IT Addict, "High Tech made Simple" / This blog has moved to www.jeremyfain.net

Thursday, June 22, 2006

On eBay´s international expansion strategy

























I´ve gathered some data about countries where eBay operates. Here it is presented in a table (Sources: populationdata.net & global-reach.biz; figures are from December 2005).

Could someone explain to me what eBay´s international expansion strategy exactly is? It seems rather inconsistent...

For instance, eBay´s in Singapore, New Zealand & Ireland and not in, say, Estonia, Jordan, or Israel (for the latter: pop. 6,780,000; 3,700,000 Internet users; 55% IT literacy).

When it comes to Japan, where eBay, again, doesn´t operate, I understand that Rakuten´s leadership is probably unmatchable, but isn´t fighting competition the very essence of top companies?

5 Comments:

  • competition is the essence of top companies... or not: isn't ebay's strategy to buy out leaders where they exist ? Rakuten may just be next in line...

    By Anonymous Manu, at 6/23/2006 12:30:00 PM  

  • Dear Manu,

    You would be totally right if Rakuten wasn´t almost exclusively a B-t-C website...

    By Blogger Jeremy Fain, at 6/23/2006 12:48:00 PM  

  • To me, as a Finn, that expansion doesn't seem that inconsistent if you follow the keyword "localization". See any other nordic countries than sweden (swedish) on ebay's list? That's what we apparently speak in the whole scandinavia. The few (Finland, which answers also your questions about Estonia) who don't speak swedish-ish languages, are pretty fluent in English. Anyway, Nordic and the Baltics are a niche market.
    Look at eBay's list by languages and cultures, and you'll see that they've got the basics covered. The rest are unimportant or can use English.

    For a long time, yahoo.fi wasn't even registered to Yahoo we all know and love. Even today it's more minimalistic than Google's homepage.

    See how important your source, global-reach thought Estonia or Finland to be (numbers are missing and wrong)? Seems that they added Estonia's population to Finland's to get that number... CIA's fantastic world factbook has much better (and recent) numbers.

    By Blogger Kari, at 7/10/2006 10:01:00 AM  

  • Kari, I´m sorry but you´re not making a point here.

    Having lived in Israel, I can tell you that having to use eBay.com is really a pain in the ass. Shipment costs are extremely high, and chances are real that your seller doesn´t want to send you whatever you want to buy as far as Israel.

    Furthermore, I find rather tricky the sort-by-living-location tool on eBay. Hence the need for "glocalisation", a local implementation of companies of the globalization (like eBay).

    By Blogger Jeremy Fain, at 7/10/2006 10:47:00 AM  

  • Well, same here. I really can't use ebay or any of the other services either. Amazon.co.uk/.de are still a bit expensive, but with enough stuff cheaper than buying from a local bookstore. Of course, it's not Amazon but someone selling through Amazon, I'm out of luck.
    The point I think I was trying to make is that in the global economy, there are still geographical areas that are not worth it. It's not just profitable enough to "glocalize".
    I'm quite sure that if it wasn't for Euro, Finland wouldn't even have iTunes Music Store yet. (look how long it took norway and sweden to get theirs).

    By Blogger Kari, at 7/10/2006 01:36:00 PM  

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