EBay CEO: 'Welcome to the commerce revolution'

Chicago— "Welcome to the commerce revolution," declared eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) CEO John Donahoe. "We will see more change in the next three years than we have in the last five to 10 years."

Donahoe kicked off IRCE, telling attendees of the two-day event in Chicago that the lines are blurring — and blurring fast — between the now multiple channels of commerce.

One of the fastest growing trends in e-commerce and retail is that of personalization. "There has been a lot of talk about personalization, but it's still in its early days," said Donahoe. "On eBay today shoppers can customize their eBay feed to get more relevant content. Consumers that engage with this buy 22 percent more. The more personalized you can make the experience, the more they buy."

Donahoe broke this commerce revolution into four themes: consumer in, consumer choice, consumer service and personalization.

Consumers are driving this and they don't think in channel terms, they just want to shop, said Donahoe. They buy in different places and don't distinguish by location — online, in-store or mobile. EBay research shows that they are the same consumers.

Service is just as important online as it is in-store, and it's no longer acceptable to think of one channel as being able to better offer customer service.

"Consumers are saying 'no,' they want help in deciding what they should buy, they need help buying it and they want to get problems resolved, often with the help of a person," said Donahoe. "Doing this is becoming essential if you want to be one of the winners. These four things will be the difference between the winners and losers in this commerce revolution."

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