EBay looks to become “considered” fashion choice

EBay is ramping up digital marketing activity for its Fashion Outlet as it looks to become a “considered” brand when shoppers are searching for clothes.

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The Fashion Outlet, which allows brands to sell stock direct to consumers for a fixed price via the eBay site, is to increase its use of editorial, social media and mobile as it looks to encourage more retailers on board and boost revenue from selling clothes and accessories.

Miriam Lahage, eBay’s vice president of fashion, says: “Traditionally you go to five to seven websites to look for fashion and we want to be in that consideration.”

EBay is currently lining up a new designer to collaborate with on social media this year, following its campaign with Derek Lam that saw the designs for five dresses being crowdsourced from 120,000 votes on a dedicated app and website.

The Fashion Outlet is also “rebirthing” its blog to include more video and launching a look book, which will feature two independent fashion bloggers as models. The changes follow the launch of the Fashion Outlet’s Autumn/Winter ad campaign that featured models smiling, which is “unusual” for fashion ads, according to Lahage.

“By using ’real people’ rather than models it reinforces that we were the first social network and implies a real community. Our ad campaign is not ridiculously serious and the model smiles, which is unusual for fashion…it says the brand is accessible and attainable,” she adds.

The fashion site will also further optimise for mobile and update its existing apps in a bid to encourage more engagement with the site on different devices.

The Fashion Outlet currently provides stock from 25 brands, which is “just past its peak”, such as clothes that are in their first mark-down stage or the mid-season sales.

Lahage adds that eBay promises its partners that it does not intend to become a retail competitor, but instead wants to provide brands with another revenue stream and additional consumers, without cannibalising existing customers,

“We’ll never be a retail competitor and we tell our partners that. Brands can get into trouble when they try to pretend they are something they are not…it’s a recipe for disaster,” she says.

EBay is also considering creating another fixed-price vertical, similar to its Fashion Outlet, for the consumer electronics and technology space, which are two of its fastest growing categories.

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