eBay’s top team have their eyes set on the millennial shoppers with deep pockets, it seems. If recent comments from the Chief Product Officer RJ Pittman are anything to go by, mobile is front and centre (and rightly so). But what might that mean for merchants? The answer is obviously: mobile first.
And the millennials aren’t kids any more. They’re people born (and this is doubtless open to interpretation) between 1980 and 1995. Typically the children of baby boomers, they’re now very often consumers in their late 20s and 30s with significant spending power. It’s no wonder that businesses like eBay are interested. And these people do like shopping on their phones.
The common way you would begin a shopping journey is by typing a search. It seems like a reasonable thing to do, but what if you see a pair of sunglasses on a side table at your friend’s house that you think are pretty cool, but they don’t have a brand on them, and you don’t know what they are, but you love the style, you love the frames or the lens. In today’s world you gotta be able to take a picture, point your camera at that item and then find something that’s either exactly that item or something very similar and a great price. And that’s exactly what image search yielded. We’re bringing together the science of commerce, perfecting this has been more of an art of science over the last 10 years.
– RJ Pittman, eBay CPO (Chief Product Officer)
So what does a CPO do and why is Pittman someone we want to hear more from? He’s in charge of the platform and making sure it operates accordingly. He’s clearly interested in technology and innovation and not far off being one of those millennial shoppers himself.
And Pittman is a pretty interesting and, frankly, impressive character. He cut his teeth at Apple and Google and been with eBay for just over 5 years.
From a seller perspective, it is clear that eBay is keen to innovate and develop. But often it seems that merchants are less enthusiastic about change. In the future it looks like those merchants who want to make the best sales will be those who look to the future rather than the past and embrace the needs of millennial shoppers.