Two days ago we wrote about eBay‘s plans to unveil a big ambitious new three year plan. Now they’ve done that and are calling it “The New eBay.” The goal is to double revenues in three years. AllThingsD has the details.
What does The New eBay look like? Pretty much like the old eBay, but leaner and meaner.
Don’t get us wrong: that’s a good thing. They have two lines of business (marketplace and payments) that have amazing business models and strong network effects. That doesn’t need to change. What they need to change is to execute better on those businesses. And apparently they agree.
So, specifically, what will The New eBay do? A few things:
- Fix the core product. Most people regard eBay’s core marketplace as a confusing, broken mess. That’s because they’ve failed to improve it for many years and because sellers on the platform like that it’s inefficient so they have less competition. But eBay wants to fix that. One example from the presentation? eBay’s search results page used to show plenty of irrelevant banner ads, and paid search results. Now it’ll only show results ranked by relevance. Another thing is they’re going to make the site faster. It seems like small stuff, but it’s dozens of small changes like this that turn a good but flawed product into an amazing one.
- Keep growing PayPal. One of these days, PayPal will be bigger than eBay’s marketplace. That’s unavoidable. PayPal is an amazing business and they need to keep growing it. PayPal is getting into mobile and micropayments.
- Focus on local, mobile and social. Those three things are huge buzzwords in Silicon Valley, but there’s a reason: plenty of companies from Groupon to Shopkick are doing amazing things (and making money) in the space. They bought Milo.com, which helps you search local shop shelves, to add a cool new local commerce product. They bought RedLaser, a barcode scanning and price comparison app for mobile. And so on.
So, what do we think? Well, this is a great plan. If they can execute on it, they can probably pull it off.
As we said, what eBay mostly needs is to be more disciplined in its execution of its core businesses, and evidently it plans to do that. At the same time, it’s also making bets in hot new areas like social and mobile where there could be huge payoffs, but not keeping its eye off the ball, which is growing the cash cow. All in all, this is pretty smart.
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