With a marketplace the size of eBay, whether you’re a buyer or a seller, it can often seem like a lot to get your head around. Sometimes you need an expert to help sort it all out. Our new monthly feature, Expert Insights, will provide a detailed peek into the e-commerce world, sharing expertise about some of online shopping’s biggest players through an industry expert.
Jenny Hock, eBay product manager at ChannelAdvisor, is one of those industry specialists. Jenny recently sat down with us to talk about how eBay has performed over the past year, delve into what’s to come in 2014 and describe the role ChannelAdvisor has with this leading global marketplace.
Q: Hi, Jenny. Could you tell us about your position with ChannelAdvisor and your working relationship with eBay?
A: I’m the product manager for eBay, responsible for ChannelAdvisor’s global eBay solutions. This includes working closely with our engineering team and eBay’s product teams to design a roadmap that will advance our eBay offering and help our sellers maximise their potential on eBay.
We’re also constantly getting feedback from customers as well as our internal teams that help us understand the challenges that eBay sellers are facing. Then we build solutions to help overcome those challenges and help our sellers make better decisions about selling on eBay. I’ve been with ChannelAdvisor for four years come May.
Q: What new trends and updates has eBay established this past year?
A: One of the interesting trends from eBay is its new fulfilment options. These include the Argos Click & Collect model and in-store collection for sellers who have brick-and-mortar locations. Argos Click & Collect allows a buyer to purchase a product from eBay but collect the item from an Argos location of their choice. This could be a location that’s most convenient to them, and they can pick it up for free, typically the next day. This model is currently only available in the UK, where products can be collected from around a growing number Argos stores, ready for collection within two working days.
Q: How have these fulfilment updates affected eBay buyers and sellers?
A: The Argos Click & Collect model gives buyers additional flexibility. They don’t have to be at home for the delivery or worry about having it delivered to their workplace. For sellers, especially those without any brick-and-mortar presence, it gives them access to a huge selection of collection points where buyers can come and pick up their order – which allows them to offer an added element of convenience for their buyers.
Q: What role did ChannelAdvisor play with Click & Collect?
A: We were involved from the early days of Argos Click & Collect as well as brick-and-mortar in-store collection and have offered it to our clients from the beginning. ChannelAdvisor has a very close relationship with eBay and has been innovating alongside them for over 10 years. We’re quick to alert our clients about updates and to get them up and running with new features that eBay releases. Our strong relationship and frequent communication with eBay helps during that process.
Q: How has eBay managed to keep itself ahead of the competition and retain its position as a leading marketplace this past year?
A: eBay did a huge overhaul of its homepage recently and is really trying to focus on discoverability as opposed to a standard search experience (whereby if you need, say, lightbulbs, then you search for them and you buy them). What eBay is trying to do with the Pinterest-style homepage, is to connect shoppers with products that perhaps they didn’t know they wanted — in other words, introduce them to new products that they love.
There’s always going to be the products you need, search for and buy. But eBay wants to start surfacing products that people will love, share and purchase.
This concludes Part 1 of our 2-part Expert Insights instalment with Jenny Hock. Part 2 will be up soon where we will discuss the challenges eBay has faced in the past year, what new updates or trends we can expect to see from the marketplace and the role ChannelAdvisor will be looking to play.
For more information on eBay and how you can improve your position as a seller on the marketplace, take a look at our recent eBook ‘Advancing Your eBay Results’.