eBay is hosting its Analyst Day, the third for John Donahoe since taking over as CEO. What are Wall Street analysts thinking as they go into the event? EcommerceBytes Newsflash summarized some of their questions for eBay in today's article, "eBay Hosts Wall Street at Thursday's Analyst Day."
Greg Holden and Ina Steiner will be live-blogging the event which is being webcast from San Jose. eBay executives make their presentations, we'll be summarizing their key points - this is not meant to be a transcript. You can listen to the webcast directly from 8 am - 2:30 pm Pacific time. Join us here in ten minutes at 11 am Eastern.
Executives we will hear from today:
John Donahoe, President and Chief Executive Officer, eBay Inc.
Bob Swan, Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President, Finance, eBay Inc.
David Marcus, PayPal
Devin Wenig, eBay Marketplaces
Chris Sadarkis, GSI
Your intrepid reporter Greg Holden to live blog (I almost typed "love blog") the eBay Analyst Day.
The program begins with an animation showing merchandise depicted in a mobile phone, a payment from a credit card being recorded on a mobile Square-like device, and a shipping truck going around the world to deliver. Doesn't that happen to all of us?
John Donahoe, suffering from a cold: Mentions Shopping Showcase as something eBay is highlighting.
"The breadth and depth of our leadership team at eBay Inc. is deeper than at any time since I have been here."
Inflection point: mobile bringing about a new retail environment. "Today this transformation is happening with stunning speed...Led by mobile, a commerce revolution is underway."
Donahoe (cont.): Smart phones have become a necessity. (We notice that his address is not talking about online auctions or storefronts but hardware devices. Is eBay about to purchase a mobile phone manufacturer?) "Consumers are more in charge than ever before."
Two years ago, most retailers were fearful; they felt disruption coming and were uncertain about how to respond. The rumors of retail's demise have been greatly exaggerated. The store will not disappear but will greatly change. Online commerce will transform how we shop.
"Omni-Channel Retail" is today's buzzword. Combining online and offline shopping experiences. For eBay, this means addressing a $10 billion commerce market. More opportunity to partner with retailers and brands to compete in e-commerce environment.
eBay has three core businesses: eBay, GSI Commerce, and PayPal. Acquisitions like RedLaser, ..., Magento are enabling us to create new experiences for consumers.
"what I see is that the pace and breadth of mobile innovation is accelerating. These capabilities are driving us to create compelling user experiences."
Local shopping: where most people shop. Local, or "Omni-Channel", will be one of the new battlegrounds.
eBay plans to partner and enable local commerce providers. "We will be one of the major winners in local in the years ahead." Half of users come from outside the U.S.
In coming years new consumers will come from emerging countries and will be using smartphones. We are well positioned to capitalize on these trends, he says.
Data: Everyone's talking about data. We have a massive amount of data and we are just beginning to use it to drive customer experiences. Closed-loop data: how consumers shop from the beginning all the way through to a transaction.
We are a partner (to retailers and brands), not a competitor. Our success is tied to enabling the success of others.
eBay Inc. is no longer just an e-commerce company. We're a global commerce platform.
By 2015 we intend to enable over $300 billion of commerce globally.
"The turnaround is behind us and we are now playing offense."
"I want you to see more actions than just press releases, more product than just buzz."
Donahoe expresses pride over what has been accomplished in the last 5 years: eBay "confronted reality" in 2008. Nice way to describe the recession! He describes himself as "proud, but not satisfied." "I believe we will be one of the major winners in this ecommerce revolution and I like our position."
Turns it over to Devin Wenig, head of eBay Marketplaces.
Wenig: points to search and checkout as things that eBay has improved, but that's not all - many things...
Chart indicates that GMV grew 12% in 2012, the number of sold items grew 18%; 112 million active users, 400 million listings, 70% of brand-new items sold at fixed price; 150,000 stores on "eBay Local." (Whatever happened to the small mom-and-pop auction business?)
Devin shows us a video about Garrett Morris, who opened a record store on eBay (no mention of what a high-risk business choice this is). A collector of records and pomade finds his dream record in Garrett's store. Sally Resnick is going to open a pilates studio--on eBay! No, wait, she's just buying equipment there. My bad!
Devin resumes: Trust, Reliable, but Deeply Engaging. Global Expansion - Engagement - Local Expansion: These are the three core areas they will focus on.
"There is an immense opportunity to globalize our business." (How's eBay doing in China these days, BTW?)
Engagement: through improvements to search and browse, and curation, they are improving the user experience.
Local: eBay will build a hybrid online-offline experience. Will build an "unbeatable local experience."
Moving from a mainly C2C marketplace featuring mainly used and unique inventory to a marketplace of abundant selection. (Isn't that kind of old news?)
Devin turns things over to Christopher Payne, who will talk about eBay's core business.
Over the last three years eBay has dramatically growing in US--19% growth in North America, 5 points above ecommerce. He is confident they can continue such growth.
