From eBay with love: How research helped put the sparkle on eBay's Christmas planning

Suzanne Lugthart and Ruth Noble
eBay and 2CV


After Christmas 2011, eBay recognised it was lagging behind competitors at Christmas. Shoppers were going elsewhere in the last few shopping days, largely due to nervousness about delivery and returns. In response, eBay developed a new approach to seasonal trading, at the heart of which were 'Super Sundays'; a series of time-limited deal based promotions.

In a fast paced business such as eBay's, traditional research techniques struggle to "keep up" as stakeholders are drawn, despite limitations, to instantaneous behavioural data.

A new approach was needed: the solution; a short term online community and mobile diary study to capture the impact and success of eBay's Super Sunday weekends within the competitive reality of online and the High Street. This innovative complementary approach allowed stakeholders to get a holistic view in real time as Christmas 2012 unfolded.