【英语财经】50 Ideas:在线市场与电子商务 Consumers

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2014-6-12 17:12

小艾摘要: Online marketplace/EcommerceThe first product sold on eBay, the auction website, was a broken laser pointer, writes Barney Jopson. In September 1995 its founder, Pierre Omidyar, posted it for sale on ...
Consumers
Online marketplace/Ecommerce

The first product sold on eBay, the auction website, was a broken laser pointer, writes Barney Jopson. In September 1995 its founder, Pierre Omidyar, posted it for sale on a website he first named AuctionWeb. The pointer sold for $14.83. When Omidyar asked whether the buyer understood that the pointer did not work, he was reportedly told: “I’m a collector of broken laser pointers.”

Two months earlier Jeff Bezos had opened Amazon.com, but Omidyar was more interested in the business of helping others sell online – by creating an open-access marketplace where they could be matched with buyers.

In part he used old ideas: the auction and the outdoor marketplace. What was new about the eBay online flea market was that it tested whether strangers could build enough trust over the internet to trade with each other. It sounded unlikely to many at the time. Today, it seems ludicrous to doubt.

Trust was built by sellers who offered product photos, contact phone numbers and shipping details. And by payment systems, public scoreboards for customer service and policing mechanisms. Now, online marketplaces are a fixture of global retail.

No bazaar is without rogues and counterfeits. But online marketplaces have produced great advances in consumers’ ability to research, price-check and buy a wider range of products.

Even Amazon got in on the act. It wants to offer the world’s largest selection of merchandise, but only wants to hold the more popular goods. In 2000, it opened its own marketplace – and so-called third-party sellers now account for 40 per cent of the sales volume on its website.

Many sellers are ordinary folk clearing out household junk. Online marketplaces give them an easy way to turn that into cash. In an era of economic volatility and environmental stress, that is an underappreciated form of recycling.

拍卖网站eBay上售出的第一件商品是一个坏掉的激光指示棒。1995年9月,eBay创始人皮埃尔?奥米迪亚(Pierre Omidyar)在一家他最初命名为AuctionWeb的网站发布了这件待售商品。这个指示棒卖了14.83美元。据称当奥米迪亚问买家是否知道这件商品不能用时,对方告诉他:“我专门收藏坏掉的激光指示棒。”

此前两个月,杰夫?贝索斯(Jeff Bezos)刚刚开通了亚马逊网站(Amazon.com)。但奥米迪亚更感兴趣的是帮助别人在网上销售商品——打造开放的市场,在买家和卖家之间牵线搭桥。

他在一定程度上遵循了传统的思路:拍卖和户外市场。eBay在线跳骚市场的新颖之处在于,它考验了陌生人能否在网上建立其足够的信用,从而相互交易。当时的很多人都觉得不可思议。如今,要质疑这一想法才显得可笑。

卖家建立信用,他们提供产品图片、联系电话和邮寄详情。支付体系、顾客服务公共记分板以及监督机制共同建立起了信用体系。如今,在线市场已经成为全球零售中的固有部分。

有市场,就会有无赖和赝品。但在消费者搜索商品、核查价格以及购买更多类别商品的能力方面,在线市场已经取得了长足进步。

即使是亚马逊也参与了进来。亚马逊想要提供全球种类最全的商品,但它自己仅出售最流行的商品。2000年,亚马逊开放了自己的市场,如今所谓第三方卖家已占亚马逊网站总销量的40%。

很多卖家就是清理家庭废品的普通人。有了在线市场,他们就能够轻易地把这些废品变成现金。在经济波动以及环保压力加大的时代,这是一种未引起充分重视的回收再利用手段。

译者/倪卫国

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