Online marketplace Bonanza has brought in a new executive to run its marketplace. Greg Braukus comes from Terex Corporation where he was most recently Director of Enterprise eCommerce. His first day at Bonanza was January 2nd.
He spent over four years at Amazon in the mid 2000’s, and in an interview with EcommerceBytes on Friday, he talked the talk: among his priorities are to listen to customers and give them the tools they need to succeed while also driving efficiencies.
Bonanza founder Bill Harding said Braukus had certain principles drilled into him during his time at Amazon, including the focus on customers. (Who’s the customer, we asked Braukus? Sellers, he said without skipping a beat.) The two see Bonanza as a lower cost venue that offers greater growth opportunity.
One of the foundational elements on which the new Vice President wants to make progress is Bonanza’s position as a trusted, reliable, secure, and compliant marketplace, he said.
He also wants to simplify the business and go back to Bonanza’s roots by reconnecting with its community of sellers.
When it comes to marketing – specifically driving buyers to the site – Harding said they’re focused on the value proposition Bonanza brings to sellers, which he said ties back to Broadcaster. That’s the feature that allows sellers to market their listings on Google Shopping, eBay, and through affiliate marketing.
Bonanza will also be looking at the best marketing avenues in 2020, which include social media – and Braukus will bring Amazon’s discipline to bear by measuring the performance of marketing investments.
While Braukus will take on the task of running Bonanza’s marketplace, Harding will serve as nominal CEO and advisor to support Greg, but he will be principally focused on Bonanza’s other products this year: Amplenote (tasks and note taking) and GitClear (developermetrics, git analytics).
In an announcement going out to sellers, Harding said that in addition to leveraging Bonanza longstanding “secret sauce,” which is happy sellers, Braukus will renew Bonanza’s focus in the following ways:
- the best-in-class seller value proposition, with tools and features to generate profit with less process;
- a marketplace that can effectively combat fraud and ensure compliance at a time where many eCommerce sites have come under scrutiny;
- a reinvigorated, seller-based community that helps drive decision-making.
In the interview, both Harding and Braukus called out the current regulatory environment, including new sales tax requirements and the need to focus on fighting counterfeits. Harding called it unprecedented, impacting every marketplace. But he also sees it as an opportunity given Bonanza’s experience. Nevertheless, he hopes the team can spend less time this year on issues like individual state sales tax requirements and more time on marketing, he said.
Harding also said fighting fakes will always be a cat-and-mouse game – there’s no single recipe to solve the problem. Bonanza uses technology to stay ahead, including heuristics and machine learning, much of it developed in-house along with the help of some third-party tools, the CEO said.
Customer service is also an issue sellers care deeply about, and Braukus said, “we can always do better.” Three weeks into his new job, he’s looking at the best ways to provide service to sellers.
We asked Braukus if he saw Bonanza as a marketplace or a marketing channel. For instance, if he was talking to an online seller, how would he describe it? Both, he replied. Harding chimed in – that’s what makes Bonanza unique.
It will be interesting to see how Braukus makes his mark on Bonanza. The marketplace launched in 2008 when many then-dissatisfied eBay sellers were looking for an alternative venue, and he’s clearly looking to recapture the enthusiasm of Bonanza’s early days.