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11 April 2013

Ebay pushes into emerging markets

Online marketplace hopes to double global users to 200m by 2015, with one in four buyers and sellers in emerging markets

Ebay is preparing a push against Amazon and into developing markets that could see its online marketplace handle $110bn (?72bn) of sales within three years.

By 2015, eBay hopes to double its number of users worldwide to 200 million, with a quarter of buyers and sellers living in emerging markets. The volume of sales would rise 47% from today's $75bn, the company said as it set out targets to analysts.

Its chief executive, John Donahoe, who succeeded Meg Whitman in 2008, joined as Ebay was losing market share to Amazon, but he has turned the company since reversed its fortunes. "The turnaround is behind us and we are now playing offense," he said. "Ebay is no longer just an e-commerce company. We're a global commerce platform."

A Russian language site is planned, to capitalise on the fact that in 2012 Russians bought $400m of goods on the English-language site, placing 30,000 orders a day.

Including a rise in the number of transactions managed by its PayPal online payments subsidiary, the company has forecast it will enable $300bn of commerce in 2015, up 71% from $175bn last year.

The company is moving away from catering for individuals clearing out their attics and making space in their wardrobes in favour of discount items direct from big brands at fixed prices. About 70% of new goods are sold at fixed price.

The market welcomed Donahoe's plans, sending eBay's shares up nearly 4% to $54.


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