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eBay Marketplace Revenue Up 1 Percent in Fourth Quarter

eBay grew its total Gross Merchandise Volume and revenue by 5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, year-over-year. And while its StubHub and Classifieds businesses did well, eBay Marketplace GMV grew 4 percent, while revenue growth was nearly flat at 1 percent.

eBay total GMV was $21.9 billion for the quarter, while revenue was $2.3 billion. It also said its active buyer base grew 5% to 162 million.

Here’s how the revenue broke down by major business line:

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  • eBay Marketplace: Revenue of $1.9 billion – up 1%
  • StubHub: Revenue of $232 million – up 34%
  • Classifieds: Revenue of $183 million – up 15%

eBay CEO Devin Wenig called the performance “solid” and said he’s making a major transformation of the business, but he appeared to blame his predecessor for part of the problems he’s now facing.

Financial media were not impressed with eBay’s fourth quarter performance. “The ecommerce industry might be booming, but eBay isn’t going much of anywhere fast,” wrote Forbes.

“eBay Inc. failed to lift sales during the lucrative holiday season and signaled a tough start to the year, troubling signs for the online marketplace that has been overshadowed by Amazon.com Inc.,” wrote the Wall Street Journal.

In discussing his strategy going forward, Wenig said eBay was going to move away from commodity towards what’s unique about eBay. He then made what could only be seen as a criticism of former management when he said, “We’re going to make catch-up investments that probably historically should have been made but were not, in order to better compete over the long run.”

Wenig again pointed to his Product Identifiers initiative (called Structured Data to Wall Street analysts) as a way to increase discoverability and improve the buying experience. An analyst referenced the 38% of eBay relevant listings that currently had structured data, which eBay said would rise to 60%; the analyst asked, “how much of the GMV does that typically represent?” Surprisingly, the eBay CEO said he would have to check that number.

You can find the press release on the EcommerceBytes Blog, and visit the eBay website for full information and disclosures, where you can also listen to an audio recording of the presentation.

Comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

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Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. Send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.


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