eBay reports $2.2bn in Q1 revenue, buoyed by UX, advertising efforts

EBay reported Q1 2017 revenue, which it said was up thanks in part to user experience enhancements.

E-commerce platform eBay reported Q1 revenue was $2.2bn, up 4% on an as-reported basis.

On an earnings call on Wednesday (April 19), President and chief executive Devin Wenig said, “Q1 was a good start to the year where we make progress redefining the eBay experience [and] brand.”

For his part, chief financial officer Scott Schenkel added that eBay will spend the remainder of the year focused on growing its base of active buyers and new experiences and it expects to close out 2017 with revenue of $9.3 to $9.5bn.

Wenig attributed user experience improvements and brand marketing to driving “a better ecosystem” so far in 2017. That includes leveraging its 25m product reviews extensively with the launch of a Top Rated feature in the browser experience, as well as allowing users to upload pictures in reviews. Wenig said it also included rolling out a new homepage in late March, which uses structured data and AI to create a shopping experience tailored to each user “helping them to find their version of perfect”.

Wenig also pointed to what he called two “significant” customer experience improvements: an authentication program he said will increase consumer confidence when purchasing high-end products, as well as a service that guarantees delivery in three days or less, which will debut this summer.

What’s more, Wenig said the market “will see advertising efforts stepped up” in Q2 in a “fresh, modern way that authentically connects with people and culture”. The updated brand campaign will also “address misperceptions” about eBay, he said. The brand has also seen demographics “skewing a little younger and a little more female…and you’ll see us market that way in the summer,” Wenig added.

EBay also said it delivered gross merchandise volume (GMV) of $20.9bn in Q1, up 2% on an as-reported basis.

Online ticket exchange StubHub drove GMV of $916m, up 6%, and revenue of $210m, up 18% on an as-reported basis, aided by strength in international markets with the integration of the ticket-selling platform Ticketbis. During Q1, StubHub also became the official ticket resale marketplace for the Major League Baseball teams the Los Angeles Angels and Toronto Blue Jays.

Further, eBay said Classifieds delivered revenue of $199m, up 7% on an as-reported basis – and saw particular strength across its German platforms.

Overall eBay's net income before tax for Q1 was $1.03bn.

The company projects net revenue between $2.28bn and $2.32bn in Q2.

In the first quarter, eBay added 2m active buyers, for a total of 169m.

In addition, eBay recently announced an agreement with e-commerce company Flipkart. In exchange for an equity stake, eBay will make a $500m cash investment and sell its eBay.in business to Flipkart. The companies will also exclusively pursue cross-border trade opportunities together.

“It enables us to increase our penetration in India by making global inventory available to a significantly larger set of Indian consumers and active buyers will have access to Indian inventory,” Wenig added.