eBay Looks to Grow Locally and Globally

eBay plans to go global and local in hopes to double its number of eBay Marketplace users to 200 million by 2015.

Speaking at the ChannelAdvisor Catalyst conference April 30 in Las Vegas, Devin Wenig, president of eBay Marketplaces, outlined his company’s plans to grow the eBay Now same-day delivery service, and where it sees global expansion opportunities.

“You’re going to see us be more innovative, and take bigger bets, to break through both the buyer and seller experience,” Wenig said during his keynote discussion with ChannelAdvisor CEO Scot Wingo.

Wenig said eBay is preparing to roll eBay Now out in Chicago and Dallas. However, Wenig said it does not want to get into the warehouse business, and will continue to work with merchants in those marketplaces and have its own couriers made deliveries on their behalf.

“We want to organize the merchant landscape without having to deploy ton of new capital,” Wenig said. “We are not getting into the shipping business, but we are looking to build the customer experience.”

But the eBay Now name will eventually disappear, Wenig said, before the holiday shopping season begins. Instead, same-day delivery will be featured as a delivery option if it is available to customers if the item purchased is able to be shipped that way.

Wenig said eBay is also hoping to open International commerce up to its marketplace sellers, and make the merchant experience as seamless for them to participate as it is to sell to customers domestically. eBay predicts that 40% of its projected 200 million eBay Marketplace users will be International customers.

Instead of building a separate eBay site for customers in Russia, Wenig said the site was “skinned” to be used in that country. Since then, eBays sales in Russia have grown 200%. It is also the largest ecommerce merchant in Russia, Wenig said.

Russia, Wenig said, is an emerging market because it has a growing middle class and not a lot of supply. Also, Wenig said, Russian consumers “have a hunger for Western goods.”

Wenig also identified China, Brazil and India as emerging ecommerce markets. He said China has been a big export country for eBay, and added that it is still looking to develop a domestic presence in Brazil.

As for India, Wenig said eBay does have a very strong domestic presence there.

“We are investing heavily in it,” Wenig said. “India will be a massive place for ecommerce business in five years.”

Wingo pointed out how well the eBay Marketplace has been for U.S. merchants looking to test the International waters. Headphone and earphone seller Skull Candy, for example, built .co and .uk sites, but gained better International traction using the eBay Marketplace.

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