eBay makes omni-channel retail a reality for other brands

CMO of the ecommerce giant's Enterprise division reveals how it's helping other retailers to bring online and offline shopper experiences together

Chief marketing officer and vice-president for eBay Enterprise, Mark Kirschner
Chief marketing officer and vice-president for eBay Enterprise, Mark Kirschner

While many Australians know eBay as an ecommerce powerhouse, fewer know that the company also supplies the technology powering many other online retail experiences – and increasingly, a number of offline experiences as well.

Chief marketing officer and vice-president for eBay Enterprise, Mark Kirschner, oversees a division running ecommerce for many of the world’s largest brands and retailers including Nike and Converse, and local players, Dick Smith and Harvey Norman.

“What’s unique and different is the product,” Kirschner tells CMO. “We have incredible amounts of expertise across not only in how to run a Web store and optimise it, but all of the middleware too. So order management, store-based fulfilment, as well as the back-end operations of shipping, logistics and customer service.

“We wrap it all with marketing solutions that are all about acquisition and retention of new and existing customers.”

Nestled amid that capability is Magento, the open source ecommerce platform estimated to be used by 30 per cent of the world’s online retailers – and in as many as 50 per cent of online retailers in Australia. Magento was acquired by eBay in 2011.

While many of eBay Enterprise’s clients sell through the eBay marketplace, Kirschner says his business also helps them sell goods through other markets. At the same time, his group will also integrate clients running systems such as Hybris.

“Everybody competes, everybody cooperates – it’s the Internet,” Kirschner says.

Harvey Norman finds value in omni-channel retailing

Perhaps most intriguing, however, is the work eBay Enterprise is doing in offline environments, such as for the New York concept store opened by women’s fashion designer, Rebecca Minkoff, in November.

The store features a 122-inch touchscreen display showing recent runway shows. Shoppers are notified that a fitting room is available via a smartphone app, which they can also use to call sales staff for assistance, or even control the lighting in the fitting room to deliver their preferred look.

“The whole store is RFID enabled, so if you take something into the fitting room, the fitting room mirrors light up and show you different options or configurations of that item with other outfits,” Kirschner explains.

“The online and offline experiences are merging. Creating those connections from online to offline is what Magento is able to do. The reduction of friction in the brick-and-mortar shopping experience is a really interesting area for us.”

According to Kirschner, it is becoming more common to find managers within his clients with a dedicated omni-channel role that can join the dots between online and offline retail.

“This is a transformation moment, and the likelihood is that in very short order the term ‘online’ is going to go away,” he says. “It is just not going to feel that separated, because they are coming together so quickly. “

The connection to eBay’s retail operation also gives eBay Enterprise a unique insight into shopper buying behaviour, which it is distilling to help its clients make better decisions about what to put in front of customers. This culminated in the launch of the Commerce Marketing Platform earlier this year, combining commerce and analytics.

“We’ve created a platform that connects all of your addressable media with a DMP [data management platform] that allows you to make real-time decisioning about where to make an offer and when, and which offer to make,” Kirschner says.

“If you are managing to margin goals and managing to sales goals, you can have the levers to make those trade-offs. You are able to leverage those insights in a very, very meaningful way.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Signup to CMO’s email newsletter to receive your weekly dose of targeted content for the modern marketing chief.

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

People in vegan houses shouldn't throw bacon

Picture this. You’re at a Gourmerican burger joint chomping a cheeseburger, when an outspoken vegan friend starts preaching that you’re killing the planet. Last week, that same vegan downed a pricey glass of pinot before their flight to a far-flung destination, armed with their strongest mossie repellant and first aid kit. Anything amiss?

Abbie Love

Strategist, Ikon Communications

The role of the CMO is evolving: Are you keeping up?

My (amazing) vacation in the Galapagos Islands earlier in the year got me thinking about Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution. What does this have to do with the role of today’s CMO, you ask? Plenty.

Sheryl Pattek

Vice-president, executive partner

Getting your business ready for the Entrepreneurial Consumer

We all know the digital revolution has completely transformed the way consumers are interacting with brands, and that a lot of businesses are finding it hard to catch up. One way to closing this brand gap is to understand consumer behaviour and build a brand experience that meets these new needs.

Pip Stocks

CEO and founder, BrandHook


Kerry Edwards

Open Colleges taps into social for better student interaction

Read more

Or just go to sites like www.shopsthatshiptoaustralia.c... and others and be sure that the stores will send to where you live :-)


Why online shopping is like dating – RedBalloon CEO

Read more

Personalisation is the key. Customers demand a very relatable and well defined CX where the sincerity and understanding of their disposit...

Hitesh Parekh

In pictures: Improving cutomer experiences through smart personalisation

Read more

Thanks for this. The key for me is the effective of governance where it dictates and sets the proactive policy when it comes to CX. Tech ...

Hitesh Parekh

6 lessons in modern marketing from a customer experience chief

Read more

Very well said “With today’s consumers more demanding of the brands and merchants they shop, it’s imperative for merchants to not just co...


CMO's top 10 martech stories for this week - 29 September

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in