(i) What is the key dilemma in the case?
We believe the key dilemma in this case is how does e-Bay continue to grow. First, how do they grow their market share within existing markets? Second, how do they create and grow market share in new markets around the globe? And third, how do they change and innovate to keep their customer base happy and loyal while attracting new customers?
(ii) What aspects of strategy that we have discussed in the class (es) prior to and the current class that are related to the case e.g. vision and strategic intent?
The aspects of strategy that have been discussed that we feel play prominent roles in this case are strategic intent, competitive advantage, branding, CRM and short-term vs. long-term goals.
e-Bay has a strategic intent to grow market share. It wants to grow market share thru increased product offerings, expanding its fixed-price sales channel, thru joint ventures and strategic alliances, thru branding and thru increasing penetration of emerging and developing markets.
The challenges it faces are numerous. Competition is becoming stiffer. Some of the competition is now able to complete transactions quicker, more efficiently and consistently and with fewer errors. E-Bay needs to address this technological disadvantage if it is to continue to grow.
Its largest corporate sellers are dissatisfied with the level playing field and some have begun to take their business elsewhere. e-Bay needs to assess where its core business will come from in the future. Will it continue to be with small individual sellers or will it be with large corporate sellers? If the answer is with large sellers how will it compete with already existing distribution channels? And how will elimination of the level playing field affect their business? Will it breach the trust they have built...