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Thu June 17 2010 22:32:07

Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google

By: Ina Steiner

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Despite coming from eBay, Google's new Vice President of Ecommerce Stephanie Tilenius does not see small retailers as growth drivers. Rather, she is focused on mobile commerce ("half of all Internet connections are from mobile devices") and said B2C retailers are key drivers of growth in online commerce.

In fact, during the past several years, eBay has focused on mobile commerce and on attracting large B2C retailers such as Buy.com and Disney, as well as rolling out a campaign of disruptive innovation. So perhaps it isn't such a surprise to hear Stephanie looking for innovation as she starts her new role at Google. "We believe it's time for websites and mobile websites to start innovating," she told 6400 retailers gathered at the Internet Retailer conference in Chicago last week.

Google is betting on "disruption" in four key areas: Mobile, Social, Personalization and Local. "These are trends that will fundamentally change commerce in new and powerful ways." But mobile is the brass ring that the entire company is focused on, and Google is focusing on bringing shopping to the mobile web.

Retailers I spoke to who heard the keynote believe she is not yet up to speed on all of the issues facing retailers who rely on Google for exposure to their products, and that the speech was identical to one she gave at ChannelAdvisor Catalyst in May.

AuctionBytes Contributing Editor Greg Holden live-blogged the keynote address here, and you can watch highlights of Stephanie's keynote address in this video.

Stephanie outlined Google's Ecommerce strategies, and the video includes some Questions and Answers:

- What Google is doing for small merchants;

- How does Google avoid conflict with its retailers as it expands its services;

- Google's plans for Google Checkout;

- Whether there are plans for approachable customer service from Google;

- Google's new CPA (Cost per Acquisition) model;

- The difference in attitude between eBay and Google about ecommerce.

Areas Stephanie spoke about but are not included in the video include:

- There are five new formats Google launched that allows retailers to put product information into ads: site links; store locator; product listings using product feeds to display detailed information such as pricing and images; product extension ads; and click to call. She said those new formats generate a 10 - 30 percent increase in conversion rates.

- Google also has a remarketing capability that lets advertisers market to shoppers after they've left their website (Google announced this in March on the AdSense Blog);

- And important to retailers, and especially relevant for small retailers: understand the importance of product feeds and customer reviews.




Comments (29) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google   Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google

This user has validated their user name. by: Pete

Thu Jun 17 23:59:15 2010

RFLMO...........

Better to have 100 X$1
than 5 x $10

Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google   Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 18 10:47:44 2010

I thought Google was a lot smarter then that.  Why follow a failing business model?

Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google   Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google

by: My Own Website Not Quite Paying My Bills Yet

Fri Jun 18 11:59:39 2010


I was just waiting for her to announce that Google just bought Zappos.

Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google   Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google

by: John

Fri Jun 18 12:22:36 2010

Maybe Google is utilizing an old phrase keep your friends close but you enemies closer. Better to pay a few hundred thousand in salary and learn how not to do it right then loose hundreds of millions not doing it right.JMHO

Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google   Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google

by: that was easy

Fri Jun 18 14:09:35 2010

The one thing I dont get is that their all pushing for "innovation" and reworking ideas and websites and platforms.
I've noticed that the more a website changes in the name of "innovation" the more difficult and user unfriendly it becomes. Especially in classifieds, they used to be simple and straight forward (I suppose you could say the same thing about ebay), now they are a mess where trying to find things can be very difficult and frustrating.

Everyone's pushing to innovate, what they seem to be leaving behind is the notion to just make things work properly.
Before they even are able to make things work their off on some new screwed up tangient.

How about some good old fashioned "de-innovation".
Clean, clear, concise & user friendly would make a world off difference. Its not all about who has the flashiest graphics and the most complex user interface. Put the money where it really counts, making you sh*t work right in the 1st place.

Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google   Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google

by: Troglodyte

Fri Jun 18 14:46:41 2010

Most of these geniuses come from the Neg Meg Whitman School of "innovation."

Her philosophy was to get all her marvelous whix bang innovations online bugs and all and fix it later...or not. Usually not.

Others are now following this obviously flawed model.

When pages load too slowly, when pages are too cluttered with flash bang animated ads that take buyers offsite, when search shows a buyer 10 zillion of the same cheap Chinese widget, when buttons and links don't work, when checkout or shopping carts don't function properly, then it is NOT "innovation."

It's failure created by greed and the ultimate manifestation of disrespect for a site's customers.

Mobile shopping is convenient for some. But consider that at home a buyer is more apt to linger, search, and possibly make multiple purchases precisely because they're not on mobile some of which are pay by the minute to use and because they more likely have a larger block of time to shop at home.

Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google   Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 18 16:50:47 2010

"The one thing I dont get is that their all pushing for "innovation" and reworking ideas and websites and platforms."

but then what would all those programmers and designers do with their time?  if they don't keep innovating and improving they would have a job.

Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google   Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google

by: oh geez

Fri Jun 18 17:10:00 2010

Oh you have got to be kidding, these ebay jokers are now spreading the disease to google.  there goes any respect I had for google

Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google   Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google

by: another side of the coin

Fri Jun 18 22:39:58 2010

Everybody is jumping on the innovation band wagon. Remember the saying your parents would tell you .. if so and so would jump off a bridge would you follow? I swear these companies are all getting soft in the head. To think I thought of Google with such high regard.

Speed isn't everything. There is something to be said for balance and simplicity. Remember the tortoise and the hare parable? I believe the winners in ecommerce will be the ones not racing to try to beat all the others.

Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google   Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google

by: another side of the coin

Fri Jun 18 23:05:00 2010

Just want to add that if you have a good thing going you should enhance it, not sabatoge and commit hari kari especially like eBay. Google should not be looking at eBay because JD & Co. do not have the core marketplace in their best interests. eBay's agenda is not long term. Just take a look at all the stock they are selling like Skittles.

Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google   Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google

by: Rich

Sat Jun 19 03:03:56 2010

She had a hand in ruining Ebay; now she has a hand in ruining Google.  Amazon is the smart one; Amazon would never hire her.  

Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google   Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google

This user has validated their user name. by: Pete

Sat Jun 19 09:38:14 2010

Looks like ebay let her go to purposely sabotage Google

Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google   Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google

by: Matt
Web Site

Sat Jun 19 13:27:38 2010

It was only a matter of time before mobile shopping became a more significant focal point.  I do agree though, at home shoppers will spend more time on sites.  Mobile shoppers are more likely to know what they want and get it right away.  

Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google   Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google

by: another side of the coin

Sat Jun 19 16:20:42 2010

Sorry I am not very eloquent in putting my thoughts to paper. I guess the point I was trying to make is these companies are jumping over each other to get the mobile, fast paced crowd that they are neglecting their foundation.

Everyone is in such a hurry to innovate that they are dismissing a big market that still exists. The home user, the collectible and antique market, and the browser buyer. I'm not saying not to innovate but do it the right way. Don't forget what and who got you to where you are today. I still grinch when JD said to ''let go of a successful past''. What an idiot. Why would you let something successful go? Keep it, nurture it and treasure it but build on and yes even innovate.

When I first heard of ST going to Google, I knew the small and medium sellers were going to be put on the back burner.

Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google   Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google

by: ENOUGH ALREADY

Sat Jun 19 16:58:33 2010

"as well as rolling out a campaign of disruptive innovation"

Here we go again...

Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google   Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google

by: Harriet This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jun 19 22:44:51 2010

Google's search has already recently changed and it is not for the better. I had much better luck finding things before. The searching now seems intuitive and builds on what you searched for in the past. Trouble is, I do not want that. I search for very specific things, and it now takes forever to root it out of the Internet. Once I have completed all my searching for that particular thing, I am done with it, and go on to something else. If I want to go back to it, I bookmark it. I don't need a search engine to think for me. I just need them to do the searching.

Of course, this is all tied to advertising and getting you to buy products, services, etc. It doesn't really have much to do with search as a service to us.

Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google   Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google

by: kw

Sun Jun 20 15:51:09 2010

I'm sick and tired of innovation, disruptive or otherwise.  It may be time to trash the computer and spend more money supporting local businesses.

It isn't just ebay or Google issues.  Every site is loaded with ads, links, videos, podcasts, etc.  I spend more time loading pages than actually finding what I was looking for in the first place.  And don't get me started on all the buttons to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and so on.  Every site is starting to look like one big junk mail flyer.

And I don't want any more surveys or customer review forms to fill out .. just send my stuff and leave me alone.  If I have a problem I'll contact the company and pray for an English speaking customer service rep.

Seems to me a lot of people yearn for simplicity, a concept completely lost on innovators.

Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google   Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google

by: Yazrallah

Sun Jun 20 22:02:08 2010

Oh great!
They cloned Meg -A- Hoe

Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google   Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google

by: Knowit

Mon Jun 21 09:27:22 2010

Stephanie seems to have just read her speech. She is not technically literate. I would imagine she was fired from eBay. Eventually, the people at Google will figure out she is clueless.

Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google   Ecommerce VP Brings eBay Philosophy to Google

by: Mechelle
Web Site

Mon Jun 21 10:40:40 2010

And important to retailers, and *especially relevant for small retailers: understand the importance of product feeds and customer reviews.*

She must really dislike small sellers and is obsessed with feedback.

Now we get the Google Feedback experience - would be nice if it could sync the reviews with the damn checkout account if they are going to have an influence on placement in shopping.

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