What they did to improve growth trajectory: changed their logo. (Customers came flocking to it!)
Search capabilities: results more relevant and intutive for buyers. (Ina expects some comments on this one.)
Cleaned up navigation, made photos easier and clearer (yes, he said this).
Made site more attractive and relevant through merchandising, in key categories like fashion.
Conversion on eBay.com was up over 13% over the last two years.
They have done this in part by achieving Retail Standards in buyer protection, returns, and all those wonderful requirements sellers are dealing with now. He mentions the Top Rated Plus designation. Have raised the standards for this group--change in last year over requirements around ship tracking and fast handling times. (Remember?)
He says the company saw increases in sales who met such standards. Top Rated Sellers outpaced that of other sellers, he says.
"We have figured out how to build trust in a marketplace ecosystem. We plan to continue to build on this."
Holiday sales growth: eBay has traditionally underperformed compared to the rest of the market, but in 2012 the company gained share during that period. Consumer to consumer selling: rare, collectible, and refurbished products. They do plan to continue to grow this space because of all the millions of sellers around the world who will be flocking to eBay in coming years.
"Our mission is to turn eBay buyers into eBay sellers." How to do it? He shows a big iPhone and demonstrates eBay's C2C mobile selling app. The tool provides guidance for listing price and services and pre-fills-out descriptions.
First-time listing increased by 67%
Inventory has doubled on eBay 2010-2012 from 200 to 400 million products. Conversion has gone up too, he says.
Turns it over to Mark Carges to talk about Innovation.
eBay is enabling "disruptive innovation" in Mark's words. (How provocative!) The number of website changes has accelerated in recent years and developers have become more productive.
Data: He, too, mentions the abundance of closed-loop data that eBay has. (No one goes into any sort of detail or gives examples of this kind of consumer data, unfortunately.)
Local brings new data on store inventory--what aisle each product is located on, for example, and what's for sale in local brick-and-mortar stores. Shows an image of an-store kiosk at Toys R Us stores.
Describes Next-gen search engine, Cassini. This will replace the current search engine, Voyager, which has been online for 10 years. eBay will index not only an item's title but everything else in the description. Now eBay indexes the title. With the new engine, eBay will be able to search title and whole description.
Currently this is live for Completed Searches and queries that return null or low results.
Plan on ending 2013 with next-gen search rolled out to core in U.S.!
Describes eBay's multi-screen capability--this means how it looks on mobile devices as well as desktops. In a typical week, 21% of customers who use multiple devices make up 44% of our GMV. "They buy twice as much stuff when they use multiple devices." They also visit eBay more often.
Mentions Commerce OS: This will eBay to deliver its experience no matter what device is being used.
He turns it over to Wendy Jones.
Wendy talks about geographic expansion and cross border trade at eBay. eBay's business is 61% international. It has largely been focused on developed markets. She wants to focus on Russia in this presentation.
Why this matters: Cross-border trade accounts for 20% of eBay's GMV. One in three new users come from a cross-border transaction. There are approximately 1 billion users online that eBay does not yet serve! Go get 'em Wendy! eBay plans to grow its number of new users by 6.5 times. 40% of new users will come from emerging markets.
The Playbook for this:
1. Help users bring more global inventory online
2. Make it easier for sellers to reach global users (i.e., through global shipping platform)
3. Localize the buyer experience
4. Build new domestic businesses
They plan to create a Russian-language site. In 2012 Russians bought $400 million of goods on eBay. 30,000 orders daily. This is all with an English-language site. Plan to launch a daily deal app that will show offline details in retailers in Moscow. Will launch a TV campaign on April 8 in Russia.
We are treated to the new TV commercial: in Russian, with subtitles. Through all of this we hear no mention of the C-word: China. Let's not go there!
Wendy turns it over to Dane Glasgow to talk about Local and Engagement
As he points out, 90% of all shopping happens offline, and 75% happens 15 miles from one's home. (So, how can eBay get a piece of that action?)
Buyers will be able to buy local goods on eBay and then pick it up at the store. 39% of U.S. customers have paid onlne and then done an in-store pickup at the local store. Later this year, eBay will roll out in-store pickup to core eBay experiences. (Isn't Amazon doing this already?)
Next, he talks about immediacy. eBay now, in San Francisco, San Jose. Order a product on a phone, and get it in an hour. He shows an example: instead of the Buy It button, you press a Bring It button. An on-duty "valet" picks up the item and brings it to the seller. (Unanswered question: do you have to tip your valet?)
Later this year they will integrate eBay Now into core shopping experiences. Will see local pickup option for store inventory. Will roll out to Chicago and Dallas later this year. (Hey, I can try it out here in Chicago!) Also, will be able to schedule delivery.
eBay Feed: Presents you with the most relevant items on the site based on your interests. You can follow other people based on their themes (curated groups of related inventory) and interests. These are all ways to drive engagement that are outside search.
