If you want to buy a personalized item, Etsy is more likely to come to mind than eBay, but that perception is something the latter wants to change. Today, eBay announced a new tool to help sellers in certain geographies offer personalization, “without the hassle of managing requests manually,” in its words.
It’s no secret that stodgy eBay is trying to keep up with or stay ahead of its younger rivals when it comes to certain categories. For example, in response to the rise of sneaker marketplace StockX, eBay launched new fees and an authentication service in its sneakers category.
Interestingly, Etsy CEO Josh Silverman had told financial news service CNBC late last year that the most-searched term on its site in 2020 was “personalized gifts.”
eBay CEO Jamie Iannone had informed Wall Street analysts of its personalization initiative at the end of last month, and now it’s launching in the UK. The CEO had said it would roll out in Germany as well this month (eBay had run a pilot in Germany in 2019), and all major markets in the coming months.
“In the past, this process was manual, which limited GMV,” Iannone told analysts. “But we believe this new experience can significantly improve customer satisfaction, bring more supply onto the platform, and capture more growth.”
A UK-based spokesperson for the company said today that eBay had recorded over 600 searches a day for “personalized” items in 2020. “Whether you’re adding a name or initial to an item, changing the colour of an invite, or printing an image on a product, eBay’s new tool will make it easier for sellers to support personalisation requests.”
Iannone had told analysts last month that eBay did millions of (customized) items on the site, but with friction between the buyer and the seller. The new capability offers a seamless experience, he said.
Here’s a look at Etsy’s description of its personalization tool for sellers. In contrast, eBay is using an Item Specific called “personalise” (British spelling) to enable the tool, according to the following video:
eBay is also running a promotion for UK sellers interested in taking advantage of the new tool. According to its announcement:
“To help enterprising sellers to make the most of this growing trend ahead of Father’s Day on 20 June, fees to sell personalised items will be cut to 2% until 31st March 2022 (an average saving of 85%) and a new personalisation tool will be added to the site, helping sellers to offer customisable options without the hassle of managing requests manually.
“From adding a name or initial to an item, to printing an image on a product, eBay’s new tool and offers will make it easier and cheaper for sellers to support personalisation requests, while helping shoppers to add a personal touch to their purchases.
“In a further boost to those wanting to join or expand their store on eBay to make the most of the trend, sellers will also be able to list an additional 250 personalised products at no additional cost.”
Do you have thoughts on how useful eBay’s personalization tool will be to you as a seller? Leave a comment below, and see the April 28 AuctionBytes Blog post.