研究:在線拍賣不再受追捧

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斯坦福大學研究人員本月發佈的一份報告顯示,在線拍賣正在快速衰落。目前,eBay 上只選擇通過拍賣出售商品的用家不到總數的 15%,而大多數用家則選擇定價出售商品,這也使得 eBay 更像一家傳統的電商網站。
eBay

斯坦福大學研究人員本月發佈的一份報告顯示,在線拍賣正在快速衰落。目前,eBay 上只選擇通過拍賣出售商品的用家不到總數的 15%,而大多數用家則選擇定價出售商品,這也使得 eBay 更像一家傳統的電商網站。

研究報告的主筆人之一,來自斯坦福大學的經濟學家 Liran Einav 說:「大多數人認為 eBay 是一家大型的拍賣網站,但是我們意識到他們的經營業務更像 Amazon 。」

報告認為,出現這樣轉變的部分原因是由於人們更加傾向於通過社交網站 Facebook 和視頻網站 YouTube 等其他方式來打發休閒時間。安納夫認為,不同形式的消遣服務的出現大大降低了在線拍賣的吸引力,從而可能導致商品的流拍。安納夫指出,人們現在越來越喜歡進行快速交易,雖然也有人熱衷於淘貨,但這樣的消費方式實在消耗時間。

移動設備的迅速發展則加速了這一變化進程。據報告顯示,相對於桌面用家而言,eBay 移動用家的平均瀏覽時間下降了 25%。此外,由於電商網站的迅猛發展,在線拍賣模式所帶來的價格優惠也在逐漸喪失。

不過,eBay 的拍賣模式對於買家而言還是有好消息的。參與競拍的買家往往能達成不錯的交易。研究顯示,近幾年,被拍賣的商品的成交價往往比同類定價商品價格低 16% 左右。研究還顯示,目前在 eBay 進行的拍賣更多像是傳統零售市場所進行的營銷策略。此外,一些不易購買的商品仍仰仗 eBay,例如收藏品、珠寶以及歌星 Justin Bieber 的頭髮。

對於這些跡象,eBay 早已推出應對措施。2008 年,eBay 改變了其搜索算法,更加強調了與搜索相關的產品,而不物品銷售窗口的剩餘時間,此舉大大降低了拍賣的權重。然而,這一改變並沒有使其銷售額受到影響,eBay 去年的收入為 61 億美元,較上年增長了 12%。

Source : Business Week

The online auction is fading fast. Fewer than 15 percent of all who post eBay listings are opting for an auction-only sale these days, according to a paper published this month by Stanford University researchers who worked with the online marketplace for their study. Most sellers instead choose to offer items at fixed, “Buy It Now” prices, making eBay more like a conventional e-commerce website than the online-auction pioneer it was in the 1990s.

“This sort of cried out from the data we saw,” says Liran Einav, a Stanford economist and one of the study’s four authors. “Most people view it as a big auction site, but we realized their business is much more like Amazon.”

In part, the shift away from auctions stems from people preferring to focus on alternative online pastimes such as Facebook (FB) and YouTube (GOOG). Einav contends that these competing diversions have drained much of the allure from online bidding, which can take days to end in a sale. “People want to do stuff quickly, and doing stuff in an ideal market setting takes time,” he explains. “Some people like going to a garage sale and finding good deals, but most people hate it.” This speedy shopping dynamic has accelerated on mobile devices: According to the study, eBay’s mobile users reduce their browsing time by 25 percent on average, relative to those on computer.

The signature benefit of the online-auction format—arriving at efficient prices for even the most unusual items—has lost some its purpose as well, thanks to the proliferation of e-commerce venues with posted prices. Even eBay’s own archive of sales data helps users zero in on a market rate quickly, without needing to pit potential buyers against one another in an auction.

The upside of eBays buy-it-now economy? Buyers willing to bid are getting better deals. In recent years, auctioned items have sold at prices about 16 percent below similar items offered at fixed prices, according to the study. “The rationale for auctions becomes less about price discovery and closer to the use of couponing and other promotional strategies seen in more traditional retail markets,” the study notes. And many items still lend themselves to auctions, including collectibles, jewelry, and such rare objects as locks of Justin Bieber’s hair.

None of this is news to eBay, which for years has been pushing its business model beyond bidding. In 2008, eBay changed its search algorithm to rank results more heavily on relevance than time left in an item’s sale window. That tweak helped trigger a big drop in auctions. Still, the shift away from auctions hasn’t put a damper on results: Last year, eBay’s marketplace websites generated $6.1 billion in revenue, a 12 percent increase over 2011.

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