Giving sellers the tools to continue to be successful on the eBay Marketplace is at the core of what we do. In 2019, we launched a new feature called Offer to Buyers (also known as Seller Initiated Offers) and became one of the first companies to empower sellers to give a discount and make more sales. This month, Offer to Buyers reached a huge milestone and surpassed $1 billion in gross merchandise volume (GMV) since Jan 1, 2020.
It all started with a simple idea in 2018 that became reality in 2019. With approximately 30% of unsold, consumer-to-consumer (C2C) listings having at least one watcher or one person with the item in their cart, why don’t we empower sellers to reach out to their potential buyers and see if they can close the sale? After all, we were already enabling buyers to reach out to sellers with a best offer.
In 2019 we launched this tool to our C2C sellers in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Australia on desktop as a new optional offering, and the response was overwhelming. Sellers were sending thousands of offers to buyers every week, a pace that continually saw double-digit growth. Many business-to-consumer (B2C) sellers came across the experience and were knocking at our doors for this to be available to them, too. Within just a month, the team developed a quick solution for them.
With all of the early success happening on browsers, sellers wanted to access this feature on their phones, too. The team quickly pivoted and launched Offer to Buyers on mobile shortly after the desktop launch, which led to an almost instant 50% increase in the number of offers and total GMV.
Sellers have shown tremendous enthusiasm for Offer to Buyers, and they are always sharing with us how this feature has enhanced the visibility of their listings. “This tool is fantastic and a total game changer for my business,” says Linda Lightman, CEO and Founder of Linda’s Stuff. “I’ve seen an impact on my sales from the day I started using this tool, and I can’t express how much I love it. It has proven to be so successful that we send offers several times throughout the day- morning, afternoon and evening.”
With the popularity of this feature among sellers, we began exploring additional updates which would make the tool even more useful. One update was the ability to counter-negotiate. More than 60% of offers have counters enabled, resulting in about a quarter of all Offer to Buyers transactions.
We have seen this as an opportunity for even more listings to be available on this tool. We have taken multiple buyer interest signals (such as Abandoned Cart and Heavy Browse) and made them available to our sellers, enabling around 20% more listings to be eligible to send offers, and we’re excited to continue implementing more such signals in the future. We have also added an option for sellers to automate sending offers, making it easy for sellers to use this tool while also helping them reach more buyers.
As we march ahead in our tech-led reimagination, and strive to be the platform of choice for sellers and create lifelong, trusted relationships with buyers, we will continue innovating on behalf of our customers to further their success and create economic opportunity for all.