Company: eBay, Inc
Company background: eBay Inc. is a global commerce leader including the Marketplace, StubHub and Classifieds platforms. Collectively, we connect millions of buyers and sellers around the world, empowering people and creating opportunity through Connected Commerce. Founded in 1995 in San Jose, Calif., eBay is one of the world’s largest and most vibrant marketplaces for discovering great value and unique selection.
Contact: Doug Smith
Title: eBay Community Tech Manager
The eBay community https://community.ebay.com
eBay for Business Blog: https://community.ebay.com/t5/eBay-for-Business/bg-p/eBay-for-Business
Member to Member Support: https://community.ebay.com/t5/Member-To-Member-Support/qa-p/MemberToMember
Meetup page: https://community.ebay.com/t5/Meetups/ct-p/Meetups
Mentor Program page: https://community.ebay.com/t5/Community-Mentors/ct-p/Mentors
Product Experts Program: https://community.ebay.com/t5/Product-Expert/ct-p/Product_Expert
Selling on eBay Podcast: https://community.ebay.com/t5/Selling-on-eBay-Podcast/ct-p/selling_on_eBay_podcast
Lithy category: B2C Community Innovator
1. Describe the innovation(s) and how you settled on the decision to innovate (user request, Lithium suggestion, internal idea, etc.)
We’ve launched a number of improvements and innovations this year across the entire eBay Community. Some were based on user and super-user requests, some based on team strategies and planning, some based on Lithium and developer suggestions. We partnered with preferred Lithium partner Grazitti in late 2017 to help us with development needs, and they’ve really helped us take the eBay Community to the next level.
In an effort to address eBay Community requests for more access to execs, and an internal desire to get execs more face time with our eBay seller community, we repurposed an idea exchange into a question exchange to take questions for Bob Kupbens, eBay’s VP of Seller and Marketplace Operations. We gathered questions over a period of time, allowed voting over a period of time, and the top questions were answered by Bob in a Facebook live chat which was also broadcast in the eBay Community. This was a successful venture of us in terms of executive exposure and engagement, and we plan to continue this process with other eBay execs.
This year, we’ve really expanded and re-branded our eBay Mentors super-user program. These are our most experienced and active members who not only engage in the eBay Community as a whole, but also answer questions in our Member to Member Support board. This is one of our highest trafficked destinations, and is a direct feed from our online customer service flow, where visitors are prompted with the option to ask the eBay Community a question for help. We’ve launched a Mentor hub page with information about the program, and an application for new prospective members. We’ve expanded roles, have included Mentors in real world eBay event attendance, and added badging, and other incentives like early access to eBay information, and a monthly call with eBay Community staff.
Local meetup groups and seller events are part of eBay’s history, and we’ve incorporated a meetup strategy into the eBay Community to allow us to be active in meetups and seller events across the country. Our meetup page lists meetup events and information, and shows a map of events as well. Meetup groups can also submit their information to be listed on the page for exposure, and we prominently feature a meetup organizer each month. In the future, we’ll use this page to distribute eBay content to the various meetup groups and organizers.
eBay’s online radio show eBay Radio retired earlier this year to pave the way for the Selling on eBay podcast. The eBay podcast launched with its own hub page, a modified blog with pages for episodes with streaming options and transcripts, which allow us to garner SEO value, and add additional resources related to the podcast. We are also working on ways to source questions and content for the Selling on eBay podcast directly from the eBay Community using discussion boards and possibly a modified idea exchange. We currently take questions via phone at 88 723-4630 and via social media using. #ebaypodcast.
We’ve launched a Product Experts Program hub page, and a dedicated discussion board. eBay Community members can apply via the Community to help us evolve our product based shopping experience, a key initiative on eBay’s roadmap.
We’ve incorporated eBay’s Diversity and inclusion program into the eBay Community, fostering conversation with a dedicated discussion board, badging and more features to come in the near future.
