eBay is one of the most successful eCommerce companies in the world. And also one of the first.
The auction site has gone from strength to strength. It is now just behind Amazon as the second-largest online offering in the western hemisphere.
In this post, we’re going to take a deep dive into some of the lessons eCommerce startups can learn from eBay’s success and how to apply them in their enterprises.
Create A New Platform
eBay isn’t just a store – it’s a platform that gathers millions of buyers and sellers together through a single app. It lowers the cost of transactions and increases choice, all with relatively little input from the site’s creators.
The lesson here is that eCommerce startups should resolve to create a platform of one kind or another. Instead of selling products directly – like regular retailers – they should look for a way to bring other buyers and sellers together.
eBay wasn’t just a national seller. Instead, it made eCommerce global, operating across multiple jurisdictions and delivering worldwide.
For consumers, it was an exciting time. For the first time, it meant that they could order goods through their browsers at their leisure, no matter where they were in the world.
You can compare our UPS International shipping rates to determine how much it will cost to deliver products to customers in a variety of countries. You can then adjust your delivery charges accordingly.
Allow Customers To Rate Sellers
Amazon, Etsy, and eBay are all obsessed with seller ratings.
The reason? It helps to build trust. Remember, eBay got going in the cowboy days of the internet when things were practically unregulated. Back then, it had to come up with some way to get users to hand over money to people they didn’t even know.
The only solution was to use community-generated social proof – also known as reviews. And so it put these into action.
Even if you operate a regular storefront, you can still take advantage of reviews to promote your products. The more reviews you have, the more trust you’ll garner, and the better your SEO.
Make Payment Easy
eBay literally created PayPal to make selling on its platform more manageable. The service was both a kind of bank and a dispute resolution organization. If buyers or sellers didn’t receive fair treatment, the agency would kick in and attempt to solve the problem for them. It was very novel at the time – and still pretty much unique today.
Making payment easy is so essential for eCommerce sites that practically all sites should follow eBay’s. Fortunately, taking payments over the internet is easier than at any point in the past, and you have infinitely more options open to you.
Finally, eBay uses sales to make itself appear as an integrated brand instead of just another internet platform. This is a tremendous brand-building strategy if yours is a little diluted by the other companies you host – or the products, for that matter. Use it to your advantage.