eBay Falls in Love With Social All Over Again

According to the article “eBay Falls in Love With Social All Over Again,” eBay plans on returning to its roots to create a greater sense of community among its users and thus attracting new users. Since eBay’s concept is based on users interactions, it’s as VP of Social Product Don Bradford states, “an inherently social experience…it’s about people exchanging ideas, exchanging passions and interests”. Consequently, eBay is leaning towards an even greater “customer-centric” and focusing more on the consumer themselves and their interests and specific lives. Bradford discussed these efforts in a series of panel discussions.

eBay also demonstrated these efforts around Valentine’s Day this year, when they produced various couple videos based on real couples via Facebook. These videos had more than 230,000 views on YouTube. They also hosted a Valentines Day Twitter Chat Party that had 4,800 users participated and had a total of 4,300 mentions and 1,700 retweets. To draw more consumers in, there was a sweepstakes to win a $1,000 eBay shopping spree by using the hastag #eBayWithLove. eBay’s CEO John Donahoe plans to eventually integrate similar market moves with Google +, in order to continue with innovative social experiments.

eBay’s new guide on “social media selling” has tips on practices on how to develop the social experience. Examples include “in a nutshell, Facebook is for staying in touch, Twitter is for ‘breaking news’, blows are for telling the story, and YouTube is for videos”. The guide also advises sellers to “genuinely contribute to the conversation” and to not span the followers and not be controversial.

At the same time, eBay continues expanding its partnerships. New York State Governor Andrew Cuorno announced that the state would sell 500 Surplus state vehicles, furniture and supplies on eBay this spring. Although New York has had a eBay site for various years, in April there will a new sales platform called NYSSTORE to sell unwanted items such as cars and a Vietnam-era communications tower.

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4 thoughts on “eBay Falls in Love With Social All Over Again

  1. This is a very good strategic move by eBay. For any item or store, it will be helpful to shoppers who want to find more information on products or specific stores. Stores that sell niche items really stand to benefit from this if they embrace the sites available and create a community on their eBay sites.

  2. I’m sure it will provide some benefits to eBay, and I’m also sure they need some reviving. This increase in the social dimension is a trend among online retailers, content providers and tools. I can’t wait until Amazon steps up their social game. I am curious as to whether home-grown social reign dominant or platform integration will prevail.

  3. Think that this will add benefit to eBay, however as a customer, I dont think it will make any difference to me. At the end of the day, Im still planning on going to eBay to do the same functions it has always done.

  4. I think this is a smart move for eBay; this takes the sterility out of online shopping for the first timer, and could create small, niche markets for returning customers. While the Valentine’s Day campaign was unique, I’m not sure that’s the most effective use of this social effort.
    I would put more energy into creating groups (as with the Google+ circles) of common interests, that can exchange information about the products, industry and trends they follow.
    But randomly trying to attract new eBay shoppers with a generic social platform seems a bit of a stretch.

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