eBay Developer Auctiva Launches Ecommerce Marketplace Platform
By Ina Steiner
Auctiva, one of the largest providers of tools for eBay and online sellers, is launching a new platform designed with third-party developers in mind. AMP - the Auctiva Marketplace Platform - takes product information from individual ecommerce stores and groups them together into one platform that developers can use to build custom marketplaces as well as social and mobile apps. According to Alan Lewis, a former eBay manager who is heading the project at Auctiva, the platform allows open development of ecommerce marketplaces.
Alan Lewis came to Auctiva from eBay, where, he wrote in October 2008, there was a lack of product leadership. "eBay needs its product visionary. eBay needs its Steve Jobs," he wrote.
Other former employees have spoken about eBay's problems innovating, including in this recent blog post written by Shripriya Mahesh, former Vice President of Corporate Strategy, where she talks about eBay's lost opportunities.
When he joined Auctiva last year, Mr. Lewis said Auctiva had a vision for online commerce that he could get behind. He left the constraints at his former employer and started what's in effect a startup operation within Auctiva.
But while Mr. Lewis left eBay, his work at Auctiva means he continues to build services for small merchants. His team built Elefy to demonstrate a marketplace built on the AMP platform (it is currently in beta). Other AMP projects currently in development by Auctiva and its partners include a marketplace for vintage items and another focusing on "green" and eco-friendly products.
AMP is designed to let developers and entrepreneurs create marketplaces without the need for millions of dollars of investment and a sizable infrastructure. A key feature of AMP is that the items for sale on the platform come from multiple "inventory providers." It is this feature that allows AMP to launch with over half a million items from Auctiva Commerce stores and from launch partner BuyitSellit.
Auctiva describes AMP's value proposition in a 3-point diagram:
- The AMP Platform collects and stores item information from thousands of different web stores making that information accessible to developers.
- Using the platform, developers can build web applications like widgets, niche Web sites and marketplaces, and mobile apps.
- Using these platform-driven marketplaces and applications, items are available to customers in multiple places on the web all at once - without any extra work
As of February 1st, developers can sign up and start using AMP.
"Developers are creative people," says Alan Lewis, AMP Product Manager, "We have only seen the beginning of what AMP can do."
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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