Where were you 20 years ago?

eBay celebrated its 20th birthday this past weekend by hosting a special summit in San Jose, and announced the some changes sellers can expect to see.

To kick things off, Devin Wenig, President and CEO of eBay, explained how eBay has been a part of large technology shifts over the past 20 years, and he believes we are entering a new shift today.

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The first technology shift was digital access to goods when the Internet offered commerce online, he said. The second shift was the explosion of smartphones, which changed the way people do commerce. The third and current shift Wenig likes to call the “age of everywhere.”

He believes trillions of screens and data will be connected that will make all the inventory in the world accessible to all consumers in the world with just one click.

“The way I think about it is the Internet coming to you, rather than you going to the Internet,” Wenig said.

eBay plans to be a part of that third technology shift, he said, and their goal is to be the number one go-to source for commerce by providing the best inventory, the most powerful platform, and offering a relevant and unique experience to consumers.

To do that, Wenig wants to be “laser focused” on the small and medium businesses on eBay, and address their concerns. With that, he announced they are unrolling better mobile apps, a more efficient returns process, fairer seller standards, and an improved seller hub.

Laura Chambers, VP of Global Customer Trust, explained her team has been working to address seller complaints and improve seller experience by making changes that positively affect them.

“The idea behind these changes is that we’re handing control of performance back to you, our sellers,” Chambers said.

The first thing they did was remove the subjective elements of feedback ratings. Negative or neutral feedback, and detailed seller ratings no longer count as a defect, she said. And as long as sellers fix return requests or item not received responses, those also will not count as a defect.

“What’s left are things that are objective and things that are in your control,” Chambers said. “The new defect rate has just two elements: seller-cancelled transactions and a closed case where the seller hasn’t resolved it.”

Her team also introduced a new on-time shipping metric, which means eBay will check to see when a package was picked up by the carrier and when it was delivered. In short, as long as the buyer receives his or her order on time, then the seller does not get a defect.


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