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Comprehensive Marketing Mix of eBay – 4 Ps

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In recent times, the e-commerce sector has tremendously grown. Customers prefer to purchase products from the comfort of their own homes rather than going to retail stores. The main cause of this rapid growth is increasing internet and smartphone users. Many companies have contributed to the unbeatable growth of the e-commerce industry and one of them is eBay. 

In this case study, we shall be discussing the marketing mix of eBay in detail and its 4Ps strategies. Let us begin by knowing about the company.

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About eBay                                  

 

eBay Office - Marketing Mix of eBay | IIDE

 

While eBay was once an auction site, today it is a  global e-commerce leader having a presence in over 190 countries. eBay was founded by Pierre Omidyar, in California, in 1995. From there it has converted itself into a multi-billionaire business having over 187 million active buyers. 

eBay is an online auction and shopping site which helps small businesses to sell their products to customers. It has become a global platform that connects millions of buyers and sellers. 

Specifically in India, eBay’s focus is to enable Cross Border Trade (CBT) for Indian sellers, promoting the culture of entrepreneurship in India. 

It provides a platform for Indian sellers to sell various products, including fine jewellery, watches, clothes, shoes, electronics, collectables, accessories, beauty products, and many more.

Quick Fact: While eBay was once an auction site, today it is a  global e-commerce leader having a presence in over 190 countries. eBay was founded by Pierre Omidyar, in California, in 1995. From there it has converted itself into a multi-billionaire business having over 187 million active buyers. 

eBay is an online auction and shopping site which helps small businesses to sell their products to customers. It has become a global platform that connects millions of buyers and sellers. Specifically in India, eBay’s focus is to enable Cross Border Trade (CBT) for Indian sellers, promoting the culture of entrepreneurship in India. 

It provides a platform for Indian sellers to sell various products, including fine jewellery, watches, clothes, shoes, electronics, collectables, accessories, beauty products, and many more.

Quick fact: eBay had acquired PayPal in 2005. But in 2015, it was separated from eBay and became an independent company.

 

Marketing Mix Of eBay

 

Before diving into the topic, let’s become aware of the term “Marketing Mix”. In simple terms, Marketing Mix refers to all those techniques or tactics a company uses to promote its brand or products in the market. 

The 4Ps are building blocks of the marketing mix of any company. These 4Ps include Product, Pricing, Place, and Promotion.

eBay’s Marketing Mix is one of the reasons for its success in the e-commerce sector. Without further ado, let’s discuss eBay’s 4Ps of the marketing mix.

 

1. eBay Product strategy

 

eBay Product Strategy - Marketing Mix of eBay | IIDE

 

eBay is a successful player in the e-commerce marathon because of the vast portfolio of products they offer. Essentially, eBay is the marketplace for the sale of goods and services. Products at eBay include millions of collectables, décor, health & beauty products, appliances, computers, clothing & merchandise, furnishings, equipment, vehicles and many more. 

 

Following are some of the best selling products on eBay:

  • Mobile phones and accessories: As per the statistics, an average of 666 items are sold in the mobile phone listing. 
  • Video Games: As per the statistics, an average of 118 items are sold in video games listing.
  • Health and Beauty:  Health & Beauty category is also one of the popular categories on eBay. It includes Vitamins and Dietary Supplements, hair straighteners, Skincare products, perfume, hair dryers.
  • Home and garden products:  Home and garden products are most liked by customers. Home décor items like lighting, coffee tables, and sofas are among the most sold items on eBay.

 

Quick Fact: The “Electronics & Accessories” category contributed 16.4% of the total sales of eBay in      2019.

 

2. eBay Price Strategy

 

Price plays a key role in deciding the fate of any business. Almost the entire e-commerce industry operates on “competitive pricing” as there is heavy competition among these companies. eBay too follows competitive pricing to attract buyers. 

One must keep in mind that the revenue obtained through the sale of products is not the main source of income for eBay as it is an online marketplace only. eBay charges sellers some fees to list their products and once they are sold, another fee is charged. 

These listing and transaction fees are the prime source of revenue for eBay. Currently, there are 1.3 billion listings on eBay. 

eBay offers two ways of buying and selling options to their customers. The first is the “Buy it now” option and the other one is the “Bidding option” where buyers bid for the price they are willing to pay for the product.

 

Overall eBay has a peculiar pricing strategy that helps it to stand out from the other online marketplaces.

 

3. eBay Distribution Strategy (Place)

 

Marketing Mix of eBay | IIDE

Now that we’ve seen the pricing and product strategy of eBay, let’s jump to the place/ distribution strategy of eBay.

As eBay is a website, the company is present almost everywhere. It is practically present on every computer which has an internet connection. As mentioned earlier, it is present in almost 190 countries. The website of eBay is accessible across all devices and operating systems. About 34.9% of US mobile users use the eBay app. 

Another important aspect of distribution is delivery time. All the online retailers are competing to reduce the shipping time and cost of the products as it influences buyers’ purchasing decisions.

Recently, eBay has come up with the “Free x day shipping” badge (where x is the delivery estimate in days.) It shows eBay’s effort to simplify shipping speed and cost procedure. The initiative of “Free 2 day shipping” or “Free 3 day shipping” helps customers know when to expect their delivery in real-time.

 

4. eBay Promotion Strategy

 

For promotional and advertising purposes eBay uses various media platforms. eBay does promotions via ads, online ads, websites, billboards, etc to create brand awareness.

Other than this, more than 940,000 sellers on eBay use its “promoted listings” feature. This helps sellers to increase visibility and consequently, sales. eBay’s promoted listing is a win-win situation for both eBay and its sellers. 

In 2012, eBay changed its logo making it neater and appealing to the eyes of customers. One of the best advantages these online portals have is that business expenses are generally lesser than the return on investment due to the nature of business. It helps companies like eBay to divert these expenses in giving offers and promotions. eBay too, gives offers and does sales promotions to retain customers’ interest. 

The free shipping option is another feature that helps eBay to boost brand visibility and consumer trust. 

 

Quick Fact:  71% of all purchases made on eBay were shipped for free in 2019.

 

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Conclusion

 

With this, our marketing mix analysis of eBay comes to the end. eBay is one of the successful inventions of the dot.com bubble. Its increasing global presence and wide range of products have contributed to its immense success. But, sustaining that position is a major challenge eBay faces. Amazon is the biggest challenge of eBay. eBay has to come up with innovative marketing ideas to sustain itself in this competitive era. All we can do is wait and see what eBay comes up with.

Thank you for taking your time and reading this case study. We hope you learn something new about eBay’s Marketing mix. If you’re interested in learning digital marketing, do check out IIDE’S weekly masterclasses. If you enjoyed this blog, leave a comment down below.

 

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs......[Read full bio]

Aditya Shastri

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