December 24, 2013
Although eBay is commonly known as an online auction house, CEO John Donahoe has made strides in moving beyond this perception by expanding eBay’s marketplace to include fixed prices with reliable and returnable goods. In the last five years, eBay has made 34 acquisitions which will help provide retail partners with creating interactive storefronts in real locations, help with the back end of websites, monitor inventory in real time, and streamline the electronic payment process.
The company’s eBay Now app allows consumers to order goods from participating local vendors, and have the product delivered to their door in about an hour for $5. Another key initiative of the company’s vision of the future is the digital wallet, which as a result of its PayPal acquisition allows consumers to easily pay for products with their phone.
“For the last several years, eBay has regarded digital payments through mobile devices as having the potential to change everything — to become, as David Marcus, PayPal’s president, puts it, ‘’Money 3.0,'” reports The New York Times.
The Money 3.0 concept would allow consumers to “check in” at a store through the app and pick up a purchase made online previously. This is an opportunity that eBay can provide brick-and-mortar stores and possibly beat Amazon.
Although Amazon has conditioned consumers to believe products should always be ready for purchase in one click, and always in stock, retailers are struggling to keep up with this. “If you live in Manhattan and you order Beanie Babies online from Toys R Us, sometimes it makes more economic sense for an employee at a local Toys R Us to pack and ship that order than it does to have the fulfillment center in Kentucky do it,” explains the article. “This takes an enormous amount of integrated technology to orchestrate, but it’s also the only way to compete with Amazon.”
The digital wallet provides merchants the ability to create a unique customer experience, and build loyalty. The idea is that the digital wallet will eventually replace a bulky wallet, meaning that even our driver’s license, health insurance information, and credit cards will be stored in our phones.