10,947 $m
When Meg Whitman stepped down as eBay’s CEO in 2008, the brand was showing definite signs of trouble. In the past four years, under the leadership of John Donahoe, eBay has experienced a major turnaround. Unlike its peers founded in the digital era, eBay has managed to maintain its culture of innovation — finding new ways to remain relevant and responsive. The mega e-retailer has effectively mastered mobile; in fact, most of eBay’s growth has come from mobile retailing and PayPal, not its core e-commerce business (which is also performing well). As if that weren’t enough, over 90 million users have downloaded eBay’s mobile app and the brand is on track to double volume over both mobile and PayPal this year. Unfortunately for eBay, it’s not alone in its mobile e-commerce prowess. Amazon’s customers have also embraced its mobile app, and the scale of its business means it can wait out the competition. Additionally, PayPal is grappling with challengers like Google Checkout and Google Wallet. Frustrations from sellers should also be taken into account. Mounting complaints about escalating fees, feedback policy issues, the proliferation of scams, and preferential treatment toward larger sellers are increasingly threatening eBay’s relationship with both sellers and consumers. eBay must take care in managing its reputation, lest it become a grand purveyor of knock-offs and junk merchandise. While recent policy changes have increased relevance and profits, these issues could signal trouble down the road. The competition is fierce for online retailers, but with e-commerce representing only 10% of consumer spending, there is plenty of room for the king of online auctions to grow. Considering its current performance, those who place bids for eBay are likely to end up ahead.