eBay Results Echo Broad Uptake of Online Marketplaces

Revenue rose 12% in the first quarter

Author: Krista Garcia

April 25, 2018

A widening international customer base and ongoing efforts to raise eBay's profile helped the company increase first quarter revenue by 12%. 


Marketplace platforms generated $2.1 billion of revenue, increasing 11%, and $22.5 billion of gross merchandise volume (GMV), a key metric.

According to "The eMarketer Ecommerce Insights Report," conducted by Bizrate Insights in March 2018, fully 44% of internet users have made a recent purchase purchase via an online marketplace. 

Here are four takeaways from eBay's quarterly results:

International Growth: Active global buyers grew 4% in Q1 to reach 171 million, driven by the core eBay marketplace and shoppers in Korea. In Q1 eBay acquired Giosis’ Japan business, expanding its reach in that country.

Awareness and Acquisition: eBay is getting "aggressive" about marketing and experimenting with promotions and coupons. CEO Devin Wenig said more people should be shopping on eBay, and they are working to "close the consideration gap." 

Improved Experience: eBay has been using structured data to improve search and experimenting with artificial intelligence and augmented reality to make the shopping experience more fun rather than only appealing to strategic shoppers. Also, more apparel and home goods are being added in hopes of luring women and younger shoppers. 

Shifting Focus: eBay was once focused on partnering with big retailers but that is a thing of the past. Now the company is prioritizing brands and small and medium-sized sellers, as well as growing first-party business rather than third-party. eBay is unique according to Wenig because it's "one of the few marketplaces that doesn't compete with sellers."