LAS VEGAS — Distinction and value.They’re vague words in the industry and buzzy at conferences looking to tackle what the future of retail looks like, but it’s exactly what eBay’s Devin Wenig has been trying to do over the past 18 months since being tapped to run the online marketplace as chief executive officer and president.Wenig was one of several keynotes Monday at the second annual conference taking place at the Aria in Las Vegas, which is expected to draw more than 5,000 attendees from the fields of retail, technology and finance.“We live in a tough neighborhood, if you participate in e-commerce,” Wenig said, “but I believe eBay is a very distinctive brand.”To that end, the company took advantage of the buzz around the conference to roll out several news announcements, including guaranteed delivery of three days or less on some 20 million items beginning this summer in the U.S.The guaranteed shipping is not a mandatory program for sellers, but those who do participate do so in exchange for greater visibility on the site. The program is also aimed at keeping the broader marketplace competitive rather than something to be perceived as an undue burden on sellers.“We’re not laissez faire. Selling on eBay is a privilege; it’s not a right. And you can’t deliver bad experiences because it hurts everybody in our marketplace,” Wenig said.While service is one end of creating distinction in the marketplace, product is key at the end of the day, and eBay is a mix of vintage and used items, along with the new. In fact, about 80 percent of the product on eBay is new.“I think what’s amazing about eBay is that it’s all of the above,” Wenig said of the merchandise mix. “We’re going to sell around $90 billion of stuff this year so this is a very big marketplace, and we sell a lot of brand-new, in-season electronics, home and garden [and] fashion brands increasingly are selling on our marketplace because we have a lot of velocity. So we do sell a lot of new in-season and what’s surprising to people is we oftentimes have the best price on a hot new item.”Wenig chalked up that last statement to eBay’s diverse marketplace that allows for choice and competitive pricing. That same diversity is also what can be a challenge and something Wenig and the rest of the company are looking to improve upon through better organization and playing up that uniqueness at a more personalized level to the user.EBay on Monday also said it was looking to roll out a redo of the homepage to make it more personalized, an effort it attempted to do about three-and-a-half years ago. However, improvements in technology and, more specifically, artificial intelligence, is the reason for the latest announcement.Wenig went on to stress the importance of an AI strategy moving forward, even if some perceive the technology as something buzzy that has yet to deliver.“Mobile was a really important platform that people didn’t see in 2007 and there are a couple more critical platforms that, if you are not fully embracing now, you’re going to be in trouble in three years,” Wenig said. “It’s really buzzy, but that doesn’t make it wrong.”Wenig said the most hiring done at eBay has been for data analysts who are building algorithms to better understand what people want from the marketplace, which will eventually help make the home page more personalized.“Ultimately, what I want to be is a shopping experience of one for 170 million people,” Wenig said. “What you buy and what you browse and what you look for is very different from what I do. Look, it will take time. I think the promise of personalization in our industry has kind of been a letdown.... That doesn’t mean there aren’t breakthroughs coming.” For More on eBay in WWD:EBay Escalates Battle Against Counterfeits With Authentication ProgramBigCommerce Integrates With eBayeBay Hits 165 Million Buyers
In honor the @CFDA’s announcement of @iamnaomicampbell receiving the Fashion Icon Award at the 2018 #CFDAAwards, which will take place on June 4, here’s a #tbt of the supermodel on @michaelkors’ runway in 1991. #wwdfashion #wwdarchive (📷: George Chinsee)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.