eBay- A Success Story

Today, the world has stepped into an era of online selling, buying, and distribution where we find that customers can directly check-out, compare and buy goods and items at their convenience with just a few clicks. And we all know that this trend didn’t really exist until a few decades ago. The onset of the world wide web led us through a whole new dimension of opportunities that are now more attainable than ever and eBay slid right on track with this upcoming wave of online consumer outreach and services.
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The e-commerce giant was the first of its kind, catering to buyers who were eager to acquire things at a cheaper rate, in fact, there was a story shared by the founder, Pierre Morad Omidyar about how one of the first items he had listed, after creating the website, was a “broken” laser pointer that was listed for $1 and there were no takers initially but when the world got wind of this, the auction attracted many bids and the broken laser pointer was sold for something like $15.

With that, the company cultivated the impression that the world was filled with people with major eccentricities, and that led the company to develop a certain outline of what consumers wanted at the end of the day. It gets clear from this that eBay has tried to locate and feed off shopping enthusiasts or like some analysts would rather say, the obsessions of its users. Let’s investigate this a little more to fully comprehend the reasons for eBay’s success graph over the years.

It All Starts with an Innovative Business Plan

Formerly known as Auction Web, eBay started their journey with a business idea they thought was unique and would resound with the changing times. This idea was shaped to make a plan that allowed the modern-day customers and budding businesses to be able to connect on an authentic e-commerce platform. It started with auctioning of new or used items at a very low price and the site continued to do good business for some time.

Getting Investors to Like your Ideas

Like any start-up, eBay too needed to find people who were willing to invest because for any new business, you need money for keeping your inventory, advertising your deals, and to buy the necessary hardware, software, and other essential services required for the new trade. 

Most of us know that this company started as a garage operation and with low overhead in 1995. They were a small group of loyal and dedicated professionals who were thinking over larger operations that usually took others some months or a year or more to flourish. And so, after months of cracking deals with various investors, in early 1996, eBay grew to become a million-dollar business and its first president, Jeffrey Skoll, steered the company to higher growth. Next year, eBay had branched out and was selling plane tickets via a third-party licensing deal. And by 1997, eBay had culminated approximately two million auction transactions which really ups and says things.

Figuring out What Sold

eBay carved out a niche in the toy collector market, locating rare toys and collector’s products. But by providing an auction listing service, eBay made it much easier to locate rare toys.

The eBay sales process was starkly different from the rest in terms of their process of selling collectibles that resulted in a sea-change and caused radical price shifts in the collectibles markets. Where the demand for very rare collectibles skyrocketed thanks to eBay’s initiative. On the other hand, common collectibles decreased in value due to its supply being greatly exceeding its demand. But during its initial days, there was a big problem for eBay while they figured out what items to sell to its consumers. Being an online seller platform, they had to face that challenge but later, sheer hard work and a team of seasoned buyers and sellers helped pave the way to the niche market they now rule.

Making Customers Happy is the End Game

It was the company’s most decisive yet necessary step that fueled the growth that we see today. They wanted to provide a tailored stream of services for their customers that could satisfy them in all aspects. They realized quite early on that their success lied in keeping customers happy. This motive built a unified trust in their business and that was powered by several consumer-friendly ideas. But that is not it, it also built a bridge between its consumers and businesses. More recently, it has been successful in selling this audience to major retailers as well. 

They chose to incorporate click-through ads that increased conversion rates and kept users on the page. eBay’s plan to use click-throughs over, say, conventional banner ads that distract users from the page, allowed the flow of steady and organic website traffic which enabled more conversions.

Two such examples will be IBM and Sun, both of which now routinely sell computers to the eBay membership from the eBay site, we see that quite a perceptive move was dictated here.

Lastly, eBay never really stopped growing, it continued to reach out to its global audience, kept tabs on their company’s ability to incorporate these needs into their plans, and to be able to aptly execute them the right way and at the right time. This ever-expanding hub gave today’s online market the structure that it has now when they first laid that foundation back in 1995 and since then it has been a road to success paved by technology, educational ventures, and world-wide networking.