Note from Ina: This demo shows eBay will be rolling out social features - looks "cool" in the demo, we'll see how eBay handles implementation.
Another demo shows how, depending on one's location, the inventory shown in the feed changes. Stores in the current local area are shown as well, and how to make a purchase and pick up in the store.
Note from Ina: this demo of eBay Places is hard to describe, but if you are familiar with the mobile app Flipboard for content, it's that kind of experience but for shopping. This is very cool conceptually, but whether eBay will be able to pull it off - and how it will impact non-local sellers - are questions in my mind.
Back to Devin: Recaps that the core business will be complemented by global, local, and engagement. How will eBay measure success:
1) Number of active users to double by 2015 tro 200 million;
2) Net Promoter Score;
3) exit 2015 at $110 billion in GMV.
David Marcus, PayPal President, outlines his vision.
We want to solve all the consumer pain points, he says. "People believe big companies are slow." (I never said that! Or did I?) Says PayPal is making the world "a better place for hundreds of millions of people around the world."
Newsflash: Marcus admits that "at times, we lost sight of our customers in the past."
So, PayPal is being reinvented on the principle of Simple Customer Focus. It will take (surprise, surprise) a mobile-first approach. The company has 125 million "active digital wallets." (That's us, in other words.) As your PayPal digital wallet gets to know you, it can suggest offers you might be interested in."
Turns it over to Gary Marino, SVP, PayPal, who started Bill Me Later (later acquired by PayPal)
"PayPal's core business is rocking!" he proclaims. Merchant Services generated $97 billion in volume in 2012. He expects the market to grow to more than $100 billion GMV in the coming year.
PayPal now covers 68% of the top 100 businesses in the U.S. The company is seeing 40 percent year over year increases in new business signups. PayPal plans to reduce "customer friction" at signup. (What does "friction" mean in this context?)
PayPal operates in 168 markets and is expanding into BRIC markets and will take advantage of smartphone usage around the world. Its strongest margins are in cross-border transactions. "This is our market, and we have no intention of giving it up."
Turns it over to Don Kingsborough to speak on on Omni-Channel Commerce
Tablets, he says, are now used more frequently than desktop or mobile devices. Instead of "location, location, location" the term is now "engagement, engagement, engagement." "We are not just about paying; we are about meeting the consumer so they can shop anywhere, anytime they choose."
PayPal is going to create "unique experiences" for the consumer. For example:
1. PayPal check-in. You can tell the merchant that she is in your store, so you can collect loyalty points.
2. Letting people order ahead on their mobile phone or tablet.
3. Letting people pay at restaurants without having to wait for the waiter.
4. "Parking is another pain point." (Believe me, we know about this here in Chicago!) Apparently drivers will be able to "top up" their parking time without having to return to the meter.
(We notice that no one is talking about the "F-Word" here: Fees. Isn't this the real consumer "pain point"?)
In just a few weeks PayPal will "go live" with a number of businesses.
"Our expectation is that Omni-Channel will have a tremendous halo effect on our core businesses." (Do people talk like this in the real world?)
Turns it over to Hill Ferguson, VP, Global Product, PayPal.
"We want our customers to love--not like, but love--our products and use them every day." Demonstrates on screen how payment experience is being reduced from 30 seconds to just "a few seconds."
Merchants will also get more access to customer user data. (Read those user agreements before you submit your data!)
He shows how individuals who don't have PayPal accounts can take photos of their credit cards to pay for things--and get PayPal accounts.
David Marcus returns. "We're reinventing PayPal for all of our customers--consumers, merchants, and customers." Over the next three years, PayPal expects to double its business again, from $145 billion to, presumably, $290 billion and above. He concludes with a video--the soundtrack sounds like what you hear at a Blue Man Group performance.
Chris Saridakis, GSI Commerce
(He throws around the terms "multi-channel" and "omni-channel" which are apparently two different things. I wish someone would explain the difference!)
CSI (oops, I mean GSI) has grown from 6 to 30 stores since 2011. GSI is there to help companies keep up with and connect with increasingly mobile customers, he says. (He also says that GSI's clients have been growing faster than the rest of the e-commerce market, but we don't get firm figures on that.)
What's the single thing a retailer should be doing now: leveraging the brick-and-mortar store to create a virtual network, where buyers can order online and pick up in store, have an item shipped from the store, etc.
The CEO of the company that owns Kate Spade speaks on a video; he uses the word "multi-channel." Apparently no one told him to say "Omni-Channel." He mentions "The Wall as a Mall"--video screens will be placed in a store window to advertise items that can be purchased through eBay Now and delivered within two hours.
Wrap up by John Donahoe: "This year we will do $20B mobile payments and $20B in mobile commerce volume."
We'll be picking up this afternoon's session in a separate blog post - be sure and see Part 2!