EBay has reached 165 million global active buyers, and added more than one million buyers across its platforms in the third quarter alone as it continues with “sweeping changes” that were announced in July.
EBay’s third-quarter net income fell 4 percent to $509 million, or 45 cents a diluted share, even as revenues increased 6 percent to $2.22 billion. The company’s gross merchandise volume — or the value of the goods sold through its platform — rose 3 percent to $20.1 billion.
Shares of eBay fell 7.9 percent to $29.95 in after-hours trading.
“In the third quarter, we delivered good top- and bottom-line financial results, led by consistent performance across our business,” said eBay Inc. president and chief executive officer Devin Wenig. “We continued to transform the shopping experience on eBay, delivered more personalization capabilities and began to activate our updated brand messaging.”
Although it got its start as a digital yard sale of sorts, it has since grown into a commerce platform on which it’s estimated that 80 percent of the items sold are new and 86 percent sell at a fixed price, meaning they are not auctioned off as was once standard.
Earlier this month, eBay began a beta test of a shopping bot on Facebook Messenger called ShopBot, which is a personalized virtual shopping assistant powered by artificial intelligence. Users can text, talk or submit a photo to the bot in Messenger, and the ShopBot will search eBay’s estimated one billion listings to find matching suggestions.
In a release, eBay emphasized a push toward “driving the most relevant shopping experiences for consumers.” Additional changes include updates to its mobile platform, adding a service called Quick Sale for selling mobile phones, updating its branding, expanding virtual reality technology with StubHub and acquiring Corrigon Ltd., which makes visual search technology.
In July, chief technology officer Steve Fisher announced a “replatforming,” of eBay, describing it as an “ambitious, multiyear evolution of our shopping platform” that “aims to deliver relevant, persistent and personalized experiences for consumers.”
Today, Wenig acknowledged that efforts such as these for a business the size and scale of eBay takes time. “Our pace of innovation is accelerating,” he said. “We’re increasingly using structured data and artificial intelligence to transform shopping on eBay, delivering more personalization capabilities, continuing to iterate our mobile experience, and bringing more unique inventory and categories to our customers.”