In a declining e-commerce market, auction website eBay is no exception: the marketplace is losing sales and customers. Salvation must come from second-hand, luxury and ad revenue.
Over 2022, eBay realised gross sales of 73.9 billion dollars (just under 70 billion euros), down 15% from 2021. Remarkably, sales are now even lower than before the pandemic: after all, in 2019, eBay transactions still accounted for a good 90 billion dollars. Profits are also under pressure: they fell 6% to 9.8 billion dollars (9.2 billion euros).
The explanation for these weak results is obvious: after all, the entire e-commerce sector is experiencing a sobering up after the exceptional corona years. Amazon, Bol.com, Zalando and Coolblue are also seeing sales and profits fall and are having to restructure. For its part, eBay announced a round of layoffs a fortnight ago. The number of active customers on the platform is in free fall.
CEO Jamie Iannone, however, sees bright spots: in the fourth quarter, ad revenues rose by a fifth, and new, more sophisticated ad formulas, such as cost-per-click advertising, in particular, are enjoying growing success.
In addition, the top executive wants to focus more on sales of luxury products, such as watches and jewellery, as these generate higher commissions. In New York, for example, the e-commerce player opened a ‘Luxury Exchange’ pop-up shop where customers could have their jewellery, handbags and watches valued and exchange them for vouchers valid at luxury sellers on eBay.
Finally, eBay sees great potential in the growth of second-hand. With a sustainable image, the marketplace hopes to win back young customers.