Wow, lots to post today. A bunch of our folks got back from attending the PESA fall summit in SFO. PESA = Professional eBay Sellers Alliance, a non-profit group of over 1000 eBay sellers. The ChannelAdvisor team enjoyed meeting our customers that were there and all of the other sellers that attended. Full disclosure - we were a Platinum Sponsor of the event and have been BIG believers+supporters in PESA since inception.
- Google announced that Google Base listings will show as a refined product search, kind of like how Google has integrated base house listings, job listings, etc. Steady readers will remember I've been BIG on Google base for a long time and think its going to be disruptive to the organic search results to have this hear. Instead of worrying about SEO, focus on google base for Q4.
- Amazon had a huge crowd of Amazonians there to get eBay sellers over to their various platforms for SMBs.
- Google was represented by the AdWords team, checkout team and analytics team. Google clearly sees the mid-tier online retailer as a priority and is investing there with products as well as PR/marketing.
- eBay - While eBay had a couple of attendees, the vibe was that eBay and even eBay topics were absent from the agenda. This is a stark contrast to the last summit which was headlined by Bill Cobb, and had largely an eBay selling focus with some side topics on other channels.
- ECMTA - There's some confusion/drama around a new group evidently coming out of PESA (purportedly a splinter group) called the ECMTA. That stands for Ecommerce Merchants Trade Assocation. No word on:
- To what extent is Tom Cruise involved? (the image on the homepage is clearly from Mission Impossible)
- Why do this when you have shop.org out there?
- Is this a way to nicely focus the group on the broader world of ecommerce vs. the eBay focus of PESA (the e in pesa is ebay).
- Who is "in" and who is "out" (that's the drama part)
- My buddy Bob Peck gave a killer keynote.
Speaking of Mr. Peck, he pushed a note this am, that came out net positive for eBay on the event. However most of his comments make it seem like eBay has sellers captive and they don't have choices. That maybe true for the holiday season, but every year come Q1, we see more and more sellers drinking the multi-channel online selling Kool-aid.
Peck's note summary follows:
On Wednesday night we gave a keynote presentation on
some of our thoughts on eCommerce to a group of 200-300 eBay power sellers at
the PESA conference in San Francisco. Throughout the myriad of conversations that we had, we drew several
thematic conclusions that we think will set the tone for the coming months on
eBay's key metrics: listings, activity, GMV, ASPs, and
· The Five Major Themes we took
away were: 1) FEE INCREASES WON'T DISSUADE SELLERS, SHORT TERM; 2) BUYER
ACTIVITY / DEMAND REMAINS TOP CONCERN; 3) STORE LISTINGS WILL DECLINE - BUT
REDUCE CLUTTER; 4) OTHER 'FRICTIONS' NEED ADDRESSING; 5) EBAY EXPRESS NON-IMPACT
IN 4Q, BUT HAS POTENTIAL
· Further, we think eBay is
listening more. We think eBay has opened
up more to the community and is taking their suggestion more to heart. Lastly, Google and Amazon were present to
explain some of their new undertakings to work with sellers, including a new
front end coming for Google Base / Froogle.
· Our net takeaway from our
meetings is positive. We caution that we
do see longer term issues for eBay should it not address the concerns of the
community shortly. However, we believe
that management is embracing the community's ideas more than ever. The rest will be up to