San Jose, Calif. - eBay is coming to International CES next week with a new electronics team and a fresh market strategy designed to bolster the independent dealer channel.
The plan, which was first deployed successfully for the company's automotive and fashion stores, is intended to give specialty CE dealers a leg up in e-tail by leveraging the services and selling platform of the world's largest e-commerce company.
The approach is two-fold, explained Noah Herschman, a longtime industry veteran (Tweeter, Amazon.com, Staples China) who joined eBay in August as senior director/chief electronics merchant: First, to work directly with vendors to enhance the presentation of their specialty brands within eBay's electronics store; and second, to provide an e-commerce alternative for dealers who are experts in audio and video, but may trail more sophisticated e-tailers in online know-how.
The initiative, he said, would help level the online playing field for independents, allow vendors to help shape the way their brands are presented, provide a richer shopping experience for the 11 million CE enthusiasts who shop eBay, and strengthen a critical but consolidating distribution channel for manufacturers.
"It's a way for regional dealers to have a robust online strategy," Herschman said.
eBay will herald its new CE strategy at next week's show, where it will maintain a high profile by meeting with vendors and retailers, sponsoring the show's badges, and offering its president/CEO John Donahoe as the keynote speaker at the Consumer Electronics Association's 2012 Leaders In Technology Dinner at the Wynn Las Vegas on Jan. 11.