eBay US to launch eBay Fashion Outlet on September 19, 2011

August 4, 2011

ChannelAdvisor ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

eBay let slip to several fashion magazines (WWD – subscription required) and Racked (click here) that they are going to launch the eBay Fashion Outlet in time for Q4 2011 on Sept 19.

At ChannelAdvisor, we work very closely with most of the brands in the UK/DE version of the store so we’re pretty excited to see this program come to the US.  In this post, I will highlight what has been announced about the US store and then give you some details of the UK store which the US store will probably closely resemble.  As normal, ChannelAdvisor will 100% support the fashion store when it launches 9/19 and  we’re powering many of the launch brands.  In fact in the UK recently we announced a suite of specialised offerings to help brands ramp up on EFO.

What are the details of the US eBay Fashion Outlet?

The article mentions these anchor tenants out of 20:

  • Neiman Marcus – Last Call
  • William Rast
  • Spanx
  • Fila
  • Timberland
  • Brooks bros
  • Custo Barcelona
  • Bluefly

There will be a big focus on denim and the site will target women 25-44 and offer 20-60% off.

“eBay offers us more innovation, more marketing and a different, bigger customer base,” Ann Paolini, senior vice president and managing director of Neiman Marcus Last Call

What does it mean?

At ChannelAdvisor, our UK+DE folks work with many of the eBay fashion outlet sellers to help them connect their corporate systems to eBay and other channels.

The program is very popular with retailers that are looking to get more sales for their outlet goods.  Of course, consumers love the convenience and access to top brands at big discounts.  The only unhappy constituent in the eBay ecosystem is the smaller apparel seller that can see a very big competitor suddenly enter the marketplace.

A tour of the eBay Fashion Outlet

While they haven’t disclosed the US look-and-feel, in the UK/DE they have a couple of interesting aspects to the program.  In the UK, it’s very much like a micro-site, where they push traffic into the micro-site for a different buying experience.

Here’s what the landing page looks like – as you can see brands /anchor tenants are front and centre:

Ebay_outlet_1

From there you can search across the outlet, or pop into one of the brand stores.  Think of the brand stores as a standard eBay store on steroids with a bunch of new functionality such as filtered navigation, hero images/carousels,  and a lot of real estate for doing promotions.  Here’s an example of Littlewoods’ outlet store: (click to enlarge)

Ebay_outlet2

From there it’s a very typical eBay buying experience.

Outlet integration with ebay.com

Outside of the outlet, the outlet stores are highlighted in a couple of areas on the site.  First in the real-time search suggestions:

Ebay_outlet3

Then most interestingly, the brands are given a ‘brand badge’ in the eBay search results.  In this example, you can see that the Littlewoods logo is integrated right in the search results and the consumer gets some re-assuring hover text.

Ebay_outlet4

How do I get in the eBay Fashion Outlet?

If you are a large brand that is interested in being a part of the EFO, sent me a message and I’ll make sure our team get back to you on different programs available.

What’s next?

We’ll be keeping a close eye on this program and report more details once eBay officially announces more.  Some interesting question to ponder:

  • Will the user-experience match that of eBay UK or will they release some new UE?
  • Who are the other 12 brands?
  • How much traffic will eBay drive to the EFO micro-site?

As usual, I’d love to hear your opinions, concerns and questions in comments.

SeekingAlpha Disclosure – I am long Google and Amazon. Ebay is a minority investor in ChannelAdvisor where I am CEO.