technical entry point for this.
And just generally reviewing their UX/CX for buyers and C2C sellers, way less intrusive A/B testing and rollout processes. Don’t show different experiences for the same step in the same customer session.
eBay has a tire installer option in the purchasing path for the US site - I have that implemented and live, but like so many of their prototyped programs it has never fully delivered to become a widespread functionality adopted by buyers and sellers. There are plenty of opportunities like that which just never made it to a level of general availability and are great ideas for that vertical (and maybe others) if they actually deliver.
Small but interesting point on pages 105/106 of the PDF of the 10-K.
eBay noting ongoing inquiries from US DoJ in regard the the Ecommercebytes stalking case, which may yet create additional reputational liability (despite the departure/conviction of most/all involved) and some financial liability (directly from DoJ and I think also from a civil suit being progressed by the editor and business partner of Ecommercebytes newsletter)
Thanks to YouTube algorithm pushing the CBS “60 minutes” video on this topic for alerting me… (Clearly CBS reworking “old” news for new content)
Yeah I think it is pretty shocking too. The top of the tree were paid off and have taken up similarly senior roles (and Wymer is now CEO of an organisation that includes safeguarding accountability for children, not sure the board of that organisation should have offered that post).
And CBS “60 minutes” is not something that is broadcast or publicised in the UK, only available incidentally via various streaming platforms.
(CBS’s various owners have branded some of their niche OTA linear channels “CBS xxx” at various points but never had a version of US-style main CBS available in the UK; the structure of television show funding/syndication does not really allow any non-UK linear television network to practically operate a similar format/shop lineup, although streaming services like Disney+, Paramount+, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Starz etc. are somewhat similar.)