Ecommerce business eBay, founded by Pierre Omidyar in 1995, is confident it will benefit from a trend of the coronavirus pandemic that the business believes is now ingrained in people.
The trend to shop online is here to stay, said eBay CEO Jamie Iannone when the San Jose, California-based company announced financial results for its fourth quarter and full year, ended 31 December 2020.
eBay reported revenue of US$2.9 billion, an increase of 28 per cent year on year. Its advertising revenue reached a new milestone in 2020, passing US$1 billion for the year. Promoted listings brought in US$215 million of revenue in the fourth quarter, an increase of 60 per cent year on year.
“I am proud eBay was able to be there for our buyers, sellers and community, especially in the face of a global pandemic,” said Iannone, who revealed the eBay app was downloaded 50 million times. “We finished the year with strong financial results, but what inspires me most is the support we’ve been able to extend to small businesses – providing them with tools, resources and access to millions of buyers globally. We will continue to invest in product and technology in order to deliver the best marketplace in the world for our customers.”
The coronavirus pandemic has forced tens of millions of people to stay indoors, leading to a large increase in online orders for ecommerce companies like eBay.“We’ll be stronger coming out of the pandemic than we were going in,” Iannone told Reuters.
eBay is not content to stay where it is at. It has announced expansion plans for Greater China with additional enablement for consumer sellers in the US, UK and Germany. Its shares rose 5.31 per cent to US$61.12 at the close of trading on Thursday.
The company updated its strategy and attracted shoppers through its Authenticity Guarantee service for luxury watches and sneakers. The luxury watch category experienced a double-digit increase in sales from the third quarter and the sneakers category saw triple-digit growth year-over-year.
Refurbished gifts emerged as a top trend for holiday shoppers, with the company’s newly launched Certified Refurbished destination selling out of many brands’ product offerings. It also launched an optimised brand outlet experience in the UK with 150 fashion brands offering discounted products.
Annual active buyers grew by seven per cent to a total of 185 million global active buyers.
“Our buyers were very active during the holiday season. In the United States, one in 10 online shoppers bought something on eBay. In Germany, that number was one in seven and in the UK, it was one in four,” Iannone said on a conference call with analysts.
eBay also projected first-quarter revenue in the range of US$2.94 billion toUS$2.99 billion.