A couple of interesting eBay items this am and a new Weird Al Song!

June 24, 2009

ChannelAdvisor ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

Super busy this week but wanted to throw a couple of news items out there:

  • Gene Munster @ PJC has an interesting piece out today on eBay (and Amazon – check amazon strategies for details on that one.).  Every quarter they do a survey of ecommerce shoppers (315 in this survey).
    • This quarter, 13% of buyers said they like to buy with the auction format vs. 19% a quarter ago and 23% in Sept. of 2008.
    • 69% of eBay shoppers were ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with their experience vs. 71% last Q and 74% in Q408.  FYI Amazon is at 83% in the survey.
    • If eBay were to get a DSR for this, by my calcs they’d get a 3.45 and have to kick themselves off the site 😉
    • In all seriousness, these two data points are concerning on a number of levels, but primarily:
      •  I’ve long posited that the eBay brand is synonymous with auctions.  Thus auction fatigue = eBay fatigue.  Also while eBay is transitioning to fixed price as quickly as possible, 40% of eBay’s bottom line is generated from the auction platform that is rapidly losing interest with the consumer.
    • It’s unusual that Gene’s satisfaction levels are showing a decline, while eBay is out telling the world their NPS scores are on the rise and that sellers with DSRs > 4.8 are now a big chunk of the GMV.
    • It’s a small sample size, but what do you guys think – are auctions dead in the mind of consumers?  Are consumers increasingly dissatisfied with eBay transactions?
  • eBay UK has put out their quarterly Online Busines Index where they survey sellers and give an update on the eBay UK market.  I did a quick scan and this report makes seem pretty rosy in the ole’ UK:
    • This report breaks down the EU (UK, DE, FR and IT) GMV for eBay which is the first time I’ve seen that in print.  They say that DE is €3.1b/yr, UK is €1.9b/yr, FR is €341m/yr and IT is €273m/yr.  Which pegs eBay’s EU GMV At €5.7b.
    •  65% of UK retailers are expecting orders to be up this Christmas
    • Price pressure is off, margins are up and the sales outlook is bright
    • Maybe they did this survey during that week in the UK where it’s actually sunny 😉
  • Finally, I love the Doors and have been a Weird Al fan (gosh should I admit this in a public blog?) since I was literally 15.  Wel, Weird Al has a new song out called Craigslist that is a brilliant spoof of the Doors, but with a fun ecommerce twist.  I mention this here because I’m sure in the eBay world we all remember the excitement when Weird Al captured the eBay phenomena with his song ‘eBay’ which was a parody of a backstreet boys song.   I don’t think the Weird Al eBay song is on youtube (that I can find), but here’s a link to the new craigslist song.
    •  Weird Al’s move to Craigslist signals that the site is officially mainstream now and I believe has replaced that ‘seredendipitous random stuff’ buying/selling in consumers heart.  I’ve long said that eBay faces a squeeze play from Craigslist at the bottom with the FSBO crowd and Amazon at the top.  This is another datapoint that supports that.

SeekingAlpha disclosure – I am long Amazon and Google. eBay is an investor in ChannelAdvisor.