eBay is an online based business. This is one of its major characteristics as its services are done online. Emails are used as the main mode of communication to sellers, customers as well as to the eBay community. It facilitates an effective communication among the users as well as between users and the company.
eBay is an open market. The conduct of its business is honest and open. There is an effective feedback from the participants after completion of every transaction. Buyers who involve the consumers have to express a willingness to buy a given product by placing their bid. One has to place the bid and wait to see whether he or she will win the bid. Moreover, consumers usually express their views and opinions about a given product. Normally, eBay serves a given community (Selden, 1996:320). Thus, it is mainly defined by the level at which buyers and sellers have to rely on one another. Reputation of the company to its users also helps to increase its transactions. In addition, it contributes in giving the company a positive rating.
The services at eBay are also highly protected to minimize cases of fraud. For instance there was an incident where the company registered a fraud of about 0.01%. In such cases, the company had to reimburse its buyers about $ 200 for various items that could not have been received (Rakesh, 2009:40). Moreover, it has to abide to the fraud protection programs to ensure that such cases to do not reoccur.
The company has later widened the scope of its services. Besides auctions, the company has introduced other transaction processes such as fixed price trading that features the process of “Buy It Know” . The company further acquires the Internet retail site Half.com. This has enabled the company to develop millions of buyers from various regions making it a big business. Thus, the company can currently be characterized as one of the biggest online businesses in the world. Virtually, other companies such as IBM, Xerox, Dell as well as Disney started auctioning their goods through the eBay company. Both corporate and individual buyers and sellers have participated in giving feedback to the company.
Currently, the major features of the company involve the use of Buy-It-Now and Half.com. The two contribute to about 11 percent of the total eBay revenues. International transactions also contribute to the company’s revenue (Rakesh, 2009:66). They make about 14 percent. Auctions, international sales as well as fixed price sales also make a significant percent of the eBay’s business.
The company also engages in other side business such as bill-point payment among other services such as escrow and shipping. Since eBay operates online based businesses, advertising is paramount. In deed, advertising accounts to about 10 percent of the total company’s revenues. eBay has become a leader in advertising in comparison with other companies as it offers the most convenient ads supported website (Selden, 1996: 250). It places adverts on its pages in with the AOL Time Warner. Thus, advertising is a major feature of the company as it acts as a source of revenue.
The company has established control over its community. This also includes control of its organic systems. Virtually, this reflects the amount of revenue that the company generates. High degree of interpersonal relationship has been developed between the company and its users. This is usually developed as the company seeks to complete its transactions with the sellers. In the case of corporate sellers, more attention is required as they are made up of big business. The company has a relatively moderate charge for transactions and services (Rakesh, 2003:89). According to Smith, increased fees for services and transactions would have negative repercussion on the company’s performance.
Customers play a critical role in defining eBay services. Initially, eBay was a market place. This is where customers meet for trading mostly through online auctions. Selling took place in form of bids as sellers normally posted their bids and waited for interested consumers to place their bids (Kevin, 2009:78). When a given auction was complete, eBay took the role of notifying the seller mainly through email. Email is used as the means of communication between the seller and individuals at eBay. They have to exchange emails in order to facilitate shipping, handling as well as making payment on both parties.
Conversely, customers who include the eBay users have the right to make decisions about the operations of the site. For example, during the inception stage, Omidyar, has to get relevant information on feedback and suggestions from both buyers and sellers. Based on the feedback, the company is therefore in a position to make the relevant adjustments. In deed, customers are the source of new ideas and various product categories the company is going to deal with. Customers constitute the buyer community who guarantee the company success. eBay was able to develop to one of the best auto site on internet in 2001. This was after the company had realized the role played by customers in increasing the purchase and product category.
According to Omidyar, the power of purchase rests with the consumers. They are responsible for building the community as well as the website where products are placed for bidding. Unilateral decisions are run where decisions are solicited from users. Customers participate in bidding, technical issues, shipping among other related policies (Rakesh, 2003:56). The eBay bases are set up in various towns such as in Town square, Soapbox as well as in Park have well organized forums specifically set apart for the benefit of users. This is geared towards connecting members of one community to another. In addition, it is aimed at fostering and promoting community building (Kevin, 2009:120). This is also facilitated by development of a community based television that highlights the needs of eBay users.
Customers’ feedback determines the volume of sales. In deed, when customers’ feedback is positive, the company is able to build its corporate image. This compels eBay to develop direct and constant communication with their customers. Customers have to develop satisfaction of the product. This is only achieved once they are fully informed on new products and its benefits. This makes them to try the product upon which they develop product satisfaction. The company has also been making effort to increase the loyalty of their customers.
In conclusion, eBay has unique characterizes in the way it provides its services. It views its customers as an integral component for its success. For this reason, the company has developed an interpersonal relationship with its users. On the same, customers play a critical role in making decisions affecting the company. They give their contributions to the product specifications available for bidding. Buy-It Now is one of the major strategies that has contributed to the success of the company.