eBay President and CEO Devin Wenig has gone on the record to talk about some of the changes coming to eBay search and other parts of the marketplace, and his general view of where the company is going in the medium term, at a conference for Wall Street last week. He explicitly trails a selection of significant changes that are coming up in the next 90 days that will impact all sellers and buyers.
Of particular interest is what he said about eBy search. Wenig said: “You’ll see new, compressed, simplified search, which will be a significant difference to the eBay experience, in the next 60 days.”
Also expect to see dramatic revisions to the homepage and the launch of image search. Stateside Guaranteed Delivery will be offered on more than 20 million items they will be launching an authentication service for highly priced items which will see them physically authenticated to drive trust.
One aspect of concern to sellers will be that it sounds very much that there will be some significant changes to key eBay functionality in the run up to the peak Christmas selling period. Back in the day, eBay used to hold a moratorium on making big changes to the site in the run-up to the end of the year for fear of disrupting trade. But if these changes are genuinely an improvement, and do boost conversion rates as people buy more, then it seems likely that sellers will welcome them. Plenty of sellers certainly want to see dramatic changes to eBay search which many consider to be broken.
That said, of course, as often a Tamebay reader will point out, fine words are one thing but the proof is in the pudding and we wait for specifics. But it does seem that in the two and more years since eBay and PayPal split that big leaps forward with reference to core eBay functionality haven’t materialised yet to the extent many had hoped. Wenig himself says at the conference that we could likely be seeing more change in the next six months than in the past ten years.
You can find the recorded audio here as a webcast. I do think it’s well worth listening to this if you’re a full time eBay seller. This man holds your business in his hands and, aside from the more formal announcements made in quarterly earnings calls (when the financials in specific are reviewed), this is the most interesting interview he’s given this year. Yes, there’s a bit of faux bonhomie and quite a bit of corporate fluff, but there is also some significant insight that could have an impact on your every day working life in the not too distant future.
(As it stands we suspect that the majority of these changes will be coming to the US .com site first but it’s very likely other sites will follow suit. We’ll keep you posted as and when we know more.)