Shellhammer said in the post that his move is a “homecoming” of sorts because he has hunted for “unique products on eBay (Grace Jones records, Eames shell chairs, Herman Miller picnic posters)” for years. Shellhammer will split his time between eBay's New York and San Francisco offices.
Shellhammer help start Fab.com and Bezar, both home-decor shopping sites that struggled under Shellhammer and were eventually acquired.
For eBay, Shellhammer's hire is a good fit considering its push, according to Re/Code, to get more creative in its curation and collections efforts.
Though Shellhammer's recent efforts haven’t panned out in the long run, both Fab and Bezar showed his impressive abilities in those realms. If one of the most important things in today’s retail environment is to have a good handle on what your best customers buy, eBay has really scored.
The backing of eBay could be just what Shellhammer needs to do what he does best. The move is an excellent one for eBay, which needs something of reset after the spinoff of its payments unit PayPal. The marketplace seller is also fighting off Amazon, which has long used its tech prowess to leverage its customers’ searches and purchases, and has recently moved to employ tastemakers in its Style Code Live show to boost its fashion cred.
For all the need to automate many aspects of omnichannel retail, especially to speed up logistics, retailers must also find a way to differentiate their merchandise. For the most part, that takes the kind of creativity and savvy that, so far at least, only humans possess.