eBay Australia outlines 2016 plans
Online marketplace, eBay Australia, is ramping up its marketing efforts to drive more traffic to the site as well as optimising the mobile shopping experience and improving features for sellers.
Speaking at The Internet Conference on the Gold Coast last week Tim Mackinnon, senior director retailer growth at eBay Australia, outlined eBay’s three main priorities for 2016: innovating around the shopping experience, investing more in marketing and retail promotions and, improving the selling platform.
Currently eBay is promoting sale events with big name retailers to bring new customers to the marketplace.
“I know this is controversial with many of you,” Mackinnon told conference attendees, many of whom are small eBay sellers. “People say to me ‘why are we favouring the big guys? Why are we giving them more promotional space?’ My answer is to go back to the vision: we want to be the place where people start shopping. If we don’t have the retailers that they are used to shopping with then they may not come to the site. It’s like the anchor store of a Westfield.”
These coupon events, funded by the retailers, bring thousands of new shoppers to eBay, who then go on to purchase from smaller retailers, Mackinnon said.
“After they have purchased, two out of three people who use a coupon are then going on to purchase from a small business afterwards,” Mackinnon said.
“You can create the most beautiful shopping experience but people have to know about it, people have to have a reason to come to start their shopping. One of the things we are trying to build is that eBay is the best destination for value and we’ve been using retailer promotions to do that.”
Mackinnon also reaffirmed eBay’s commitment to spending on marketing for all sellers including paid search, Facebook, site-wide coupons (funded by eBay) and small seller promotions.
“We are constantly trying new things and looking at new ways to scale all of our sellers and bring more traffic to the site,” he said.
eBay is also making key changes to the selling platform, introducing the simplified selling standard launched in February which reduced the number of defects which can count against sellers. Negative and neutral feedback no longer count as a defect on sellers’ standards.
The other big releases include the eBay Seller Hub which was launched in the US last year, which will be available in Australia “ready for Christmas” and the 5.0 eBay app.