In the vicious fight to become the world's most popular eCommerce giant – eBay have certainly had a devastating fall. From being one of the biggest marketplaces in the world, to becoming an “afterthought” for people who cannot find what they want on other platforms is a serious kick in the teeth. Amazon have taken over as the dominant force with their smooth user experience, great affiliate programme and quick and simple third-party seller market. As a response to the fall in market share, eBay is releasing new features to entice buyers and sellers back to their market.
Idealo Collaboration – A Match Made in Heaven?
eBay have recently launched a collaboration with Idealo, which will see customers given the ability to buy direct from eBay using the Idealo platform. The price comparison service, which was launched in 2000 has grown in popularity enough to catch the attention of eCommerce giants eBay. In a bid to make the shopping experience easier for users, the connection between the two websites looks set to give users the ability to shop directly from eBay while on the Idealo platform. But in trying to ensure the user experience has less “clicks” than its predecessor, is Idealo leaving itself exposed to a huge greymarket or counterfeit problem?
What will the partnership look like?
The ‘test’ phase will start with 200,000 eBay offers. For customers, this means that these items will be available for direct purchase on the Idealo comparison platform. The idea is that more products will be added and the path to conversion will significantly shorten, which means more business for the eBay sellers involved.
How could this be manipulated by fraudsters?
As much as eBay tries to regulate, many people selling greymarket and counterfeit products “slip through the net”. The issue with the collaboration with Idealo is that anyone who has set up an account on eBay to defraud potential buyers could accidently be given a bigger “platform” through the partnership with Idealo. One thing that is not yet clear is how the pricing will work. A lot of products will be cheaper on eBay so it remains to be seen whether they will offer a “best price” feature. Although the details of exactly how this works have not yet been shared, it is likely that Idealo will not further verify anyone that comes through to the platform with an already verified eBay account.
Local Ads – Another way for eBay to Take on the Amazon Giant
Can this addition to eBay’s advertising services help it catch up with Amazon?
After launching a successful local advertising format in the UK, eBay is now set to roll out this capability to German eBay users. Also, in a bid to potentially catch up with eCommerce platforms like Shopify and Oberlo, eBay is now offering a shipping service to certain sellers. The rise and fall of the eCommerce giant hasn’t gone unnoticed by savvy millennials who make up most brands and products target audience, with eBay often becoming the butt of jokes on social media for it’s slow growth and it’s inability to keep up with modern tech. Not only do the two services eBay is now offering the German market make the user experience better for sellers, but buyers can also benefit from having a smoother eCommerce service and ads that are more relevant to them.
How easy is it to buy local ads?
eBay offers local ads through a self-service portal that is available to direct advertisers or agencies. Brands and re-sellers can easily buy advertising space targeted by geo to ensure their ads are reaching the relevant target audience. Advertising is one of the things that have set back eBay in comparison to competitors like Amazon, who not only have their own advertising portal and affiliate programme but also have their own DSP, the piece of software that online advertisers use to access premium inventory across the web. While the local ads facility is nowhere near taking on an actual DSP, it is still a great step towards taking back some of the online advertising market.
Will eBay’s new Logistics Services Give Them a Competitive Edge?
Amazon have operated “Fulfillment by Amazon” for a while now so it is little wonder eBay have decided to try and catch up to remaking competitive. Commercial dealers in Germany will now be able to access eBay fulfillment and eBay logistics services. eBay is currently offering this service with Hermes, but it is likely more partners will come in 2019.
What Does This Mean for Buyers?
To the “normal” user, some of these behind the scenes changes won’t sound like they will make much of a difference. The Idealo collaboration is going to be the main new feature that is actually noticed on the customer side. But with apps like Wish offering a price comparison engine and a marketplace in one go, is this going to be enough for eBay to remain competitive? Some of the features that are aimed at sellers can also have a huge impact on the buyer side. When GDPR was introduced across Europe, it meant that due to data sharing becoming harder, ads were less targeted towards specific demographics. Although a lot of customers are “data conscious” this still means they are getting generic ads that are not catered to them. eBay's local ads service will at least ensure they are a geographical match for what is being sold.
What Does This Mean for Sellers?
One of the severe issues that is contributing to eBay’s fall as a market leader is the fact that so many sellers are leaving to go to competitors like Wish, Amazon and Alibaba. The local ads will be a great way for sellers to increase their CTR – as the buyer is more likely to buy an item if it has a low delivery charge or is available to pick up nearby to where they live. When it comes to the logistics side of things, it may take a while for eBay to offer genuine competition for something as sleek as Amazon Prime, but it will certainly help them claim back some sellers who are getting sick of Amazon’s platform fees.
What are the Drawbacks?
Although all of the new features eBay are offering can seem like win win situations for everyone, there are still likely to be some huge drawbacks. One of the main issues with incorporating a platform like Idealo into eBay is the fact that this gives fraudsters more opportunity to scam innocent customers. The less steps there are in the buying process – the less opportunity there is to verify sellers. Countefeit and greymarket products can easily fit into these set-ups. The local ads are also a great idea to bring a better advertising experience to both buyer and seller, but could they be exploited by criminals? Only time will tell what the new features can bring.