In the quarterly results from eBay we reported this week, the CEO Devin Wenig was asked about the company’s strategy when it comes to big retailers and brands. Interestingly, Wenig said that big retailers weren’t of particular importance to the marketplace but brands are. He also noted that SMEs were also of vital importance to the eBay ecosystem.
You can check out the full call transcript here, where his comments can be found..
We’re not particularly focused on big retailers. Brands are increasingly coming to eBay. We’re extremely pleased with the rate of brand acquisition… So brands that may, years ago, have been skeptical of selling on eBay are now successfully coming to our platform, and they are coming at an increasing rate.
There was a time when eBay was very focused on big retailers. We’re not now. That doesn’t mean that we wouldn’t situationally partner with a big retailer here or there, but we’re not at all dependent on big retailers for our GMV and, quite frankly, it’s not an area of significant focus for us. It is about brands and it’s about our small and medium-sized sellers. That’s always been the engine of our growth.
– Devin Wenig, eBay CEO
To some extent the difference between big retailers and brands is not a distinct one for most observers of eBay. From a merchant perspective, doubtless what more sellers would like to see is a much greater focus on smaller, independent retailers who bring the choice and diversity that make eBay unique. And, needless to say, we’d welcome greater efforts there to support and celebrate SMEs on eBay.
But what should those efforts look like? Just today there have been some technical problems on eBay so site stability is worthy of improvement. But are there specific new initiatives that would improve eBay from the lifeblood smaller traders? What would you suggest?