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EBay Predicts $300 Billion in Transactions in 2015

AP

EBay Chief Executive Officer John Donahoe said Thursday that the company would enable $300 billion of commerce in 2015, up 71 percent from $175 billion in 2012.

That forecast includes sales on eBay's online marketplace, payments processed by PayPal and other transactions touched by the company's various businesses, such as GSI Commerce.

"That's one of the ways we will measure our success," Donahoe said during eBay's investor day at its headquarters in Silicon Valley.

On its marketplace, the company aims to handle $110 billion in 2015 by expanding globally, getting more local inventory online and using mobile technology to engage more with shoppers, said Devin Wenig, president of eBay's Marketplaces business in North America.

The forecast compares with Gross Merchandise Volume, or GMV, of $75 billion in 2012, he said.

GMV is a closely watched measure of eBay's performance. Doug Anmuth, an analyst at J.P. Morgan, was expecting 2015 GMV of $101 billion.

After bleeding market share to Amazon.com for years, Donahoe began a turnaround effort in 2009 that set the Internet commerce company back on track by borrowing from its larger rival's playbook.

He took what was then a muddled auctions website and made it easier for shoppers to buy new items at fixed prices and get more free shipping and returns—essentially mimicking the Amazon experience. He also embraced mobile technology, creating shopping apps for smartphones and tablets that brought in new customers.

But eBay's online marketplace is still growing less than Amazon's and some analysts are concerned its growth may struggle to keep up with the overall expansion of the online retail sector.

Wenig told analysts and investors that the Marketplaces business will deliver "at least" market rates of growth.

"They are saying they have fixed the core marketplace, and they are now positioned to drive incremental growth from local, mobile and global initiatives," said Colin Sebastian, an analyst at R.W. Baird.

EBay is aiming to increase sales in emerging markets and BRIC countries—Brazil, Russia, India and China, by four times current levels in three years, said Wendy Jones, an executive overseeing the global push.

By the end of 2015, as much as 25 percent of eBay active users and over 12 percent of global sales will come from BRIC countries and emerging markets, she added.

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