John Donahoe may have rescued eBay from decline, but the e-commerce company has yet to convince some corners of Wall Street it can sustain its rapid growth.
In its first-quarter financials out this week, eBay (EBAY) slightly beat earnings estimates, with net income up 19% year over year to $677 million on revenues of $3.7 billion, led by PayPal's continued rise and the recent turnaround of Marketplaces, which includes the eBay website. But a lower-than-expected second-quarter outlook -- between $3.8 billion and $3.9 billion in sales vs. analysts' consensus of $3.95 billion -- paired with PayPal's slowest growth period in some time, did not sit well with investors. The news sent eBay shares down 2% in after-hours trading.
The results have left some analysts wondering: with the turnaround in its rear-view mirror, how can eBay keep up the pace?
At the company's Investor and Analyst Day last month, eBay CEO Donahoe and other executives outlined their goals for the next three years. The company projected revenues as high as $23.5 billion come 2015 -- vs. last year's $14.1 billion in sales -- tied to $300 billion in global commerce from eBay's Marketplaces, PayPal, and GSI Commerce, the last of which builds and manages online shopping sites for big retailers. Just as ambitious? Donahoe wants to double eBay's user base to 200 million-plus by 2015.
eBay上个月举行投资者与分析师通气会（Investor and Analyst Day）时，公司首席执行官多纳霍和其他高管一起阐述了未来三年的目标。公司预计，2015年收入将高达235亿美元——而去年销售收入仅为141亿美元。这个预测的基础是eBay市场、贝宝和GSI Commerce全球3,000亿美元的商务价值。其中GSI Commerce是专为大型零售商创建和管理网购平台的。这个目标算是雄心勃勃吗？实际上多纳霍还计划，到2015年实现eBay用户翻一番，达到2亿人以上。
To achieve such lofty goals, eBay is focusing on boosting its customer experience. Marketplaces, for instance, will be rolling out features in the coming months and years that will amplify users' relationships with the retailer and use mobile devices in new ways. At Investor Day, eBay put together an impressive demo of a mobile feature dubbed Neighborhoods. Far from finished, Neighborhoods will be a comprehensive mapping feature that aggregates available items from all participating stores -- large and small -- in your neighborhood (e.g. New York City's West Village). Items will be displayed onscreen and can be purchased with a few finger taps, then shipped home, possibly via same-day delivery, or picked up in-store.
Although PayPal remains the fastest-growing eBay segment, its 18% growth last quarter falls short of any quarter last year, indicating that the payments business could be feeling the squeeze from competitors like Square and Intuit, both of which are also developing online, offline, and mobile payment solutions. This likely explains why the company is aggressively pushing into brick-and-mortar locations. PayPal announced a deal late last year that will allow shoppers to pay using their PayPal accounts at any one of the 7 million-plus brick-and-mortar stores that take Discover (DFS), for instance.
EBay has its eye on additional international expansion. Indeed, 61% of Marketplaces revenues already come from outside the U.S. In China, where American online retailers are often rebuffed, eBay announced eBay Style, a partnership with luxury online retailer Xiu.com that allows Chinese shoppers to buy items from abroad. Meanwhile, Xiu.com handles domestic tasks like shipping and customer service, helping eBay gain a foothold in the region. "When we did that, we knew it was a small step back into the market," Wendy Jones, eBay VP of geographic expansion and cross border trade, told Fortune earlier this year. But she suggested the partnership with Xiu.com could be done with other Chinese companies to widen local distribution.
EBay also has big plans for eBay Now, the iPhone app that offers one-hour shipping of items from partners like Target (TGT) and Home Depot (HD) in three cities. The service will eventually find its way into Marketplaces, and Donahoe told Fortune recently he hopes the service will be ubiquitous, whether a customer lives in a big urban sprawl or small suburban town. Such an expansion would call for partnerships with third-party shipping and transportation systems. "I've had newspaper companies come to me and say, we have all these trucks. We deliver these newspapers, and these trucks don't get used after 8 a.m. in the morning ... Can we help deliver?" Donahoe recently told Fortune, who pointed out that newspaper trucks are in every city in America.
Bay还为eBay Now制定了宏伟规划。eBay Now是一个iPhone上的应用，它能在三个城市为用户提供一项特别服务，在一小时内送到来自eBay合作伙伴如塔吉特（Target）和家得宝（Home Depot）的商品。eBay市场最终也会提供这项服务。此外，多纳霍近期还向《财富》杂志表示，他希望这项服务能不分远近，不管客户是住在大城市还是小城镇，都能享受到它。要实现这一大举扩张，就需要和第三方物流运输体系开展合作。多纳霍说：“已经有报社来找我了，它们表示自己有卡车。这些车平时用来送报，早上8点以后就闲置不用了。所以是否能让它们来负责送货呢？”他指出，实际上美国所有城市都有这样的送报卡车。
That's a growth opportunity if ever there was one.