back to article eBay boss declares era of e-commerce is over

John Donahoe, CEO of eBay, has said that the concept of e-commerce is dead and buried, since consumers really don’t care about where they buy, so long as they get the cheapest price. Speaking at the Open Mobile Summit in San Francisco, Donahoe said that the increasing use of mobile technology had blurred the barrier between e- …

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FAIL

What he really needs to say is that Whitman ran eBay into the ground by overbuilding eBay

The site was user friendly, now it's completely cluttered and overwhelming for most. THAT is the problem. You water it back down and fix the UI, you get users back.

That - and people got cornered into using Paypal. Squareup will now kick their ass. Mark my words.

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FAIL

Not forgetting

That Ebay fucked over all their sellers, screw them on a regular basis for yet more charges, fuck over the 3rd party companies who were using the public APIs to provide services to sellers, ended up changing feedback so buyers could extort virtually anything they want from a seller.

Maybe he should look at the sheer number of sellers that no longer use Ebay (and big 10k+ feedback sellers) to get an idea of how e-commerce is doing.

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What I'm looking for...

...is a good price from a reputable supplier which I can pay for using a known/trusted banking procedure. This means no eBay unless there is no other possibility, and definitely no PayPal (which these days seems to mean no eBay).

Call me paranoid, but don't forget I'm the one with the cash looking to buy...

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Coat

Nah

"social networking begins to play a much larger role in buying decisions"

Not a chance. Apart from the usual crowd copying their so called friends' moronic status updates and people wishing eachother happy birthday, is social networking actually used for anything useful?

As for using it to decide what product I would buy? Nah, can't see that happening....

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Anonymous Coward

Think outside the FB

Social networking does not have to be limited to FB and G+.

"is social networking actually used for anything useful?"

My global IT employer is using an internal SNS for communication. It actually is fairly useful. If only I could get decent, free and secure language translation tools to read what my British colleagues are saying...

Best part of our internal system: no ads!

I fear the day that the CxO boys at the top decide to open our system to retailers and advertisers to make a buck.

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FAIL

Headline grabbing soundbyte?

Am I the only one to think that this comment came across as something headline grabbing to say, without holding up to scrutiny?

The majority of consumers have pretty much always gone to the cheapest source for goods. The internet or 'E'-commerce just made it easier to compare prices. Stands to reason also, if you work out of a warehouse with no storefronts you had reduced overheads and can utilise direct to consumer logistics that are already in place instead of having to worry about warehouse to store.

The advent of the Smartphone just made it easier for a consumer to go in store, look at the product and then check online for lowest price. The fact that store fronts have lasted so long is that they have either had to aggressively cut prices, cut variety to increase SKU buying power as well as join the online only brigade. And we can see what effect that is having with DSG and co struggling. *

So - how is e-commerce dead? Commerce is commerce regardless of the medium a transaction is negotiated using. Is it because it is not longer the 'Buzz word', the seeming panacea of a decade ago?

Did we just but goods *because* it was online? I think we are all guilty of buying something we wouldn't normally simply because it was so easy to do there and then online, or we were pissed, but his sweeping soundbyte smacks of a Schmidt style attempt of stating something that may, at first glance, sound grandiose and profound, but slight examination shows up to be rather wank.

I think anyway.

* Interestingly this has also brought to light the value a significant portion of consumers place on service. John Lewis prices, for example, may not be the best, however the electronic side seems to be doing well. Anecdotally their staff and service in this area seem to be well received, whereas we all know what the general perception of DSG is. Apple may sell most of their products online but their service, (After problems are admitted mind you), is also anecdotally reported as good. Better if you have a store nearby.

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WTF?

Amazon knows everything?

Well fuck me, you learn something new every day. All amazon is look at what you've looked at and mindlessly spam similar products to you! A bit like going into a restaurant, deciding you can get a better meal else wear but they still send you menu suggestions every week. Even though you have had your dinner!

I still get suggestions for AS/A2 physics revision books, a subject I finished 5 years ago...

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@ tommy060289

Have you tried correcting/improving your recommendations? Yes, I know, this will require some effort on your part, but it makes unwanted recommendations go away.

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Anonymous Coward

Problems with Ebay

2 things

1) I don't want to use pay pal so won't use ebay while it is the only option. There must be a way for customers to use credit cards to pay securely (maybe mayments are paid to ebay directly who old them prior to both parties agreeing release of funds to the seller?)

2) The site is so commercialised now, there are almost no bargins to be had. For books epecially ebay are oftem more expensive than Amazon sellers (and Amazon sellers allows me to use my owncredit card)

Ebay has no place in my life

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"paid to ebay directly who old them prior to both parties agreeing release of funds to the seller"

That option already exists, and has done for many years.

It's called escrow, and it costs an arm and a leg so very few sellers operate it. But realistically any such service is going to cost an arm and a leg. You can automate the payment mechanism, but it inherently doubles the cost of the transaction (because there are always two payments not just one). Then dealing with the problems that arise in a dispute needs an army of real people who don't work for peanuts.

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FAIL

Ebay should concentrate on making a great auction site and stop all the messing around trying to be some shopping `destination`. It now comes under the heading `have to use it` rather than `want to`. (Like Paypal did a long time ago)

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Megaphone

eBay lists items, Amazon lists titles. Try shopping for vintage 386 Cyrix motherboard on Amazon by comparing photos (actual item photos)...

Both are not e-commerce though. E-commerce is represented by iTunes/AppStore and Steam.

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Coffee/keyboard

Modern Warfare 3 flogged on eBay for a grand

Well, eBay proved itself useful, at least for someone. Again.

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Shoppers today are juggling between convenience, speed and price, and whichever is most important to them will dictate how they do their shopping – online or in-store. Donahoe’s right to say that retailers should face up to this new reality. In the battle between ‘bricks’ and ‘clicks’ it is the smartest company that will win, and that will be the company with the most customer information. eRetailers have been very good at this and high street shops need to take action if they’re to stay competitive in the face of mobile and social shopping.

Phil Stewart, Director, Customer Service, Virgin Media Business

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