Back to the Future (With Spanish Subtitles)

By: Richard Brewer-Hay

When it rains…

…On Sunday I talked about eBay launching eBayClassifieds.com in two key U.S. markets. Then this morning, it was reported that San Mateo-based startup, Oodle, has been given the reins to Facebook‘s Marketplace application – essentially hoping to turn it into an online Classifieds tool for Facebook users. Then, there’s the news out of Spain today…

eBay eCommerce Portal - Spain

Remember when portals were all the rage? Well, today I am told that eBay Spain has gone eCommerce Portal, combining the offerings of the core marketplace – eBay Clasico as they’ve dubbed it – and eBay Anuncios, which draws in local classifieds content from LoQUo, the leading classifieds brand in Spain (and also an eBay property).

Now, what I hear again and again is that one of the things that has made eBay such a global success story across our core marketplaces and classifieds sites is that we allow our teams on the ground to act locally. You can see this in places like the Netherlands where consumers demand a classifieds site like Marktplaats, in favor of the more traditonal eBay Marketplace (http://ebay.nl) or in Korea where IAC works very well but looks wholly different from eBay.com. To answer the easy potshot: it was largely our initial experience of trying to airdrop eBay.com into China that confirmed the importance of listening to our different communities and delivering what their markets demand.

Which brings me back to Spain… I already know what you’re thinking: is this move related to the test of the eBayClassifieds.com in the US? The answer is both yes and no. Yes, because both moves are a recognition that the regional teams know what is best for their markets and both involve our primary classifieds brands in those markets. No, because the US is a limited test in two cities while eBay Spain is a permanent move. With that in mind it is worth saying that we learn from every test and permanent change in every market, and we have organized ourselves globally to develop best practices that can be refined and localized as needed.

Does this mean that eBay.com will someday look like www.ebay.es? Probably not, but I would expect that we’re watching very closely to see how buyers and sellers in Spain use the local classifieds in eBay Anuncios instead of or in conjunction with their eBay Clasico national marketplace and that we will apply the best of what is learned to our US properties.

What do you think?

Cheers,
RBH