eBay: Inside The Q4 and Full Year 2018 Earnings Call

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Here is a look at some of the most interesting points for sellers in the Q4 earnings call held by eBay on Tuesday, January 29, 2018.

There was a lot of discussion how the marketplace is going through changes and how this may impact user and GMV growth. It sounds like 2020 is the year eBay believes it will complete its “transformation.”

For the complete Q4 and Full Year 2018 Earnings Report, please see: eBay Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2018 Results

Devin Wenig

The following quotes are from Devin Wenig, President, Chief Executive Officer, eBay Inc.

Buyer Growth and GMV

“We continue to experience consistent active buyer growth, which historically has driven GMV. However, more recently we’ve seen GMV growth drop below active buyer growth, the result of several factors.”

“… some of the simplified buying experiences we launched have been positively received by new buyers, they were causing some conversion pressure with our existing buyer base.”

Customer Growth

“I don’t think there are material differences to the cohort of customers we’ve acquired say in the last 6 months from those that we’ve acquired in previous cohorts.”

SEO

“Additionally non-structured data SEO pages are delivering less traffic and lower conversion compared to a year ago, and while we increased our marketing spend in Q4, we experienced lower returns than expected.”

“… we are rapidly moving significantly more SEO pages to a catalog structured data foundation. The expansion of our catalog has historically been constrained by the rate of seller adoption, but new AI capabilities will allow us to opt in millions of listings in the torso and tale of our inventory that we believe will drive SEO and social traffic moving forward.”

Marketplace Advertising

“In our marketplace advertising initiative, we made good progress this quarter. We had 600,000 active sellers promote 200 million listings in Q4, both significantly higher than last quarter…”

eBay Managed Payments

“…we’ve been live in the U.S. for four months and our confidence and our customers confidence is growing every week. Since we launched in late Q3 we’ve enabled over $140 million of GMV with over 3,500 sellers active in the program. To-date we’ve saved sellers over $1 million in payment related costs and we expect that savings to increase significantly as the program scales. We are also readying our launch in a second market which we’ll announce next quarter.”

“…PayPal we have not turned on yet, we will turn that on later in the year. So we have looked at historical credit card purchasers on eBay and ApplePay users on eBay and both are showing higher conversion in the new payment experience. So we have confidence that we are on the right track and we’ll obviously measure the PayPal base once PayPal is wired on, but we think it is a good experience.”

READ MORE: eBay Has Only About 3,500 Sellers in eBay Managed Payments Beta

Shift in Holiday Spending

“…we did see is over the last few years there has been a shift in holiday spending. There’s been an acceleration into November, there’s been acceleration into deals, there’s been an acceleration into the kind of peak November shopping season, because consumers know they’re going to get good prices around that time.”

Scott Schenkel

The following quotes are from Scott Schenkel, Chief Financial Officer, eBay Inc.

Sales Tax

“I’d like to spend a moment to discuss online sales taxes such as internet sales tax, value added tax and digital services taxes. The internet and the rise of the ecommerce has disrupted traditional sales tax regime for governments around the world. As domestic and international jurisdictions refine their positions, we will continue to advocate for balanced outcomes that protect and promote technology enabled small businesses in eBay. At the same time, we are fully committed to enabling compliance with any new tax obligations.”

What are your thoughts on the direction by eBay? Please use the comments section below or head over to our Facebook Group for Small Business Sellers and interact with other small business owners.

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