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eBay Tells Sellers It Is Leaning into Its Vertical Playbook

eBay Tells Sellers It Is Leaning into Its Vertical Playbook

eBay shared the results of its 4th quarter with sellers in a post on the company’s Announcement Board. The head of eBay Americas Market Jordan Sweetnam called it a strong quarter that exceeded expectations.

A section called out the top takeaways:

  • Overall, 2020 closed out well ahead of expectations with marketplace GMV up 18% in Q4.
  • Our active buyer base grew +7%, lifting the annual base to 185M – with a record one out of every 10 U.S. holiday shoppers purchasing on eBay.
  • Sustained growth has us investing and leaning further into eBay’s vertical playbook and new product experiences to achieve our tech-led re-imagination vision.

On Wednesday’s call with Wall Street analysts, Sweetnam’s boss CEO Jamie Iannone repeatedly called out that “vertical playbook,” citing changes the company made in two categories – authentication in Luxury Watches and Sneakers – as well as an initiative in the UK in the fashion category.

In his post, Sweetnam explained why sellers who don’t sell in those categories should care:

“The results? Luxury watches (over $2000) saw double-digit GMV growth in Q4, and $100+ sneaker sales tripled. And while this is great news for our luxury watches and sneakers sellers – more importantly these categories actually lifted sales in other areas.

“For example, the average customer who purchased a pair of $100+ sneakers went on to spend a total of $2500 on eBay overall – with 80% of that spend in categories outside of sneakers. It’s this sort of unique, cross-category shopping opportunity that we intend to translate into more buyers, more opportunities and more sales for you.”

Sweetnam also called out what he said were additional factors that contributed to eBay’s results:

  • Investing in new marketing campaigns that reach more Gen Z and Millennial customers – including a TikTok dance challenge with 4.7 billion views, real world experiences that bring eBay to life, and celebrity and athlete partnerships.
  • Increased automation to our Seller Initiated Offers feature – which enables custom deals to individual buyers.
  • Optimization of search, which resulted in faster traffic growth and delivered more visibility to listings.
  • Strength of our native app: 95% of eBay store subscribers that have migrated to the newest experience saw a 20% average increase in visits.
  • Managed Payments continues to roll-out so that buyers around the globe can use their payment method of choice, while saving you money with a simpler eBay experience.

You can read Sweetnam’s full letter, which he ended by thanking sellers, on the eBay Announcement Board, and feel free to leave a comment below on what struck you about eBay’s 4th quarter results and its tech-led re-imagination vision, including its vertical playbook.

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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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

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