Exporting is a much more complex trade than domestic ecommerce. Why? Because of factors like time zones, language barriers, greater distances and cultural differences, all of which are generally not an issue in domestic trading.
So it’s especially pleasing for us that eBay’s export business – particularly in Greater China – is showing such promise. It’s rewarding to know, too, that a significant number of new buyers come to eBay through Asian exporters and have their first experience on the site buying from them.
Pleasingly, the numbers just keep growing! Offering their products to the global marketplace through their listings, primarily on the US, UK and Australian sites, these sellers will be shipping more than 140 million parcels from Asia this year. We expect this to exceed 200 million next year.
It is our belief that the strong growth Asian exporters are experiencing on eBay is set to continue. In fact we’ve only just begun to tap the opportunities that exist in offering more discounted, better quality Asian products on eBay to delight buyers around the globe.
ENGAGING WITH ASIA
Australia provides one of the best examples of how to engage with exporting countries. On the back of a strong Australian dollar, high consumer demand and an under-developed local ecommerce sector, imports are growing fast. Today Australia is the second largest trading corridor for eBay Asian exporters. This would not have been possible without close collaboration and comradeship between the exporting and importing countries.
Nor would it have been possible without the willingness of sellers to adopt the tough quality control and security measures and enforcements eBay has established. These are designed to ensure buyers get the greatest value on a wide selection of items from trusted Asian sellers by providing full transparency throughout the transaction, as well as checks and balances about product quality and authenticity.
The opportunity in North America and Europe is equally significant, as consumers are seeking to drive their dollars further against a back-drop of economic uncertainty.
eBay’s burgeoning success is also attributable in large measure to our cross-border teams who have worked tirelessly to build a sustainable export business.
Take the Shanghai-based customer service centre. Our people there provide customer service in seven different languages, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Meanwhile our seller account management teams in seven office locations across 11 countries focus on seller development, spending 80% of their time at exporters’ businesses, learning about their needs and helping them understand how to adapt to the eBay system.
SHARING DATA AND INFORMATION
eBay’s online export hubs provide sellers with everything they need to know about cross-border selling and how to be successful on eBay. In particular, they learn about exporting on eBay through our Cross Border Trade University, through real-time online webinars and through world-class offline seller acquisition seminars all over the region. These seminars run almost every week, attended by 200 to 300 targeted merchants.
We share information with sellers, such as what products are moving faster at what price points and in which countries, so they can adjust their inventory and marketing accordingly. In doing this, we have created a tightly bound and interactive Asian exporters’ community in which sellers across the region can meet and share best practices.
Meantime we’re making rapid progress in other areas of our business. For instance we have developed innovative seller services to overcome inherited structural barriers while partnering with importing countries to improve the buyer experience.
For example on the shipping front, eBay, the US Postal Service, and China Post Express & Logistics Corporation have established a far-reaching shipping alliance that is leading to more stable and affordable China-to-US online trade.
As you will read in the report, a similar alliance has been established with Hongkong Post and the US Postal Service for Hong Kong exporters. Among other advantages, the agreements let US buyers track packages from eBay sellers in Greater China.
BUILDING A GLOBAL BUSINESS
eBay provides a marvellous platform through which Asian exporters can reach a wider market. We’re optimistic that, together with PayPal, eBay can further build its global business through international trade. We are committed to investing in the world’s most dynamic economies to support the ecommerce market – and the many, many opportunities that lie ahead.
Vice President for Cross-Border Trade