|Sun Jan 25 2009 16:42:46|
eBay Defines Selection, Value and Trust Metrics
By: Ina Steiner
During eBay's Q4-2008 presentation to analysts last week, it showed on Slide #16 of its presentation three graphs that were evidence that changes made in 2008 were having a positive effect on three key areas: selection, value and trust. On the surface, however, the metrics eBay used did not appear to me to be good indicators of the three characteristics they are trying to measure.
The graph depicting Selection showed the increase in the number of listings on eBay. But 1 million listings of one item is different from 1 million of listings of 1 million different items. Therefore, an increase in the number of listings does not necessarily indicate an increase in "selection." A more accurate way to measure selection would be by SKU, something eBay is not good at counting.
I've heard sellers complain about the types of products Diamond-level PowerSellers have been listing on eBay since the fall, including Duracell batteries and Bounty paper towels. More SKUs, for sure, but as sellers have pointed out, is this kind of added selection that adds to eBay's success?
I'm also wondering why eBay closed down its Live Auctions platform on December 31, 2008, if it wanted greater selection. While some may applaud the closure, it reduces the selection of unique items on eBay (beginning in Q1-2009, of course).
Also found on Slide 16 was a graph measuring Value. This graph showed the increase in the percentage of listings offering free shipping. Since sellers are still required to pay shipping carriers, I would argue that many sellers increase the selling price to offset the free shipping offers. If anything, it might be "perceived value," but I'm not sure shoppers are so easily fooled.
eBay has unaccountably removed the Q4 earnings-call presentation from the Investors home page. If anyone has a copy of Slide 16, please send me a link, thanks!
Update: eBay had moved the presentation from the investor homepage to a different page. The Trust graph measures "% GMV of from Sellers w/ 4.8+ DSR's" - here's Slide 16.