We have a Cross-Border Trade Team... who knew?
By: Richard Brewer-Hay
I received a number of questions regarding cross-border trade practices in the first few days of the blog and, over the weekend, Scot Wingo proposed in eBay Strategies that “Confusion abounds over eBay’s new International Visibility Offering” so I decided to go off on my first recon mission. One of the initial questions raised on Ink about this was by Davey regarding setting up an internal cross-border trade team. You will be interested to know that there already is a team in place devoted to evolving and enhancing Cross-Border Trade (CBT) practices on eBay. The team was expanded and has been in place and focusing on CBT since early last Fall, and it seems the fruits of their efforts are now starting to see the light of day. I was lucky enough to sit down with a couple of members of the team over the past two days to see if I could sort some of these questions and concerns out.
Firstly, I wanted to find out more about the International Visibility Feature discussed by Scot and the questions he raised around non-US buyers rating US sellers at .2-.5 lower stars. It is the CBT team’s contention that although a ding of any kind is not optimal, they’ve seen no evidence of this going beyond a .1 rating. In fact, I got the impression that some sellers have even higher International scores than domestic.
Further, it was agreed that the current DSR set-up is not the best for international transactions and they are currently focused on addressing an improved rating system.
Thirdly, I wanted to get their opinion on the current “work-around” strategy of listing across two different seller IDs and although it was agreed that this was a solution of sorts, it could be argued that the seller is simply creating more work for themselves by having two IDs to manage and, by directing buyers to another ID could only add to the confusion.
Which leads to a theme that I’ve seen come up with regard to current CBT practices. Quite frankly, it seems that not enough education regarding CBT is out there. For one thing, buyer’s expectations need to be set with regard to shipping cost and time. Essentially, this is what the team has been brought together to do: educate and enhance the international experience. As it stands now, the buyer is confused with the current set up (yes, I agree with Scot’s assessment) and in order to counter that confusion, we need to have better messaging and education that can set the expectations on both sides of the transaction.
I took a look at the current Best Practices on international selling. It definitely has served its purpose up until this point, but its time has passed. In meeting with the CBT team today I was given a sneak peak at the soon-to-be-launched Global Trading Page that will house detailed support, information and new best practices for both buyers and sellers (I was told weeks – not months). Unfortunately, I don’t have much more info on this right now but they were nice enough to provide me with an extremely teasing screen shot of the page (see above). As soon as I get a URL for this, I’ll be sure to share with the group.
I realize there are a lot more questions regarding CBT but I’m pleased to report that there is a team devoted to answering those questions and enhancing that experience. I’ll be interested to get folks’ feedback on the landing page once it goes live.