Thursday, January 12, 2012

John Donahoe Shares eBay Factoids at 2012 CES; 890,000 New eBay Shoppers, and a Seller Reacts

Some factoids dribbled out of the 2012 CES (Consumer Electronics Show) Keynote Speech, given by eBay CEO John Donahoe. I wish I could have been there, though...would be nice to get a sense of what the room was like and how they reacted to Donahoe's speech. Did they laugh? Did he make any jokes? Or say anything other than this litany of statistics?

Here's a list of the metrics I found interesting, in descending order (thanks to Ina Steiner's EcommerceBytes coverage, TechCrunch, and other sources). I'll give you my take on these stats as an eBay seller.

- Over 890,000 new eBay shoppers made their first purchase through the company's mobile apps in 2011, a 113% increase year-over-year.

My take: That's good. I could certainly use more sales. Can you make sure they're shoppers who actually pay, so I don't have to go through the filing-a-case rigamarole?

- eBay reached $5 billion in mobile GMV ("gross merchandise volume") in 2011, meaning shoppers bought $5 billion in goods from eBay sellers using mobile devices. eBay is predicting it will reach $8 billion in mobile GMV in 2012.

I like that. I hope that helps eBay's stock price.

- "There's a 'new normal' for retail in which consumers engage where, when and how they shop across channels. He noted that technology trends - mobile, local, social, and digital - are changing how people shop and therefore how retailers must compete...e.g., eBay's RedLaser barcode scanning app was updated last fall to include integration from PayPal and Milo Local offering users the ability to buy now for either in-store pick-up or home delivery later. And he announced that Best Buy was RedLaser's newest partner to offer local in-store pickup."

Hmmmmm. I've got the obligatory smartphone, a 4GS. I'm not sure I will be using it for in-store pickup of anything. I hate in-store pickup. That's one reason I like to shop online so much, because I hate going to the store. As a matter of fact, the last time I went to the grocery store, someone in the next lane over dropped a ginormous bottle of Yellow Tail red wine, chunks of glass flew, and blood-red liquid crawled all across the floor in the direction of my (fortunately rubber-soled) boots. "John, Cleanup in aisle 7!" yelled the checker. Several minutes passed. "John, Cleanup in aisle 7!" Then, "Bobby, cleanup in aisle 7!" Nada. Finally I gingerly stepped over shards of glass, unrolled some brown paper towels that were sitting there on the checkout stand, and carefully started sopping up.

All right, I'll give this RedLaser app thing a try. But what I'd really like in an eBay app is a selling app that makes it as easy to list an item on eBay as it is on amazon.

Let's not forget PayPal.

- PayPal reached $4 billion in mobile payment volume last year - and projected the online payments unit would reach $7 billion in mobile TPV this year.

That's cool. PayPal is making money, and it sounds like it will be making even more money. I don't actually have the problems with PayPal other sellers seem to have. I know they need to take their cut. I just hope the cut doesn't start creeping up on us.

So (some) eBay stats are growing, PayPal's growing, more people are using cell phones to shop, blah blah blah. Can we think of some ways to make eBay more fun again, and help more people on the Internet find our listings?

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