Why is eBay Promoting Amazon Prime Day?
In 2015, commemorating Amazon’s 20th birthday, the company started what has now become an annual sale, called Amazon Prime Day.
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Over the last 3 years, and certainly, it will be the same this year, Amazon will sell many of their own products along with curated products from suppliers.
Third-party merchants are becoming an increasingly larger portion of Prime Day and some small businesses have been able to jump-start their sales with Prime Day promotions.
READ MORE: Amazon Prime Day Helps Small Businesses Grow
By all measures, Prime Day is a success and the media frenzy around Prime Day gives Amazon plenty of free publicity.
So Why is eBay Indirectly Promoting It?
Earlier this year, Devin Wenig during the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference said that he believes in five years there will be 2 or 3 major global Omni-Channel brands and eBay plans to be one of them.
READ MORE: eBay CEO Devin Wenig Talks Payments, Catalog, Structured Data, Future
Being one of those three major Global-Omni-Channel brands would seem to suggest that such a company is in a leadership position and is working to transform and lead in online retail.
Most folks would agree that Amazon and Alibaba Group fall into those categories. Both companies have expanded their market share by entering new eCommerce markets such as grocery or are experimenting or looking at new segments for disruptions such as car sales or health products.
And both companies are also working on logistics innovations, expanding global trade, and are actively changing the way consumers pay for products with eWallet solutions.
With both companies clearly leaders in global eCommerce retail, there seems to be only room for one more if one were to consider Wenig’s comments.
In the US, Walmart is trying to take on Amazon and in China, JD.com is the next largest competitor to the Alibaba Group of companies. Even Google has invested in JD.com and has worked with Walmart to expand it Google Home shopping experiences.
READ MORE: Google Invests $550 Million in China’s JD.com for Retail Solutions
And both Walmart and JD.com have been in talks about US expansion, working together in North America.
Amazon has Prime Day, Alibaba Group has its 11.11 Global Shopping Festival sale, JD.com has its 6.18 Shopping Festival, which is now China’s second largest shopping day after Alibaba Group’s 11.11, and eBay has…???
eBay has not created a shopping day, instead, it has fallen into the same trap as Target (One-Day Sale), Newegg (FantasTech Sale), and others that jumped on the Amazon Prime Day bandwagon.
All that does is make this made up shopping day even bigger for Amazon as indirectly promoting the date as “important” just builds the day’s sales revenues.
In the UK, eBay is offering a 20 percent discount on products from select sellers. Devin Wenig on his Twitter account promoted big discounts and sales coming to eBay on July 16 and 17. Why?
READ MORE: eBay To Go Head To Head With Amazon On Prime Day
eBay Needs To Define Itself And Lead!
If eBay wants to define itself as one of the three main Omni-Channel global brands, maybe it should follow Walmart, which did nothing, zip, zero for Prime Day.
Then work on creating a major shopping day or experience that highlights its own community, draw people to the platform to sign up as buyers, and create a buzz around its brand.
eBay has over 171 million users, developed some cool tech with Image Search which is better than Amazon or Walmart offer, and even has a relationship with Google on its Google Home speaker products from which to build.
Even the sometimes maligned new catalog-based approach is really a step in the right direction for the platform as it will benefit most sellers that sell branded products.
The SEO advantage of the catalog itself is a huge step in the right direction to bring more organic traffic to the platform.
Without a doubt, some tweaks are needed as the company continues to roll out the catalog based listing features and functions. But in the long-term, for a global marketplace like eBay, this will be a benefit that should bring more buyers and sellers to the platform.
Since eBay did such a fantastic job with Image Search, it should continue to develop better technologies such as AR experiences that are easy to launch for sellers. Last year at eBay Open 2017, Wenig rightfully was very complimentary about the company’s developers.
READ MORE: eBay Open 2017 – What You Missed
With all the positive momentum at eBay, and turning the coming around from a sleepy, boring, marketplace, it really seems de facto acknowledging Amazon’s Prime Day by promoting its own sales on the same day is not what a leader in the industry should be doing.
The company is not struggling, it is profitable, it is generally heading in the right direction, it can develop technologies that are ahead of others, and it is growing users. So, why imitate? It just doesn’t make sense.
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Richard is co-founder of eSeller365. He has over 17 years of experience on eBay which includes tens of thousands of sales to buyers in over 100 countries and even has experience with eBay’s VeRO program enforcing intellectual property rights for a former employer. And for about two years Richard sold products on Amazon using Amazon FBA in the US.
To “relax” from the daily business grind, for a few weekends a year, he also works for IMSA as a professional race official.