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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Building a human-curated brand

If the FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google) sector and their measured worth are the final argument for the successful 21st Century model, then they are beyond reproach. Fine-tuning masses of algorithms to reduce human touchpoints and deliver wild returns to investors—all with workforces infinitesimally small compared to the giants of the 20th Century—has been proven out.

Will Smith

Co-founder and head of new markets, The Plum Guide

Sustainability trends brands can expect in 2020

​Marketers have made strides this year in sustainability with the number of brands rallying behind the Not Business As Usual alliance for action against climate change being a sign of the times. While sustainability efforts have gained momentum this year, 2020 is shaping up to be the year brands are really held accountable for their work in this area.

Ben King

CSR manager & sustainability expert, Finder

The trouble with Scotty from Marketing

As a Marketer, the ‘Scotty from Marketing’ meme troubles me.

Natalie Robinson

Director of marketing and communications, Melbourne Polytechnic

If you think it can benefit both consumer and seller then it would be great

Simon Bird

Why Ford is counting on the Internet of Things to drive customer engagement

Read more

It's a good idea. Customers really should control their data. Now I understand why it's important.

Elvin Huntsberry

Salesforce CMO: Modern marketers have an obligation to give customers control of their data

Read more

Instagram changes algorithms every time you get used to them. It really pisses me off. What else pisses me off? The fact that Instagram d...

Nickwood

Instagram loses the like in Australia; industry reacts positively

Read more

I tried www.analisa.io to see my Instagram Insight

Dina Rahmawati

7 marketing technology predictions for 2016

Read more

The saying is pretty tongue in cheek. It's not saying that marketers are bad people, nor that they don't take themselves seriously. There...

LYF Solutions

The trouble with Scotty from Marketing - The CMO view - CMO Australia

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in