Bob’s Blog: 2017 Retrospective - Looking Back While Continuing to Move Forward

November 17, 2017

Bob Kupbens, VP, B2C and Seller Experience at eBay.

This article originally appeared on the eBay For Business blog. 

2017 has been a big year! We set out in February on a journey together, to be a bigger, better, bolder marketplace.  We set some ambitious goals and asked you, our sellers, to make enhancements and adjustments throughout the year.  As always, we appreciate your commitment and patience as we continue to create a seamless experience for our buyers and sellers.  

As 2017 comes to a close, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on our accomplishments and remind you that your partnership and the eBay community, is what sets us apart.  

This year we focused on 3 keys areas that we knew were important to you:

1. Reach and Velocity.

In our on-going effort to be the place where the world shops first, we launched our biggest, boldest ad campaign ever. The concept, “Fill Your Cart with Color,” is a fresh approach that we broadcasted across multiple channels including cable and network TV, internet video and display, and social media. This marketing approach was a huge success, so look forward to even more in 2018!

As this fully integrated marketing campaign drove more buyers to the site, we made sure that they would want to stay – and buy. All of your hard work around structured data and the expanded eBay catalog has reshaped the customer experience for the better, as we can now deliver easier browsing, more product reviews, and pages optimized to help buyers find your listings.

We also leaned into our promotional tools to help you grow your business – we streamlined promoted listings to make it easier for you to attract buyers, added the ability to promote single-quantity listings, and delivered on co-marketing coupons.

To further enhance your sales, we launched eBay Guaranteed Delivery. We know that buyers want assurances around delivery dates, and now they can filter for listings like yours backed by a 3-day guarantee.  As we are rolling out the program in phases, we look forward to including all sellers in 2018.

2. Easier Selling.

In 2017,  we leveraged technology and data insights to give you the pricing, listing, and sourcing guidance you need to help drive your business.

Adopting eBay’s pricing guidance can significantly improve conversion and boost sales.  We’ve increased the number of listings that get recommendations and the ease of finding this guidance.  Plus, we made it easy to apply one-click changes directly from the listings tab in Seller Hub.  

We made other significant improvements to Seller Hub (like the Growth tab, downloadable content, performance improvements), helping us become a more integrated, full-service platform.

We are updating our best practice selling content throughout Seller Center (more exciting news to come on this in 2018) and relaunched our eBay Community which now attracts nearly 2 million visitors a month.

Our shipping tools got more intuitive - new location-specific shipping rate tables allow sellers to provide more accurate charges to buyers, and a new calendar tool means sellers can customize working days and same-day cut-off times to improve the accuracy of EDD calculations.  

To make bulk uploading inventory fast and efficient, we’ve developed an upgraded Merchant Integration Platform. This easy to use, selling platform allows you to efficiently manage your orders across multiple eBay sites.

3. Strong Partnership.

This year, you did some heavy lifting to help meet your buyers’ expectations. You removed active content from your listings and got your inventory in order for eBay Guaranteed Delivery.  Google made changes to security standards and you reacted by replacing HTTP with HTTPS content so buyers could continue to see your listings. Making these changes is no small feat, and we appreciate the amazing effort.

On our end, we kept you more up-to-date on in-demand inventory than ever before. To help you cash in on specific retail moments like Back to School and Holiday, we created our eBay Top Products Hub, and sent category-specific sourcing emails so you know what to list, when to list it, and how to price it for maximum profit. We also removed third-party product listing ads that take buyers off eBay, reducing external competition.

We continued our dedication to innovation in 2017,  ensuring we’re the best partner we can be for your business. We started investing in augmented reality and artificial intelligence like Find It on eBay. This exploration of new purchasing technologies is just the beginning and will form the foundation for what’s ahead of us in 2018.

But, 2017 wasn’t all work. We also took some time to celebrate with many of you at our 2nd Annual eBay Open! During those 3 days in Las Vegas, we reaffirmed our commitment to you by focusing on your growth, sharing insights and facilitating connections within our richly diverse seller community.   

Right now, during the hype of Cyber Week, we’re honoring Small Business Saturday (November 25) with a huge marketing push on our homepage. We’ve created a Hub full of fantastic deals,sourced from eBay small businesses.  So be sure to celebrate this event with us and shop like nobody else, with purpose, November 13-25.

Here’s to the future.

Thanks to you, eBay grew 9% in the last quarter and attracted 2 million buyers globally. We did it together. You used our guidance to source the right items and price them competitively. We drove traffic to your listings with more marketing, bold creative, and an enhanced onsite experience. Your returns and shipping policies exceeded buyer expectations and encouraged more sales.   This great eBay marketplace works when we all work together and we hope these results have translated to improvements to your business.

I can’t wait to share our plans for next year with you. 2018 will bring even more transparency and open dialogue about what’s working and what’s not. But before we dive into that, we’ve got holiday to conquer. Let’s focus on this massive selling moment, make the most of it, and finish as strong as we started.

Thank you again for everything you do. Happy Holidays from our eBay family to yours!