New eBay CEO Prioritizes Consumer Sellers, Gen-Y Buyers

New eBay CEO Prioritizes Consumer Sellers, Gen-Y Buyers

eBay CEO Jamie Iannone revealed his strategy on Tuesday for a “technology-led reimagination of eBay.” Unlike recent predecessors, the new CEO is placing importance on “consumer sellers” – those who may sell on eBay to buy on eBay.

In a call with Wall Street analysts to discuss second-quarter earnings, he found fault with previous management. “The reality is, that in the past few years, we’ve not executed to our full potential,” he said. “New competitors have taken share, because we neglected our core area of expertise.”

He said eBay focused on new areas that did not drive sustainable or profitable growth – “and to be candid,” he said, “we did not adapt quickly enough to the rapidly changing needs of our customers.”

However, that leaves eBay with “enormous, untapped potential that we absolutely must capitalize on,” he said.

Iannone outlined three key priorities needed to execute on the vision:

1) Build compelling next-gen experiences for eBay enthusiasts.
2) Become the partner of choice for sellers.
3) Cultivate lifelong trusted buyer relationships.

The first priority involves focusing on consumer selling and vertical experiences.

To lead in consumer selling, Iannone intends to focus on the following:

  • Simplify the listing flow.
  • Increase conversions to grow the number of consumer selling enthusiasts.
  • Make it easier for sellers to reinvest the proceeds of sales back into things they need, want, and love on eBay.

And when it comes to vertical experiences (i.e., categories), eBay will focus on non new in-season products, where people with common interests and passions connect, not just to buy and sell merchandise.

Iannone also said a key focus over the next couple years would be Gen Y customers.

eBay to Enhance Store Features in Native App
Ianonne said he believes it’s important to make it easier for sellers to register for the site and give them more tools. He also wants to enhance eBay’s Stores products by bringing it into the native app. “I’ll be honest with you though, I think we have a lot more work to do in areas like that.”

The second pillar of his strategy – being the partner of choice for sellers – will be a huge focus for eBay, he said.

Legacy Technology
Iannone said eBay would focus on using technology to help attract buyers and sellers, and said eBay has a world-class technology team and has been building up a next-gen technology group.

“To be candid, though,” he said, “there are areas where we have to get off of old legacy technologies,” a task that is in progress.

While Iannone eschewed the term “three-year turnaround” used by previous CEOs, he did say his vision would take the company on a “multi-year journey.”

At one point, the eBay CEO told Wall Street analysts on the call, “Put simply, our vision is to build on the company’s powerful strengths to become the best global marketplace for buyers and sellers through a tech-led reimagination of eBay.”

You can find more information about eBay’s second-quarter performance on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She’s a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of “Turn eBay Data Into Dollars” (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, “Blogging Heroes” (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.