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eBay Tells Wall Street Things Are ‘Bang on Track’

eBay Tells Wall Street Things Are 'Bang on Track'

eBay is “bang on track” in executing on its strategy, according to Chief Financial Officer Steve Priest, though the “choppy” macroeconomic environment will dictate timing. Priest made the remarks during a session Monday morning at the J.P. Morgan 51st Annual Global Technology, Media and Communications Conference.

For any skeptics in the audience, Priest said there had also been a lot of skepticism over whether eBay could pull off the transition to “managed payments,” but eBay executed and delivered over $2 billion in revenue in payments, he said.

The CFO said eBay had made great strides and had momentum in its Focus Category strategy, which he said was all about trust – a reference to eBay’s authentication programs. For example, he said eBay Auto Parts & Accessories was seeing market levels of growth, and eBay is looking forward to seeing the same levels of success in other categories it’s leaning into, he said. “The playbook is clearly working.”

What about eBay’s previously stated goal of growing advertising to $2 billion by 2025, which would materially outpace GMV growth, the analyst asked?

Priest said advertising revenue had outpaced GMV growth by over 30 points for the last 3 quarters, and called it really incredible. The recent performance shows eBay is “well on track.”

Asked about marketing spend, Priest said a big pivot was when eBay moved away from “couponing and one-and-done” buyers and began investing in full funnel marketing. eBay will continue to invest in product and in full funnel marketing, he said. (For more context, see our coverage of eBay executives’ remarks about “low value” versus “high value” buyers in August 2021.)

Priest revealed that 80% of traffic comes directly to eBay, 10% is from paid search, and 10% is free search; eBay will continue to invest in Focus Categories and then move on to the next category, he said.

J.P. Morgan’s Anmuth also asked about eBay International Shipping. Priest said eBay was excited to unlock the opportunity as it had for payments and advertising. It’s going to help eBay unlock GMV and unlock ancillary opportunities, though he noted the EIS international shipping program was in its early days. (See what else Priest had to say about EIS in this March article.)

When asked about AI (artificial intelligence), the CFO said they’re excited and said it provides a significant “unlock” for eBay, which has already been embracing it. He said eBay has been using AI to increase ad penetration and to ensure buyers are offered more relevant opportunities via search algorithms. And from a risk standpoint, eBay has been using AI to protect “good GMV vs bad GMV.”

But the big “unlock” for eBay is inside the listing flow, Priest said. eBay has 1.8 billion active listings times X number of photographs times 28 years of history. AI inside the listing flow will help sellers list more easily and help buyers who are searching for unique items.

“We really believe that this AI unlock will be very significant for us,” he said, and referenced eBay CEO Jamie Iannone’s discussion during the first-quarter earnings call. “We are integrating Chat GPT into the listing flow as we go forward. We see this as a huge, huge opportunity for us at eBay, and we’re excited about the prospects as we continue to lean in with the opportunities that AI provides for us.”

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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/.

2 thoughts on “eBay Tells Wall Street Things Are ‘Bang on Track’”

  1. Yep bang on track. Six anchors stores @ 349.00 a month, Just cancelled and downgraded to regular stores @ 78.00 a month. A monthly saving of over 1200.00 a month. Reason. Ignorant nasty customer service especially in georgia, to many glitches to even deal with, And add your own reason.

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