Exclusive: eBay Extends GSI Fulfillment Service to Magento Merchants
By Ina Steiner
In an exclusive interview with Magento founder Roy Rubin, now head of eBay's X.commerce division, EcommerceBytes learned that Magento is integrating its technology with that of another eBay division, GSI Commerce. The integration means Magento Enterprise merchants will be able to use GSI Commerce capabilities, including its logistics network and call center.
The news comes as other marketplaces ramp up their own fulfillment services for third-party merchants, while eBay had been limited to offering fulfillment services only to the small number of very large GSI retail customers.
In fact, Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani announced in a keynote presentation at Internet Retailer on Wednesday it was acquiring Webgistix, its second logistics investment outside of Japan. Other marketplaces with fulfillment services include Sears and Newegg, and of course Amazon.
While eBay sellers are still left without a fulfillment service connected to that marketplace, it's a significant move to open GSI capabilities to Magento merchants, and not only its fulfillment services - Magento Enterprise clients will be able to use GSI's call center and marketing services as well.
Rubin said the integration works both ways - GSI Commerce merchants may choose to use Magento. While it might not seem obvious why GSI Commerce merchants would use it, Rubin said Magento offers advantages including cost, fast-time-to-market, flexibility, and the ability to roll out to multiple countries in multiple languages.
"The flexibility of our platform, and the pace at which we can help merchants execute on their strategy, is very beneficial to GSI merchants." Merchants can roll out sites in additional countries very quickly at a very low cost using Magento, Rubin said.
The integration has been in the works for the past year, and two merchants are already using the joint capabilities.
Magento has over 150,000 merchants in aggregate, and while it won't release the number of enterprise clients, Rubin said it has added 900 just in the past year.
How many enterprise clients are likely to conside using GSI services - Rubin said "thousands." He referred EcommerceBytes to GSI when asked if that company would be able to handle an influx of Magento merchants using its services.
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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