eBay announced several new features for sellers during the first keynote address at day 2 of its eBay Open virtual conference related to shipping and marketing. Later in the day, it made an announcement about an initiative to reduce Unpaid Items.
Xiaodi Zhang, who returned to eBay as Vice President of Seller Experience this month after an absence of 12 years, announced eBay would create a simplified shipping experience for items sold under the eBay Authenticity Guarantee program.
“We’re working with our carrier partners to lower the cost for items that go through the authentication hubs,” she said. “Starting later this year with Authenticity Guarantee eligible sneakers in the US, sellers will automatically get a label for their shipment. No more need to figure out which carrier and services to select.
“Buyers will also get a consistent shipping price, so no more need to worry about that either.”
eBay will roll it out to additional categories and markets next year.
While some sellers may appreciate simplicity, most enjoy having the option to ship the way they wish, and this new feature does not appear to be optional.
Zhang also provided more details about a new international shipping program referenced by eBay CEO Jamie Iannone during his keynote address the day before.
Zhang said the goal is to make international shipping as hassle-free as shipping an item domestically with less risk and lower cost than existing programs. eBay will take care of customs, international shipping, and returns, she said.
You can find details (and seller reaction) about the new eBay International Shipping program in our reporting from Wednesday (“eBay Launches Brand New International Shipping Program to Replace GSP“).
eBay also “officially” announced the program during a 2pm session on day 2 on Thursday.
eBay is also rolling out a new experience in Parts & Accessories, which is one of its largest categories, by bringing Fitment front and center. And, she said, “we’re improving how search uses Fitment as well to ensure shoppers can trust the results,” referring to new badging, messaging, and persistent vehicle information.
It’s no secret eBay has been focused on improving fitment due to a recent acquisition (“eBay Acquires Tool to Help Determine Auto Parts Compatibility“).
Ashish Chhabra, eBay’s Vice President of Global Markets – Operations, also presented during the keynote address.
He discussed the importance of photos and referred to the news announced by CEO Jamie Iannone yesterday that eBay will allow sellers to upload up to 24 images for free (the current limit is 12).
He also said videos are now “retail standard,” and said eBay began allowing sellers to upload videos last year.
New this year: Store subscribers will be able to upload videos to their storefronts on eBay. Sellers can use it as a branding tool, a way to showcase their expertise and share their personalities, and to upload how-to videos.
Videos will be mostly ramped for all Store sellers by the end of September, he said.
Chhabra discussed marketing tools for sellers including newsletters for Store subscribers and the ability to segment buyers into segments through “Buyer Groups.”
You can find Day 1 keynote coverage on this post, and eBay is making some videos from the seller conference available on its eBay for Business Youtube channel. eBay is expected to officially announce these and other features in a Fall Seller Update soon.
In a later session on Thursday, Deepak Sharma, the Vice President of Payments and Risk Technology, said eBay would begin reducing Unpaid Items by collecting payment information during the Best Offer submission flow so once a seller accepted an offer, payment would be processed.
Some buyers are already in a pilot program, and eBay will ramp it up after the holidays.