CEO of eBay Jamie Iannone on AI, E-Commerce Rivals Like TikTok, Shein

  • Jamie Iannone, eBay’s CEO, spoke with Insider about the next stage in the e-commerce giant’s evolution.
  • It entails leaning seriously into new know-how like synthetic intelligence and are living commerce. 
  • Iannone mentioned eBay’s dimensions would empower it towards rising competition such as TikTok and Shein. 

CEO Jamie Iannone is revealing the up coming action in eBay’s evolution. 

Speaking after the e-commerce marketplace reported 2nd-quarter earnings this 7 days, Iannone instructed Insider that new systems this kind of as synthetic intelligence would supercharge the company’s progress. 

The company’s revenues grew 5% calendar year in excess of year to $2.5 billion, but gross products price, or the whole value of gross sales done on its web page, fell 2% to $18.2 billion in the quarter. 

Its new approach contains constructing suitable experiences for shoppers and sellers, scaling tech methods to be valuable across eBay, and utilizing new attributes this kind of as AI and dwell commerce, or when sellers host a livestream exactly where viewers can straight invest in products and solutions.

When Iannone rejoined eBay as CEO in April 2020, he embarked on a strategy that bundled redoubling attempts on “emphasis categories” wherever eBay’s consumers most preferred to shop: sneakers, handbags, watches, trading playing cards, and motor parts and accessories. He mentioned these attempts experienced paid off. 

The corporation has traditionally confronted levels of competition from significant suppliers such as Amazon and Walmart. Now a new crop of players is rising, emphasizing low costs at a time when people are increasingly price-mindful. TikTok, for example, is launching a application to help Chinese retailers to sell goods to US customers, Reuters documented. Shein and Temu have in the same way created substantial inroads in the US market. 

“We feel it’s the fantastic time to evolve the method, when you appear at the foundational function that we have finished over the final pair of many years, genuinely location us up, and then the new resources and technologies and abilities that are out there now,” he stated. 

Creating belief to retain ‘enthusiasts’ engaged

The business strategies to cater to what it phone calls “fanatic” consumers, or those people who make at minimum 6 buys and commit at the very least $800 on a yearly basis. Iannone claims these buyers account for significantly extra than that, expending additional than $3,000 a calendar year with eBay on average and collectively symbolizing about 70% of what’s bought on the site. 

Far more than 90% of eBay’s about 16 million enthusiast purchasers buy products in concentration groups.

That insight informs how eBay thinks about which areas it needs to scale. For illustration, it launched an authentication method that was originally geared toward sneakerheads, utilizing gurus in a warehouse to validate that sneakers sold on eBay have been respectable. At the time that application was up and running, the enterprise extended it to other categories, these as watches and handbags, as perfectly as to marketplaces outside the house the US. 

In some situations, eBay functions straight with manufacturers by a new system named Accredited by Brand, which makes it possible for brands to certify that secondhand goods bought on eBay are authentic. 

It also accomplished its acquisition of the AI-powered attire-authentication business Certilogo before this month. 

Iannone said eBay’s authentication efforts brought a “recreation-switching level of trust to the platform.” 

The hope is that belief will convey new purchasers to eBay. The firm’s lively-consumer base ongoing to slide in the most recent quarter, achieving 131 million potential buyers, a 3% lessen calendar year more than year. But the range of new eBay customers grew for the next straight quarter, Iannone mentioned.

‘Doing all the hard work for the seller’ 

Iannone is enthusiastic about the prospective AI retains. His organization has now integrated Microsoft’s Azure cloud OpenAI technological innovation to electric power what it phone calls “magical listings.” The tech produces merchandise descriptions dependent on an item’s title, class, and other info input by the seller. The following model of that solution is set to use impression recognition, allowing eBay’s sellers to create a product or service listing based mostly on a picture.

“This is us undertaking all the tough work for the vendor,” Iannone mentioned.

He included the hope was that generative AI would lessen obstacles to sellers listing products. 

The enterprise also hopes to interact new buyers as a result of are living commerce, a preferred strategy of buying in China. Dwell commerce has yet to actually consider off in the US, as other early adopters, these kinds of as Meta, have seen.

However, Iannone stated much more than 100 sellers experienced attempted eBay’s variation and offered much more than $1 million in goods in overall.

“I think it’s earlier days in the US than in some of the Asian markets,” Iannone mentioned. “But the early pilots we’ve noticed have been actually successful.”  

When questioned about new competition such as TikTok, Shein, and Temu, Iannone explained eBay was “focused on our system and how we acquire.”

Iannone stated that 85% of eBay’s website traffic was possibly cost-free or natural and organic, that means consumers usually visited the web-site by typing in Newer opponents, even so, “invest a lot of money on paid out promoting to receive consumers,” Iannone explained. 

“One of the issues that’s truly crucial when you imagine about other competitors is to definitely recall the scale of eBay,” he reported.