In the last couple of years, southerly California has actually been a an essential market in launching cell phone applications and also services, as result of a huge, mobile-savvy consumer population. So, it"s no surprise that the area--specifically, san Diego--was preferred for the pilot start of a new service native eBay, referred to as Close5 (, which provides up local, peer-to-peer sales. Us spoke through Bart Molenda, Head of market at eBay Classifieds Group and eBay"s Close5 efforts, top top why and also how eBay is making use of San Diego as the spearhead of its relocate into enabling local transactions in the mobile app era--and acquisition on Craigslist-all at the same time.

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What is Close5?


Bart Molenda: Close5 is a cell phone based app that provides it very basic to buy and sell, in specific in your area. Our aspiration is to make buying and also selling within five miles the you, come neighbors and people about you an extremely easy, so you don"t have to travel native one end of the city come another. Your neighbors generally have items that are comparable to what you would certainly be interested in, because of her demographics, and it"s amazing to have the ability to see what"s roughly you, and also easily trade v people around you.

This is the brainchild the eBay, and specifically eBay"s Classifieds group, which operation classified sites roughly the world. Us have around sixteen sites around the world that operate under different brand names and with various goals. All of those are desktop-based sites, although we also have mobile experiences and also mobile apps. However, in the united States, us haven"t done anything significant with our classified sites--it"s just a shell of a site. However, classifies have not yet recorded up v mobile. Because of that, we"ve been functioning on creating modern technology which deserve to turn the web page on the experience, and also make it faster to buy and sell items, by putting something cell phone first, quite than making mobile one afterthought, offering a better design, make it simpler to use, making the faster, and also which doesn"t require plenty of steps and also complexity to post. We likewise want to have the ability to take advantage of the defense which is developed into mobile platforms. So, we"re acquisition that concept and also launching it here in mountain Diego.

Why mountain Diego?

Bart Molenda: because it"s a great, solid classifieds economy. Classifies, together you may or may not know, have approximately 20 percent the Americans utilizing them monthly. We, because that instance, very own a big classifieds website in Canada, whereby I supplied to work. There, we see over 40 percent that Canadians using that site monthly. So, there"s tho a large opportunity to use classifieds more, and also we think that component of the problem is the endure isn"t as an excellent as it deserve to be. San Diego is a great market because that us, due to the fact that it has solid smartphone usage, and also a great, mixed demographic. In particular, it"s a safe, well connected market, and also it"s straightforward to get around for trading, and it"s additionally easy for us to reach via media. Some markets are tougher to break into, since they might have pockets of customers or demographics that do not right together. San Diego is a good, open, and safe demographic that we have the right to reach easily, and also it"s a great opportunity compared with what like new York or san Francisco. We check out it as a big opportunity to launch this, and create a model for other sites come launch right into as well.

You can"t mention classifieds without talking around Craigslist, where do you watch yourself contrasted with them?

Bart Molenda: Craigslist is a tires site, and it"sbeen approximately for awhile. We"re really acquainted with them. However, in the two decades people have actually been using classifieds, world have rotate their earlier on it. It"s a bad experience, and also people don"t feel that it"s miscellaneous they want to associate with, because of countless shady, anonymous transactions, and also categories ~ above the site which room not household friendly. Together eBay, we have the ability to really emphasis on a more, family friendly experience, and put more customer company behind our product. We run our website differently, here and in various other markets. That"s a significant differentiator in the way we"ve draft this. We"re looking at and also monitoring every user, and also every posting they put up. Of course, us have modern technology to help us with that, yet we offer human intervention come make sure that transactions walk smoothly. That"s the part of eBay and our framework that offer us a compete edge. We believe that experience will open the door to an ext transparency and user profiles, which let united state use an innovation and our customer company teams in order to manage every one of this. That provides us a compete edge, and takes far from something the is an extremely anonymous come something more friendly and neighborly.

It"s inexplicable in together a huge company as eBay having actually such a restricted release on the app, simply San Diego. Why is that, given that you probably can have unable to do national and also gained an essential mass ~ above this ideal away?

Bart Molenda: That"s a an excellent question. I"ll call you, fairly frankly, is the to perform a national rollout in a ar like the U.S., with its 300 million people, and also hit them every at once, is a huge investment and also takes a hugely coordinated effort. The model we want to usage is an ext like exactly how Uber rolled out city by city, or exactly how Yelp rolled out in the at an early stage days. We desire to make certain the product is right, and also market to the appropriate audience in each city individually. Together an example, we have actually a ar manager especially for the city of san Diego, who is focusing all of her experience on the market, making certain we target the ideal media, bring people on board, control the neighborhood locally, and also even organize personalized meetups. In the way, us are building a product the resonates with our audience, fairly than simply spraying and also praying, and just walking nationwide and also using large dollars to create a brand. You"ll check out us more on the streets, v brand ambassadors, speak to ours customers confront to face. That"s a big difference from plenty of websites. You don"t see the Google"s and also Yahoo"s the the world on the street, connecting with customers. We"re act that, plus doing ours marketing and brand structure from the bottom up, indigenous the grass roots level.

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What"s to be driving adoption so far in san Diego?

Bart Molenda: Our emphasis in certain here is ~ above categories specific to day come day family members usage, used by moms. You"ll watch in our advertising and also in our messaging that there is lots of task focused on the mommy demographic. That means, it"s things favor strollers, baby items, and also household furniture. It"s really the hard, good, tangible assets which have actually a little of sales in the house. The mommy audience is no really addressed currently by classifieds. However, castle are solid social influencers, are very connected come each various other as a network and as a group, both online and in person. They share a the majority of information, have really strong purchasing strength for whatever from baby toys to cars, and are the key decision device and purchasing agent at home. What some human being don"t know, is that moms have greater smartphone intake than students, and also are an extremely stron gusers--because they"re doing hundreds of things all day, and also are really busy. They have no time come sit at their computer. That"s why we"re really focusing on mobile intake as crucial factor, and also want to get that right.