“It’s not about categories, it’s about vertical platforms that scale,” eBay told sellers during its February Seller Check-in, which was conducted over Zoom with over 900 people in attendance.
Jordan Sweetnam, Senior Vice President and General Manager for eBay’s North America Market, reviewed the company’s “vertical” approach in three categories – Luxury Watches, Trading Cards, and Sneakers.
The next categories where eBay will take a vertical approach include Comics, Coins, Stamps, and Vinyl, he said.
Sweetnam showed a slide titled, “What’s next?” that answered with the following:
“More verticals, faster.”
- It’s not about categories, it’s about vertical platforms that scale.
- Grow the marketplace, drive your sales and protect your reputation.
- More high-profile vertical activations. We win when we are bold.
Andrea Stairs, who is both Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President of Seller Community of eBay North America, told attendees during the Zoom session that eBay was partnering with influencers in the three categories where it has been focusing on its new vertical approach.
eBay is also working to drive traffic in new places, including TikTok and Reddit, she said. “Twitch is a new platform we’re testing and experimenting with,” Stairs said. It’s about storytelling, and eBay is working to attract younger customers.
Keala Gaines, Vice President of Payment Services, provided an update on Managed Payments. She said eBay was working on faster payouts of funds to sellers (previously sellers received money instantly into their PayPal accounts). She said the speed at which banks move money through the ACH network is outside eBay’s full control, but eBay was working to optimize such things as cut-off times when sending batches to the banks.
Gaines said the Managed Payments journey would be largely complete by the end of 2021, but eBay would continue to release new features and enhance the payments platform based on customer needs in 2022 and beyond.
Hazel Mitchell, Senior Director of Global Customer Service, made a bold promise to sellers: over the next few weeks, wait times for customer service will improve.
Over the last couple of months, they’ve seen some significant improvements in the average speed of answer, she said.
She also announced that eBay was about to launch an innovative service model for customer service – it allows eBay’s very best sellers to earn additional dollars by helping other eBayers be successful. “We’re going to connect expert sellers with newer sellers,” she said.
eBay is recruiting sellers who would use an app to provide customer service on their own terms, with no obligation.
eBay piloted the program in another market, Mitchell said, and some sellers there are earning up to a thousand dollars a month.
Harry Temkin, Vice President of Seller Experience, gave demos on new reports eBay has made available to sellers, and he talked about the new unified listing tool, which is still in beta testing while eBay collects seller feedback.
He reminded sellers of the importance of including Item Specifics (product attributes) in listings to ensure maximum search visibility.
Temkin also said with the new unified listing tool, eBay’s image cleanup tool would be available for desktop users (it’s currently only available in mobile).
eBay had time for one question, which was about Unpaid Items – eBay will be making some changes until it can get a handle on the feature, which it hopes to complete by the end of the year.
eBay will make the full video of Wednesday’s February Seller Check-in available on YouTube on Friday.