Part I – Live blogging from ChannelAdvisor UK – Mark Lewis reveas UK eBay details…

March 30, 2009

ChannelAdvisor ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

I’m across the pond in London today for the first day of our annual get-together called Catalyst.   There are several insights I’m getting from UK sellers that I’ll summarize on the flight later in the work.  Today we have the Managing Director of eBay UK, Mark Lewis, speaking.  He’s going to be telling 200+ top sellers about some unique datapoints of the eBay UK marketplace so I wanted to do some live blogging.  Here goes part I of II

Mark Lewis, MD of eBay session notes from Catalyst UK
  • eBay – Hitting High Growth on the World’s Online Marketplace
  • Wants to tell a story that’s not being reported.
  • Lots of tough environment stories, but on the other hand when we speak to our largest UK sellers, you are bucking the trend and having great success.
  • eBay UK Update.
    • It’s tough, times are hard, but…
    • Buyer traffic on is UP
    • Buyer trust is up compared to last year 20%
      •  Last year talked about how buyer service expections were up. Customer service, dsr and other investments paying off.
    •  On the sell side.  Sold items are up 15% y/y, which is an acceleration from this time last year.
  • Data from our top 1000 sellers.  This data is available in a printed report (I’ll try and scan this for our US readers later in the week – it’s a great piece)
  • Top sellers – Sales volume up 30%, which is an increase from year ago which was 25%
    •  That’s all sales, fixed price in some cases double that rate
  • We asked top sellers how they feel about the environment+eBay – 65% feel ‘very confident’.  Half of the other 33% are ‘not confident’, the other half ‘worried’.
  • If you get it right, there are lots of opportunity.
  • Top sellers exports are growing at 125% y/y
    •  eBay UK has launched a big UK Exports Campaign   (other eBayers call this CBT-cross-border-trade)
  •  Top seller concerns:
    •  The pound is down 30% vs. the euro which is a double edged sword
  •  eBay has implemented lots of positive changes for sellers: based on your feedback.
    • Reduce barriers to listing
    • Accelerate  fixed price saes
    • Reward better service – in partnership (FVF discounts)
    • Mark then detailed all the ways they addressed these – lots of changes.
    • We think they were foundational and now have put eBay in a much stronger position and created opportunities for sellers
    • This is the key to unlocking high-growth opportunites on ebay UK
  •   eBay Transformation
    • They’ve gone from single item listings to multiple item listings
    • Moved from short duration (7 day) to long duration (fp30/gtc)
    • Moved from a model where you pay to list, vs. when you pay when you sell (insertions are one penny here now) and free gallery
    • Moved from TES in search to BM which is optimised for fixed-price, not auctions.  BM ties search to product, price, service levels.
    • We realise this was tough for you to adopt.
  •  eBay scorecard on how they’ve done on how they measure themselves:
    • Sales velocity
    • Profitability
    • Reliability
  •  How are we doing?
    • Sales velocity – up 30% for top sellers
    • Profitability –   On average fees are down 20-30% for powersellers.
    • Reliability – (frowny face graphic) – Lots of change to absorb, we’ve heard that feedback.  You did tell us we are getting better at it.  He will circle back on this.
    • Overall the scorecard is pretty positive
  •  Maximising the eBay UK opportunity
    • Products
    • Pricing
    • Service
    • If you have these three elements you will benefit from search visibility and multi-item sales
    • Virtuous cycle/flywheel.  Recent Sales score – if you can get to the top of search results, you can stick there and sell high volume.

SeekingAlpha Disclosure  – I am long Google and Amazon.