Friday, February 16, 2007

What the Heck is a TSE?

Is the TSE (Tailored Shopping Experience) the Wave of the Future!

It is evident that the Tailored Shopping Experience is here to stay. The TSE approach is what many of the big Internet Retailers are betting their future growth on. Amazon announced their own TSE - in January and here is a list of current eBay TSE marketplaces, according to the 3rd quarter 2006 earnings call: eBay Motors, eBay Express,, and Meg vaguely referred to their Classifieds portfolio as a TSE (Kijiji, MarketPlus and Gumtree, among others) One marketplace she did not mention was which has been eBay's Red-headed step-child. They can't seem to figure out what to do with, though sometime this spring they will be adding listings to Express. In January eBay announced they were buying to be their Tickets TSE. The StubHub deal closed this past week.

I’ve been very critical of eBay for the moves they made in 2006, so it surprises me that I see some positives in this march towards more TSE marketplaces. I have written about eBay’s vulnerability in Vertical marketplaces and this TSE approach seems to address that issue head on. Back in Oct. I wrote that I believed this new approach made the rumors of a StubHub purchase even more likely and look what happened.

If eBay can create TSE’s for Collectibles, Electronics, etc. they can re-invigorate the marketplace and keep the other TSE competition at bay. The best way to improve their relationship with sellers (if they care to) is to make a more successful marketplace. TSE marketplaces are the right move.

Wow, add this post to my article on the Stores Markdown Manager, that ran in Auctionbytes this weekend and you would think I was practically an eBay Cheerleader. Let me state for the record, my focus is on the success of online sellers not just eBay sellers. If I come across something I believe is positive for sellers, I will shout it from the rooftops. Even if that means I'm being positive about something eBay is doing.

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