Every week, Hendrik Laubscher will be providing third party sellers with a selection of news stories that they need to be aware of. As a Prosper Show participant we strive to ensure that you can focus on your business while we handle all the industry news. The news this week focuses a bit on eBay whom has been rather proactive in the media. eBay is trying to be inventive with services and dealing with the after effects of a outage. Amazon has had to do some mending of relationships after shocking sellers with a new return dissatisfaction metric. eBay is having to do press work as their business is considerably behind Amazon in the US and Europe.
eBay CEO Devin Wenig said Tuesday the company will experiment with offering services on its marketplace as a complement to its products. "There are emerging categories that we're just starting to experiment with that are super interesting in ecommerce. I point to services as an emerging opportunity," he said during a presentation at RBC Capital Markets. I sense eBay is 12 months behind with this concept as this is a very saturated market. Amazon, Facebook, Angie's List and Thumbtack are all trying to leverage services in some or other way. Amazon provides this is a supplementary service for customers whom purchase products in a certain categories. Is this available in 12 months time on eBay? I don't believe so. Read more here.
eBay experienced a network connectivity issue in one of its data centers for over 8 hours beginning early Saturday morning that made the site unusable. The company said it would automatically credit fees for listings that were scheduled to end during the outage. We are in the 3 most important months for an ecommerce business and there is no way in which this should have occurred. Simple test - when last was Amazon, Etsy, Walmart down for 8 hours? I rest my case. It is situations like this that Devin Wenig must resolve as sellers want to make sales and not credits for listings. Read more here.
Amazon sellers got an unwelcome surprise this week when they discovered new seller performance metrics in their dashboards. The new "Customer Service Dissatisfaction Rate" is the percentage of customers who are not satisfied with a seller's responses in Buyer-Seller Messaging. A few things that makes this interesting: timing, metrics and outrage it caused. Amazon picked a very interesting time to deploy this feature (surely this could have waited until after the festive season?). The metrics seem sketchy and not completely thought out (very unAmazon). Outrage caused - not surprising as Amazon is the primary selling channel for many sellers. Read more here.
The last story raises a very interesting situation. Are we beginning to see Amazon treating there sellers more on metrics? In light of the letter sent to sellers from an Amazon VP, I tend to believe that sellers must be aware of their metrics to the point that they can recite them off by heart.
Till next week. Onwards.