After Paypal: eBay Customers are the New Focus

Girl Shopping Online

We all thought their relationship would last forever, but I guess all good things come to an end. PayPal and eBay parted ways earlier this year there were several reasons behind the decision. The main reason was that PayPal thought it would do much better not being tied down to eBay.

Paypal and eBay

Now, PayPal can team up with Apple Pay and basically put up a “For Sale” sign on its head.

Since the split, eBay has had to make some plans on its future. Last week, eBay released an investor presentation, where it explains how it intends to move ahead after the split. It is an interesting read, and anyone who sells items on eBay should definitely check out the presentation.

The Mission Statement

EBays’s presentation opens with its mission statement: “eBay will be the world’s most vibrant marketplace for discovering the great value and unique selection”. This was a bold statement, but it shows that they are ambitious but also recognize that there is a lot of work ahead!

The first half of the presentation, you can see it here, is statistics and they go on to show how eBay is a “Global Commerce Leader”. The most interesting stats show that 75% of their sales are B2C and 59% are international. EBay is also trying to highlight how they are dominating the mobile shopping market. Given their continuous rise in mobile use and the fact that 52% of their sales are now “touched by mobile”.

The Core Customers

screenshot ebays' core customers

Source: eBay’s Investor Presentation, 8 June 2015

In the “Looking Forward” section of the presentation, eBay customers are put in three core categories:

1) Core Buyers: those who love shopping and love great deals. These customers will be looking for a unique selection.

2) SMB Sellers: these customers are looking for a platform to boost their sales and that also operates by fair standards.

3) Consumer Sellers: these customers are looking for an easy place to sell their items. A place that also offers a form of secure payments.

The interesting thing to notice about this analysis is that eBay’s biggest selling asset is the SMB. Over the past years, eBay has always focused on “Big Sellers”. It turns out, that attracting big sellers to the marketplace, is not the solution because they are not the site’s core sellers.

The Financial Outlook

Last year, EBay came under scrutiny because of its financial situation. In any case, it still claims to be going strong, showing steady increases in profitability over the years. It even boasts about its financial flexibility and its rather large free cash flow.

It is rather good to see that they did include a slide about their downfalls in 2014 and SEO, which you can read on this post, and Password Reset crises. They have been addressing these challenges and repeated the 18+ month transformation that they hope to achieve.

Their plan for the future

The presentation then goes on to highlight their strategic priorities in the coming months:

1) A vibrant marketplace
2) A strong, stable and secure commerce platform
3) Engaging product and brand experience

EBay has a lot of work to do with all the bad press it has had in the last year and all the challenges it has had to face. But, this presentation makes a good read and definitely worth it if you are currently an eBay seller.


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