EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 1923 - November 21, 2008     1 of 4

eBay Page Views Drop Off Dramatically in October

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eBay has seen a steady decline in page views throughout 2008, and in October suffered a precipitous drop of over 30% compared to the same period last year, according to data provided by Nielsen Online.

AuctionBytes last reported on eBay's traffic numbers in May when we noted eBay's page views had decreased 11.3% year-over-year (YoY) in the first quarter of 2008, dropping from 42 billion page views to 37.2 billion page views. Page views continued its downward trend through October, where they were down 32.6% compared to October 2007. (All of retail took a hit in October 2008 due to economic conditions.)

Page views for the third quarter (July, August, September) 2008 were down 16.58% YoY. This was compared to a 4.22% increase in the third quarter of 2007 compared with the same quarter 2006.

The unique audience for the third quarter 2008 was down 8.2% compared to the same quarter in 2007. In fact, the chart shows unique audience numbers are down to 2005 levels in October 2008.

The downward trend in eBay's page views began in January. April to July is always a period of downward activity - eBay is a seasonal marketplace that does best in the fall and winter months. But the downward trend continued from July 2008 to the present, although that could be explained at least in part by severe economic conditions.

In May, we noted that eBay was rolling out initiatives directed at improving the buying experience on the site in the hopes of bringing back customers. In early 2007, it began rolling out Trust & Safety initiatives to reduce fraud on the site, and it also began testing new search technology to improve the "finding" experience.

In mid-January, eBay announced more change (Meg Whitman stepping down as President and CEO, modifications to fees, and changes to feedback and seller standards), and eBay continued announcing major changes to the site throughout the rest of the year, including rolling out its Best Match search algorithm to the site. Regardless of these changes, the charts compiled from Nielsen data show a striking downward trend in eBay's page views throughout 2008.

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About the author:

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). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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