eBay’s Platform Strategy

A quick follow up on what we see from eBay – perhaps the most comprehensive platform strategy to come to market yet. eBay’s main platform components are its own shopping platform, Magento and PayPal, along with GSI, a large retailer ecommerce platform. But these aren’t all.

GigaOm recently summarised the spate of acquisitions made by eBay. Together they make up a pretty coherent and impressive line up of capabilities, so hat tip to GigaOm, here is the summary:

With its pickups of RedLaser and Milo as well as its recent purchases of WHERE and Fig Card, eBay has been assembling the components for a deeper push into commerce, especially local transactions. RedLaser allows eBay to insert itself into comparison shopping as mobile consumers use their smartphones to help them shop. Milo helps connect users to the local inventory of products around them.

With WHERE, eBay got not only a local guide for mobile users but also a location-based ad network and a deals service called WHEREBuys. That allows eBay to engage a user through an ad or deal; then, by integrating with PayPal for payments, it can close the loop on the transaction and theoretically charge a premium for it. Fig Card, a competitor to Square, also helps merchants accept mobile payments, which can include PayPal. And combined with GSI, which provides e-commerce infrastructure for large retailers and brands, eBay has solutions that appeal to both small and large companies.

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