On its third-quarter earnings call on Wednesday, eBay reported revenues increased 9 percent to $2.4 billion of total revenues, while third-quarter net income came to $514 million.
The San Jose, Calif.-based e-commerce company also reported 168 million active buyers, which looks like a dip from 171 million active buyers in the previous quarter. But according to the company, with the close of its Flipkart investment, the numbers don’t include roughly four million domestic active buyers in India. In other words, the company would like to remind eBay watchers that it has maintained the size of its reported user base, despite a sizable omission.
Attracting and keeping shoppers glued to its marketplace has been the company’s primary focus, and it has been busy on that front. The company has delved deep into artificial intelligence, using it to improve how listings are organized and customize the browsing experience, and it’s made significant improvements to its web site and search results.
“We’re now activating AI at scale through our personalization efforts, our image-search technology, our customer support effort, and of course, through structured data among numerous other areas,” said Devin Wenig, president and chief executive officer.
Shoppers saw new grouped listings and filtering options that let them, say, find items with free shipping. The company also pursued new advertising, such as the Fill Your Cart With Color ad campaign, and added price-matching and three-day delivery.
Fashion has been a particular priority for the company, with its new Spring partnership getting airtime during the call: “We’re off to a great start with our recently announced partnership with Spring, a high-end fashion marketplace, enabling hundreds of new fashion brands to leverage the power of our platform,” Wenig added.
The deal, announced last month, is still too new to produce any worthwhile results. But from eBay’s point of view, the acceleration of its business last quarter was thanks, in part, to fashion, so it aims to double down with “aggressive plans.” That’s precisely what it will need to do, if it intends to do battle with the likes of Amazon, whose appetite for the apparel business has become legendary.