With new digital campaign, eBay Fashion aims to reposition in the face of competition

As eBay Fashion attempts to establish itself as a viable retail player in the Amazon age, the e-commerce platform is launching a new digital and social campaign to lure in young millennials and Gen-Z shoppers.

The campaign, titled “Wear It Your Way,” is part of a broader rebranding strategy to reach mobile-obsessed customers that are increasingly turning to social to find style inspiration and shop. The campaign was developed in partnership with digital agency R/GA, which was tasked with breathing new life into the company’s fashion business. The agency will manage newly launched social media accounts on Instagram and Facebook under the handle @eBayFashion, intended to spotlight fashion deals on the site and promote eBay’s overall style offerings. On the Instagram account, which launched in February and has more than 8,000 followers, users can click a link in the bio to shop featured looks directly.

Recent posts feature both previously worn and new items from a variety of brands and prices, including J Brand, Mara Hoffman, Anthropologie and Zara. To drive followers to these accounts, eBay enlisted the help of influencers like Chicago-based lifestyle blogger Jess Keys and Hunt For Styles founder Gina Ybarra, who are featured in imagery throughout the campaign.

“The lifeline of this campaign — and, honestly, of the business — is and will be social,” said Yael Cesarkas, R/GA’s group strategy director. “When you look at how fashion is evolving and how the business is being managed today, it’s on social. It’s that constant feed of fashion, inspiration and craze that the consumer is experiencing throughout the day.”

Beyond positioning eBay as a destination for fashion, the campaign is intended to shift public perception away from the company’s reputation for thrift and bidding wars, Cesarkas said. In the last year, it has repeatedly touted stats about its volume of new, never-before-worn fashion products: According to eBay data, 81 percent of products are brand new and 87 percent of items are available for immediate purchase.

“Most people have a certain perception [about eBay], and that perception is probably a barrier to considering eBay when you’re considering shopping for clothes and accessories for fashion,” Cesarkas said.

Still, eBay’s marketplace model is struggling to maintain relevance against competitors like Walmart, Target and Amazon. In addition to dominating the e-commerce sector, these brands have differentiated themselves with affordable private labels. Also working against eBay is the rise of online resale and consignment sites like The RealReal, Vestiaire Collective and ThredUp, which is leading sellers and buyers to take their business elsewhere.

Regardless, Suzy Deering, chief marketing officer for eBay Americas, said eBay’s focus of providing a more democratic fashion experience is central to the new campaign. The goal is to highlight eBay as a more accessible way to shop compared to luxury fashion brands and other forms of retail and e-commerce.

“EBay’s breadth of inventory allows every individual to express their own sense of style, and our new fashion campaign spotlights the thrill of discovery through the lens of a shopper,” Deering said in a statement.

Cesarkas echoed Deering, and said the eBay Fashion campaign will hopefully resonate to consumers who are identifying sources of style inspiration beyond traditional channels.

“Fashion today is much less dictated by the runway, red carpet or fashion week,” Cesarkas said. “It’s much more diverse. That’s the fresh point of view that we wanted to put out there. You see something that inspires you — on your commute, on the street or when you’re scrolling — then you’re ‘liking’ and buying.”

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