|Tue July 5 2011 11:19:33|
AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand
By: David Steiner
Last week Ina and I were rummaging through our basement and came across a box filled with 500 copies of the very first issue of AuctionBytes-Update we published in October 1999. That's right, AuctionBytes was started with every intention of being a print publication, not a website.
When we first began publishing, auctions were 100% of eBay's business, and Amazon and Yahoo had respectable online auction marketplaces. The big three were where most individuals and mom and pop businesses were selling online. PayPal wasn't in existence yet.
Familiar industry names included GoTo Auctions (now ChannelAdvisor), AuctionWatch (now Vendio), AuctionWorks (which later changed its name to MarketWorks), AuctionSubmit, and Online Traders Web Alliance (OTWA).
It was interesting to flip through that first edition, which read like a time capsule, and consider the changes we've seen take place in online retail over the past 12 years.
Online sellers have come a long way since 1999, and the name "AuctionBytes" doesn't seem to be broad enough to describe what we report on anymore, since ecommerce encompasses a broad spectrum of fixed price and auction selling formats. Many merchants who cut their teeth on eBay have graduated to multiple sales channels, including their own branded retail presence.
That doesn't mean online auctions are no longer an important part of our coverage. eBay CEO John Donahoe may have marginalized the auction format, but think how much better eBay would have done in the last economic downturn if it had leveraged auctions as consumers looked online for bargains.
When eBay began a transition to big box retailers in 2008, we recognized the trend and began to include more coverage of alternative fixed price venues, website solutions, shopping carts, merchant account providers - topics to help small sellers strengthen their own online businesses - in addition to covering online marketplaces and auction sites.
EcommerceBytes is a domain name we've owned for several years, in anticipation of that change. Over the next few months, we'll be transitioning to the new name. The changes will be, by and large, cosmetic. No changing of bookmarks will be necessary, and the transition should be fairly transparent to you. But you may find a few name inconsistencies on the site, so please bear with us during this period.
If you have been a long-time reader, our mission remains the same: independent reporting of ecommerce with a focus on small businesses.
This is a challenging period for small online retailers, but I suspect it will also be looked back as one of the more exciting times. More and more SMBs are finding success in the new realities of ecommerce than ever before - and they're doing it on their own terms.
We will continue to help you grow your businesses the best way we know how - that's not changing.