eBay (Overview)

eBay is one of the largest and best-known online marketplaces, having been founded in 1995 and growing to become a multinational group with a myriad of brands in its roster. However, the retailer is now focusing on its core eBay operations having recently sold both its ticket trading platform Stubhub, along with its classified-ads operations which included Motors.co.uk and Gumtree.

The online auction giant reported group sales of $10.3bn (£7.4bn) in 2020, up on the prior year but still down compared to pre-2015 figures when it owned PayPal and offered enterprise technology services. Overall, the gross value of sales generated through its websites amounted to $100bn (£71.9bn) which was up slightly on the previous year.

eBay’s UK division, which reported sales of £1.2bn in 2020, has focused on fulfilment, having entered into partnerships with rapid delivery service Shutl and Argos to open click-and-collect points in its stores.

eBay was set to launch its seller-fulfilment offering, known as ‘Managed Delivery’, to compete with services such as ‘Fulfilment by Amazon’ during 2020, however the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has led this to be paused. Instead, the retailer has pushed ahead with the launch of managed payments which saw it move away from PayPal in order to streamline pay-outs and refunds.

eBay has also been focused on personalisation, mobile, data, security and working on its core platform. It is also looking at ways to integrate artificial intelligence, virtual reality and connected devices.

Innovation rating: 3

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