Even eBay Has Identity Problems

Most people think of eBay.com as a huge website where you can buy anything under the blue sky. In fact, according to Alexa.com, eBay is the 7th largest website in the United States.

But even a powerhouse like eBay comes to a point when things start to crumble a bit. The current success of Amazon and popularity of mobile devices have brought the auction giant’s problems out in the open. Online shoppers are jumping ship due to poor user experience, sellers are complaining about double digit decline in sales, and industry insiders are pointing out the company’s messy classification and display of products for sale.

The root of eBay’s problems is its identity crisis. Over the years, the company has built its reputation as an auction website that is ahead of its time in terms of technological advances. Today, its users, especially small retailers, want more. They want less clutter, easy search options, and more online marketplace features similar to Amazon.

Over time the company has morphed into a huge collection of all kinds of items for sale, and with features of an auction website and an online marketplace. Its users are confused and overwhelmed. The time has come for it to decide which way it wants to go; remain an auction website or become more like Amazon. Currently, it is trying to do both and it is not working.

It will be very interesting to see which way eBay will move within the 12-24 months. It is a tough position to be in, even for a proven giant like eBay.

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