eBay Says Online Retailers Need To Innovate

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In a presentation at the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition in San Jose, Gary Briggs, chief marketing officer at eBay said online retailers should think more outside the box.

eBay Says Online Retailers Need To Innovate
“eBay Says Online Retailers Need To Innovate”
eBay Says Online Retailers Need To Innovate

"Online retail is rapidly maturing but we are not doing enough to innovate," Mr. Briggs said. "I am offering a call to action to the industry to innovate more."

Mr.Briggs pointed out that online spending is often less than traditional retail spending. He also said retailers need to create their own ideas and mimic what others have done.

"There is a lot more to offer than just free shipping," Mr. Briggs said. "Free shipping is important but when I go to Web sites and look at how the marketing is done, there has to be more than free shipping to compete."

Mr. Briggs said that brands should give up control and listen more to the consumer in order to innovate.

He cited the example of eBay Motors. eBay saw that users were selling cars on the site but a category did not exist. Users were listing cars in categories like toys, and sales were not increasing. Since the addition of eBay Motors, the online retailer has sold 2.5 million cars a year.

"Our system of innovation is more than what is inside the four walls of our company," Mr. Briggs said. "We are trying to let the users help us shape how we create our Web site and offer products to customers."


eBay Says Online Retailers Need To Innovate
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  • RatherRuss

    Online retailers would love to think outside the box, but the box is pretty high and wide…you can’t mention your website on ebay, when you come up in a search, Ebay having copied Amazon recently shows that there is a 1cent copy available of what you’re selling, gee how innovative is it to lower sellers profit margins even more, while touting 1cent sellers who (when they are new) gleefully pay 40cent an item to make no profit…
    And the fact that buyers at ebay buy less than traditional retail is one of the worst sticking points about on line selling. I ran a retail music store where we had autograph parties from bands, live performances, new release showings, played things for people that interested them, threw a party with music stars free once a year to say thanks to customer, and generally knew customers by name…match that online if you can.
    Perhaps if you have a huge staff with an unlimited budget you could simulate it. but a one or two person operation, while able to do this in person, cannot in the world of one keystroke at a time.
    Innovation, seems to be to me, in the online world a kind of oxymoron, take what happens in retail, copy it, dumb it down, lower the sellers’ profit margin, raise your selling fees and there you go…a great environment for ebay, and no one else in particular…what’s innovative about that, and how does one innovate about going backwards???

  • Alex U

    Guess what?! Gary Briggs also threw us out of eBay Live for promoting a store-builder that uses Google Checkout. Companies are innovating and if eBay can’t keep up, at least stop bullying people. Please read our full story:

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