At Leading in Local: ILM 2013: eBay’s Jody Ford on ‘The New Commerce Battlefield’
Local is front and center in the next phase of ecommerce opening up, said eBAY VP of Marketplaces Jody Ford during a keynote address Dec. 10 at Leading in Local: Interactive Local Media in San Francisco. Ford said the past several years have been about online service, inventory and convenience and have necessarily favored online sites such as Amazon. But a new era of commerce that is consumer driven and technology enabled will blur the lines between online and offline.
“That is local,” said Ford. “There will be more retail change in the next three years than in the past twenty years.” And it will necessarily favor “platform” companies such as eBay, which Ford boasts has “the largest group of closed loop transactions in the world served by eBay, eBay Enterprises and PayPal.”
“My job is to remove friction from connecting buyers and sellers,” he said. In fact, eBay “sits in the middle between utility sites such as Amazon and Walmart, and social shopping sites such as Etsy, Pinterest and Fab,” he said.
The company’s next steps include such efforts as same day, scheduled delivery via eBay Now, which is supported by eBay’s recent acquisition of the Shutl courier service. eBay Now has been rolled out in the Bay Area, Chicago and parts of New York City. Dallas and London are next.
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So I saw the emails and the screen banners telling me about Free- In Store Pickup at Best Buy. I thought eBay you certainly have out done yourself this time – I always felt eBay like and cared about me but this was really such a special thing to do for me, the “eBay member”.
I went down to Best Buy and doing my best at not being greedy I picked out some nice gifts – it was about $900 in merchandise. If Monty Hall could only see me now as I proceeded to the door. As I was half way through the door all these sirens bells and whistles sounded and I thought wow and I got the Jack Pot too and here are these nice men to show me to my prizes !!! The men told me they were Loss Prevention Officers and I said, oh gosh, you don’t have too worry about me and that I was anything but a looser as I was here because eBay thought so highly of me and they were recognizing me for making eBay a win – win place for everyone and sent me a email that I showed them about Free -In Store- Pickup.
The three very nice young men all began laughing and then a policeman walked in and he was laughing too. They told me there was a misunderstanding and the Policeman apologized as he walked with me out of the store.
AS I was driving home I became very upset – why did eBay play such a game with me ?
I went home and researched my misunderstanding. It wasn’t eBay who played such a trick on me it was eBay LOCAL.
Here I thought eBay had a firm grip on the definition of local by bringing together millions of buyers and sellers together into one easily accessible marketplace that cultured the spirit of individualism and fostered a independent sense entrepernurialship to thrive in a common collective – near self governing- global marketplace.
Because of eBay the world became smaller and eBay community felt local despite obstacles such as physical distance, political and social ideologies, and language and currency differences.
eBay facilitated a global revolution which allowed people to effectively buy and sell with each other, Each eBay seller for the most part experienced equanimity into being presented to buyers.
Now is eBay is changing and evolving and I apparently am not.