• August 2013 - It is being widely reported today that Facebook are in the process of testing a new payment system that would allow online shoppers to pay for goods and services on mobile apps using their Facebook login credentials without entering billing information during the checkout!

    The services would work for any Facebook member that has previously provided their credit card details according to sources familiar with the company's plans and reported by All Things D. What is not clear is how many credit cards Facebook has on file, but one has to beleive it is a lot!

    To test the service it is beleived that JackThreads (flash-sale shopping site for young men) is the Pilot Partner for the service. A good choice and fit for a pilot program partner as there is a strong relationship with Facebook, have substantial revenues over mobile and appear to have the right demographic overlap with Facebook gamers, who already would have provided Facebook with billing information.

    Should the pilot program prove to be a success and full-scale implementation ensues, it would no doubt compete with the digital payment giant, PaylPal. Another consideration here is that this would alos level the playing field with offerings from other giants  such as Amazon, Google and many other start-ups focused on mobile payment solutions.

    There are a number of other downstream benefits this program coul deliver if successful, such as giving Facebook insight into the shopping habbits of their users, with this data being used to optimize advertising sales, potentially help recommend stores to users and such like.

  • July 2013 - ebay announced major updates to its Manufacturer's coupons policy, with very specific guidelines as to what is allowed, restricted and not allowed when selling Manufacturer's coupons on ebay.

    The changes to ebay's Manufacturer's coupon policy have attracted a mixed reaction. A lot of Sellers venting their frustration as to yet more restrictions making selling more difficult. From Buyers a more positive response on the back drop of tackling counterfiet and fraudulent coupon sales.

    In summary the policy states that :

    AllowedSell upto a $100 or 25 valid, unexpired, original coupons per month.
    RestrictionsYou can't sell more than 25 coupons in a single listing, which is also the monthly limit; as well as making it absolutely clear how many coupons are being sold.
    Not allowedCoupons for 'free products'
    Electronic 'scanned' coupons, all coupons must be original physical coupons printed on paper.
    Coupons for items recalled by the manufacturer.
    Coupons that have been recalled by the manufacturer.

    Starting September 1, 2013, listings for these coupons that don't comply with these policy changes will be removed. After September 1, listings in violation of this policy may be subject to a range of other actions, including restrictions of buying and selling privileges and a suspension of your account.

    There has been a problem with counterfeits, 'Buy One Get One Free' offers and 'Free Product' coupons. This policy change will make the resale of coupons no longer a viable business model but something that is a recreational sale.

  • July 2013 - ebay inc. announced it has acquired for a yet to be disclosed amount the Belgium Classifieds Ads website 2dehands.be and 2ememain.be. The website names mean "second hand" in Flemish and French. Belgium is not the biggest e-commerce market in Europe, that coverted place is contested by UK, Germany, France and Russia.

    logo 2dehands.be
    logo 2emmemain.be

    The acquisition demonstrates ebay's continued strategy around international growth through acquiring companies abroad. Back in 2000 ebay acquired alando.de to break into Europe via Germany and at a bargain price of $50 million! The acquistion in Belgium follows a recent investment in India, further underpinning the importance of ebays' international growth strategy.

    It also identifies that the company, which also is seeking to jump on to the next stage of e-commerce through businesses like PayPal, is also not forgetting less tech-forward areas of e-commerce: classifieds, one of the first and oldest print-based services to go online, are not exactly the cutting edge of online sales; early mover leading sites like Craigslist have been regularly slammed for being slow to innovate.

    The Belgium sites currently attract some 5.5 million unique visitors per month. They will become part of ebay's Classifieds group, which operates in over 25 countries and 1,000 cities around the world. 

    2dehands.be and 2ememain.be will remain free, local Belgian sites and by joining forces with the eBay Classifieds Group, will benefit from the innovative technologies found across eBay’s global portfolio of classifieds businesses,” the company notes.

    Looks like the two will also benefit from ebay's mobile and other technologies to update the two; "The development of innovative mobile technologies is a priority for the business," the company said in its statement.

  • June 2013 ebay UK - around one in three transactions on ebay UK are now coming from mobile, revealed by ebays Head of Europe, Clare Gilmartin in recent interviews.

    ebay launched its first app in 2007 and it is reported that 160 million downloads of their app have occured since then. The ebay app comes pre-installed on many smartphones and tablets and the download figure here does not take that into account.

    ebay application (iOS) icon

    ebay have been focusing efforts within the mobile market for a while now, and globally they achieved $13 billion in mobile transactions and expects this year (2013) for the figure to rise to $20 billion.

    ebay Head of Europe, Clare Gilmartin in a recent interview with the Daily Telegraph claimed that they are firmly on the side of small retailers and businesses, "We are only successful if retailers are successful. Unlike Amazon, we don't stock our own inventory." In the same interview she also revealed that ebay has spotted the benefits of 'click & collect' and intends to launch such a service soon.

    A 'click & collect' service benefits both retailers and consumers. The convenience of going to high street store to pick up a product for the consumer and the saving on shipping for the retailers.