In recent times, the E commerce segment has not just grown, but has even given tough competition to organised retail. The last 2 decades has seen a phenomenal rise in E commerce sector. The industry has risen directly in correlation to the fact that when more people are online, the purchase would be online too. There is a lot of comfort in ordering things which are home delivered, things which will take hours to buy in a show room and you still might not be able to compare one to another. This industry grew manifold due to an ever increasing number of internet and web users, and the name which emerged as one of the top competitors, is that of EBay.
EBay began its operation in the year 1995, in San Jose, California and was founded on an experimental basis by Pierre Omidyar. The idea of buying online soon caught attention of the online populace at large, and within some time, became a common rage among the market. EBay has grown along with the growth of the E commerce segment. It is a multi billion dollar industry, that has changed the way people shop and buy daily utilities, and EBay has had a fair share of this industry for many years now. What started in local areas of California, slowly expanded throughout USA and within a couple of years expanded horizons across the world, with operations and deliveries in major countries.
The marketing mix of Ebay is one of the reasons that the online E commerce giant is so powerful in the E commerce sector. We will discuss the Ebay marketing mix in detail below.
Product in the marketing mix of Ebay
EBay is a prominent online player because of the vast portfolio of products that are offered on its online portal. From the very beginning the study and research of EBay has been focused on the needs of those people, who were busy and tied to a desk, and preferred to save their time by buying online. However, soon this attitude of buyers changed, and now besides convenience, price and comparisons are some of the reasons that consumers buy online.
Ebay’s analysis revolved around the fact most people have a very limited time to go to market places, thus it started selling electronics, home appliances, white goods, brown goods, fitness equipments, so on and so forth online. Slowly but surely, Ebay became to be known THE online portal for all things electronics. Where Amazon differentiated itself with books, Ebay differentiated itself with Electronics. Soon, it received rave reviews and high response from the market in general. Within a couple of years the product portfolio increased in size, and the portal grew as an all in one stop for shopping of any kind, and now offers products across segments, range, categories and types.
Salient features of products in the marketing mix of Ebay
- Main focus on Electronics
- Fantastic user interface
- In depth product portfolio
Price in the marketing mix of Ebay
Price is a major function in deciding the fate of a particular business, and is undoubtedly considered one of the most important factors. The complete E commerce industry operates on Competitive pricing because customer switching is very high and purchases can happen in minutes. The advantage that EBay has in this direction is that it gives a detailed analysis of a particular product, availability in market, and the best price on its portal. In this function, where customer is buying online, it is understood that the individual has access to other online retailers who also make prices and specifications available and are easily accessed. Thus, the prices have to be kept in a rational range, and EBay has been doing the same till now.
A low price means the customer stays with you, a high price means that the customer might move on to another portal. Thus, Ebay has had to keep a sharp eye on price at all times. However, the advantage of online portals is that due to the nature of business, expenses and overheads are generally lesser than returns on investment. Thus, online retailers are often seen to drop prices and attract customers. Ebay too, at all times has sales promotions and trade promotions as well as offers to attract and retain customers.
Salient features of price in the marketing mix of Ebay.
- Competitive pricing
- Good margins for Ebay
- Attractive price offers always in place on the site.
Place in the marketing mix of Ebay
As discussed before, one of the advantages of Online portals is on the cost because they do not have to spend on retail setup or real brick and mortar setup. Ebay is practically present on any computer which has an internet connection. Thus, the distribution of products is optimum. Customers can use the site to compare products, specifications, price and looks of the product. Thus, customers get everything that can be obtained in a retail showroom.
Another part of distribution where online retailers are really competing in the market is delivery time. Ebay has distribution centres located strategically and it can distribute within 2-3 working days anywhere. In metros, Ebay even offers single day delivery at some extra cost. Most importantly, just by entering your pin code, it will give you the precise time when you can expect your delivery. What more do you require from a distribution setup?
The word of mouth for Ebay has been built over time, because even after shipping lacks of orders every month, the packing of orders is such that there is hardly any complaint from the customer. They even offer replacement guarantees so that the customer is happy at all time. Thus, the distribution is a strong point for Ebay marketing mix.
Promotions in the marketing mix of Ebay
Although given its worldwide popularity, Ebay does not take much part in above the line promotions, but in today’s scenario, it is important to remain in customers mind. Thus, promotions via ads, on websites, blogs, and even social networks are done commonly to attract customer’s attention. Apart from this, Search Engine Optimization techniques, commonly known as SEO, is also used so that when a customer searches for a product online, the search engine first throws the name of Ebay above everyone else.
Another form of promotion is self promotion where most of the money is spent by Ebay. By dropping margins and giving discounts to customers and sellers, Ebay is known to penetrate the market better and faster and thereby leave less margin for competition to survive. In the online market, economies of scale is very important and only the large retailers survive. Ebay has a lot of buying and holding power due to which it is able to outperform other online E commerce portals. At the same time, as it is dealing in very high quantities with companies, it gets the best rates out of them.