Video integration has been a large part of the eBay Community strategy this year. We started with a “how to use the eBay Community” series of three videos. We’ve incorporated weekly streaming of eBay for Business videos, videos with executives answering questions, and the re-launch of the eBay for Business as blog as a video blog with transcripts for SEO value, and additional resource inclusion.
We’ve worked this year to get social influencers involved in the eBay Community, participating and engaging. We also attend seller events organized by influencers, and present on the resource value of the eBay Community to sellers.
We are working on an integrated search solution with Grazitti to incorporate eBay Community, Seller Center and Help searches in one universal interface.
This year we’ve seen increased employee integration in eBay Community in discussion boards, guest chats, eBay for Business streaming videos, and executive videos.
We’ve actively launched an Accepted Solutions strategy, including updated styling solution to show Solutions at the top of threads, and including prompts in signatures to prompt Accepted Solutions. A number of active eBay Community members have included the prompt in their signatures as well. This has led to an increase across the board in Accepted Solutions and solution views.
We’ve worked internally to improve the eBay Community’s accessibility compliance and continue to work internally and with Lithium. We’ve committed to work with Lithium on suggestions to make Lithium communities accessibility compliant.
We also have added Response for Lithium moderators and reporting for launches like our Seller Updates, and weekly traffic metrics and trends. We’re also looking into new ways to utilize Response including tracking of influencers and content, and increased engagement from the eBay Community team.
2. Tell us about how you made it happen Did you stage it first, who got an early look, how you drove adoption/use, and any iterations you had to make to get it right.
Our eBay Community staging environment closely reflects our live production environments. We test everything on stage and work out tweaks before launching to production.
We work closely with marketing, brand and accessibility teams on major projects to ensure that we are on brand and supporting and consistent with other eBay messaging.
Some features we pilot with eBay Mentors and get feedback, or on select discussion boards for feedback.
We incorporate feedback into new features and pages before launch, and we’re always open to feedback from the eBay Community.
3. What were the results? Tell us how it impacted your customer experience or the outcomes you seek as a business.
We continue to see consistently high traffic with over +10% improvement year over year. Our unique visitors average 2.0- 2.5 million per month.
Our Accepted Solution views have increased along with our Accepted Solution strategy of pushing accepted solutions, including prompts in signatures, and working with mentors to help push Accepted Solutions.
We see excellent Google traffic, and our visits from search are in the 70-80% range.
Our value Analytics Survey indicates that 43% of respondents find what they are looking for in the eBay Community, higher than the Lithium average. Our response rate is also higher than the Lithium average at 2.55%.
Our minutes to first reply are very quick, much lower than Lithium standards. We equate much of this to our Mentor program, which saves eBay approximately $4 million a year in deflected customer service calls. Our average is in the 250-300 minute range, and the Lithium standard is about 1200-1300 minutes.
Our 2018 Community Health Index (CHI) weekly average is 829. Per Lithium a CHI above 700 is best in class, and a CHI above 800 is very high. We’ve been told by Lithium that a CHI of 825 places eBay third in all communities on the Lithium platform in terms of CHI.
We’ve seen increased eBay employee integration in the Community across the board in terms of dedicated discussion boards for various teams and projects, eBay employee participation in chats and livestream videos, eBay exec participation in livestream videos, integration of the meetup and Product Experts Program, Diversity and Inclusion, the Selling on eBay podcast, and more.
Reporting and monitoring of the eBay Community voice and influence is very prominent at eBay and the eBay Community is considered the source of voice of the seller at eBay. Many issues identified by the eBay Community have been surfaced to the proper teams for resolution.
eBay Community features like the eBay Community chat, Selling on eBay podcast call in number and hashtag, Meetup and Product Expert programs give sellers and community members another route for help and access to eBay employees
Meetup attendance and integration and integration into the eBay Community, as well as outreach and partnerships with social influencers give us more reach outside of the eBay Community and into other social media sites.
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