Return from break.(Ina taking over from David on blogging.)
John Donahoe made some introductions:
Josh Silverman, President of Skype, "Mister Fix-It." He went over to Maarketplatz, Shopping.com,
You'll hear from three Marketplaces executives:
Mark Carges - initially oversee all technology platforms - playing interim CTO for Marketplaces
Stephanie Tilenius - one of the best product people. Has a deep understanding of eBay
Lorrie Norrington - had been prez of Shopping.com.
Let's take a moment to get grounded about marketplaces. We connect buyers and sellers, Locally, Nationally and Globally. What's going on at eBay? Lot of change.
We're creating a new eBay. Today, we're not meeting needs of sellers or expectations of buyers, and that must change. To realize the promise and potential - must fix foundation by transforming user experience and our technology to position us to stabilize this business and capture oppty in secondary market that we are well positioned to win. And will strengthen all formats.
We're positioned to do this. To dimension this for you, we have 25 million sellers - serve 150 million unique visitors a month. .. across 50 thousand categories. Across the world. (ran through sales stats)
We offer broadest choice of formats on the web. World's largest marketplace. Unburdened by physical inventory. Our sellers can move nimbly. Great deals for buyers.
We deliver buyers whatever they want in the format that suits their needs - in a hurry - FP format; looking for unique, scarce items - auction format; marketplace as a seller platform. Highest quality, best-priced sellers will win. We are not a retailer and will not compete with our sellers. But because sellers compete, our buyers get the best deals.
If marketplace is so advantaged, why not growing fast?
1 year ago, realized we needed to make foundational change - we hadn't kept up.
In 2008, took a hard look at customer experience. The auction format had grown beyond its natural size, bec. it was the only game in time since early days. We continued to optimize for auctions, so constrained growth of fixed price. We were too slow to change, let everyone into the marketplace, which impacted buyer trust. We were too incremental.
We needed to revamp technology, improve customer experience.
We began a 3 year journey last year. 1) fix foundation. this will stabilize the eBay business. Stem auctions, unleash FP and other formats. Stabalizaiton not enough - must position for growth
- improve user experience
- innovating through technology
- strengthening complementary formats
We revamped feedback, and advantaged high-quality sellers in search. We improved user experience - new search platform. Best sellers and dealers reached to the top. Lengthened duration. Pricing incentives.
Trusted sellers are growing. From 12 percent to 27 percent in terms of GMV. Growing faster - 22 percent growth. Our hi quality sellers are winning. Listings were up in Q4.
Lower shipping costs. 12 to 30 percent of listings w/ free shipping - Shooting for 40 percent listings with free shipping by holiday 2009.
In 2009, we need to do more.
In April , top buyers - will provide eBay Buyer Protection. Goal - expand to all US buyers, followed by international.
More risk-free shopping and improve seller economics.
Position to grow: focus on where we can win - the secondary market. We built on used market - eBay brand has become synonomous w/ great deals in used items.
Product life cycles being compressed. Secondary market (SM) is sweet spot - global opportunity: 500 billion dollars a year. offprice , liquidators, wholesalers,
Why Marketplace works for SM:
SM is inefficient.
Have an uncertain value - can maximize velocity across formats
Buyers looking for great deals, not concierge service. Want confidence and choice for best deal. Search can surface these best deals.
User experience & technology.
Transforming user experience. I came from PayPal. I'm a top buyer - family feedback of 1600. I'm committed to fixing the user experience.
We are transforming Search. From time-ending soonest to relevance. Exposed auctions at the top, with high shipping costs. We were not surfacing value. Now, Price, relevance, quality of items and sellers, through Best Match.
Whole New Level of search - do a search for Wii Games - pictures, not listings. Based on a catalog. The Product Detail page enables buyer to choose btwn new and used inventory. Building Multi-SKU pages. Exploring better ways to surface inventory - Snapshot View.
Secondary Market - large oppty to grow.
Wrap up by taking you into the future. Today's search is clunky, a lot of work. In our vision, the buyer doesn't need to navigate multiple sites. Shopper comes searches for an iPod - various formats and advertising that shows what's available across the web.
Shoppers will come to eBay: Selection, service the way you want. A starting point on the web. New, SM, Used, in various formats.
Using search. Managing Real time engine - extremely tough problem to solve. Mark C. will talk about technology.
What doing to improve seller experience. Sellers are critical to eBay. You can guarantee velocity of trade on eBay, but we need to do more to help sellers succeed. Better tools, customer service, improve efficiencies for seller.
We briefed sellers. Including Jack Sheng (eforcity). One of our toughest critics and most successful sellers. (Audio clip of Jack speaking (could be a video). Hard to hear him because music is playing over his voice).
Jack: need better communication. Unintended consequences of changes. Need exposure on search, customer service. Good that eBay is focusing on certain verticals. Just because sellers have complaints, doesn't mean it's a bad marketplace. We do need to take care of the buyers. eBay brings buyers to the table.
1:30pm Mark Carges
(Joined eBay 6 months ago. Large scale software dev background.)
Making significant changes in technology coming.
Two questions: Fixing search? User experience keeping up?
Investing resources in:
1) Improving search relevance. (Positronic acquisition)
2) New search platform in 2008. Improved relevance, better sorting. Focus in 2009 is to improve Best Match
3) Evolving search engine into platform. Will be able to build multiple shopping experiences.
EBay has unique challenges with structured and unstructured data. Technology goal is to build an uniquely eBay catalogue.
Has not kept pace. Moving from listing-based shopping experience.
Available now: Snapshot view of listings.
Opening up to more 3rd party developers. Project "Echo" Applications will become "native" on eBay, so users can subscribe to applications right on eBay site.
Technology will be driving strategy.
Be able to subscribe to desired apps on the site:
Mark & Stephanie talked about User Experience and Technology, 2 key ingredients for driving growth. As ecommerce evolves, must expand all formats to lead in ecommerce.
Let's cover the Classifieds format. $270 billion format: by category, geographic expansion and new monetization streams.
Classifieds are largely complementary to eBay transaction business. Majority of listings are services, dating, jobs and housing. We have built a number 1 or 2 position in 8 of major global markets. Strong potential: Insertion fees, feature fees, advertising. We deliver value & selection in any format right for shopper buying occasion.
We are reshaping this bus. We've experienced the slowdown and decline in auction format, but most formats grew faster than ecommerce in 2008. Auctions will decline in 2009 and stabilize in 2010 and beyond. Our other formats: FP, classifieds advertising and verticals will grow faster than the market.
3 things to remember (Marketplaces)
1) we are transforming markeptlace
2) Focusing where we can win - secondary market (SM). We are not focused on retail. Already making strides.
3) Growing our complementary formats to ensure we deliver choice for buyers for any shopping occasion.
Speaking on behalf of the entire Markeptlaces team, w're committed to ensuring promise & Potential - we will be one of winners in ecommerce.
She handed over to Josh Silverman to talk about Skype, which we're not blogging