When we say you are our business partners, we mean it! Because when you succeed, so do we.
While eBay is a big company, your success remains incredibly personal to us. I had the opportunity to meet many of you throughout 2017 at eBay Open in Las Vegas, our D.C. Fly In, or here at our headquarters in San Jose. Your hard work and passion are remarkable, and I’m so glad you are part of the eBay team.
Last year, we began adjusting to the changing behaviors of today’s online shopper, and we’re thankful to those of you who made necessary updates to your listings. While we know this was time consuming, it was critical in order for us to remain competitive and secure.
In 2018, we will continue our journey of evolving eBay into a thriving, modern retail marketplace that attracts more global buyers, gives those buyers the online shopping experience they’re accustomed to, and ultimately brings you more sales.
Here are some of our key areas of focus for 2018, including the many ways in which we’ll help your business succeed this year.
Delivering an optimal shopping experience
Today’s buyer expects to find the items they want at the right price quickly. They’ve also come to expect quality product photography and descriptions, fast, guaranteed shipping, and competitive return policies. All of these factors create trust between buyer and seller and help to instill confidence as buyers make their purchases. To give you a detailed overview of the modern buyer, we’ve launched a new, four-part blog series. Read the first two installments here and here.
With this modern buyer in mind, we will be reimagining the shopping experience and making eBay more personalized, intuitive and easy to navigate. We’ll help buyers find what they want quickly by leveraging product based commerce and our advances in structured data. We’ll invest heavily in cutting-edge technologies including artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and more, creating an eBay like you’ve never seen before. We’ll also ask for your valuable expertise and feedback in regards to the eBay catalog as we continue to roll out our new model of shopping. Learn more about how we’re evolving the shopping experience on eBay
In addition to a more intuitive and personalized on-site experience, we know the modern buyer wants their items delivered fast too. To meet their needs and help you sell more, we will expand eBay Guaranteed Delivery to include additional sellers and deliver more products in three days or less. Recently, we made it even easier to participate by removing the eBay shipping label requirement.
Checking return policies before purchasing is another common behavior of the modern buyer. Data shows that 75% of buyers check return policies before purchasing*. Additionally, sellers who switched to a 30-day free-return policy (from a no-returns policy) saw up to 15% lift in conversion.** With this data in mind, we’ll be encouraging you to update your return policies so you can convert more of your sales.
As part of a multi-year journey in streamlining our end-to-end experience, we will begin intermediating payments in 2018. This means shoppers will be able to check out and pay all within eBay. On the seller end, you can expect simplified pricing, centralized sales information, and greater reach. As we make this transition, we will work closely with you to ensure the new payment capabilities reflect your needs. We'll continue to share more details on Seller Center about this process including next steps for sellers.
Guidance and improved resources to help you run a more profitable business
To help you remain competitive in 2018, we’ll give you more pricing and inventory guidance, along with a suite of improved seller resources. Because when your business maintains a competitive edge, it improves the overall competitiveness of eBay.
Last year, we acquired Terapeak, a market research tool that helps you determine what to sell, when to sell it, and at what price. Our plan is to combine Terapeak’s world-class research capabilities with the best of Seller Hub, eBay’s seller analytics tool, to give you one platform for gathering insights. To complement these insights, we’ll continue to build out our promotional tools, enabling you to get the right products in front of the right buyers.
For those of you who run businesses across multiple platforms, we’ll continue our work with partners like Shopify, BigCommerce, and ChannelAdvisor to make selling easier. We’re also committed to improving and deploying our API integrations faster so our insights and guidance are more accessible and timely.
To address the unique needs of various types of eBay sellers, we’ll roll out services that better suit individual business needs. And to ensure that help is always just a click away, we’ve upgraded Seller Center with more than 40 new pages of the latest selling content.
Putting you, our sellers, at the center of everything we do in 2018
Entrepreneurs like you are the lifeblood of eBay. We truly see you as instrumental partners to our future success. To strengthen our partnership, we will connect with you even more this year, both online and off. We’ll be joining you at your Meetups, connecting with you at some of the country’s largest retail shows like Shoptalk, ChannelAdvisor’s Catalyst, and IRCE, and talking with you on social media, our Community Boards, and eBay Radio.
In an effort to streamline our communications and enable you to have a more predictable workflow, we will consolidate our Seller Updates into three updates over the course of this year. Because when you asked for more notice, we heard you! We’ll also spend more time showing you how to make any necessary adjustments we’ve requested.
To help those of you with physical retail stores, we’ve launched a new initiative, which lets your customers know you’re ‘Always Open’ on eBay even after your doors close for the night. This, and other initiatives like Retail Revival, are part of our broader effort to empower small business owners across the U.S. with technology and pump life into local economies.
We were thrilled to see so many of you at eBay Open last year and hope you will join us for our 2018 event this July. Keep an eye out for more details in the coming weeks. It’s going to be a ‘seller-bration’ yet again!
Continuing the conversation
We believe open and constructive dialogue is essential to an effective partnership. Post any questions or comments about our 2018 plan on the eBay Seller Community Board or eBay for Business Facebook page. I’ll read them all and respond to as many as I can in a live broadcast on Facebook and the discussion thread tomorrow, February 14th at 12:30 PM PST.
I’m really looking forward to all we’ll do to make eBay the place where the world shops first in 2018. I have no doubt that as we continue to work together, you will see the tangible benefits of eBay’s modern retail marketplace: increased sales and more customers.
Thank you, as always, for continuing to sell on eBay. See you on the community board and Facebook tomorrow!
*US Holiday 2017 Outlook, Forrester, September 2017
* *Conversion lift based on Q3 2017 data. Individual results may vary. eBay does not guarantee that each seller will experience the same lift or any lift at all. "Free returns" refers to when the seller pays return shipping no matter the reason for return, with no restocking fee.