In a significant move, eBay has opened its Managed Payments platform to third-party developers. eBay shared the news with developers at its annual eBay Connect developers conference, which kicked off on Tuesday.
eBay began rolling out Managed Payments last year in its move to intermediate payments between buyers and sellers, but the platform hamstrung sellers who opted in because of its initial limitations. For example, until April, shoppers were unable to use PayPal to purchase from sellers who were enrolled in Managed Payments.
And sellers who opted into Managed Payments were unable to use many third-party tools they relied on, including bookkeeping and accounting tools, as well as eBay’s own Global Shipping Program, powered by Pitney Bowes.
Here’s a tweet from eBay Vice President of Mobile and Developer Ecosystem and GM of eBay Portland Gail Rahn Frederick with a slide about the Managed Payments APIs that was shown to developers.
eBay announced a host of new and forthcoming APIs (that’s tech talk for systems that allow other companies to interact with eBay’s technology). Here’s what eBay had to say about the payments APIs:
“Starting today, eBay is launching new payments API capabilities that will give our third-party developers access to eBay’s new managed payments program, creating more efficient ways to integrate their businesses. The new Finances API provides developers with a more holistic view of transactions on eBay to more seamlessly manage payouts to bank accounts for sellers enrolled in managed payments, get transaction details, and help sellers with accounting and reconciliation. Finances API is an alpha release intended for developer evaluation and feedback. The Account API adds a new capability to determine whether a seller has opted-in to the managed payments program. And, we added a new refund capability to Fulfillment API that enables managed payments sellers to issue full or partial refunds to their buyers.”
eBay is limited in how widely it can make its own payments-processing services available under the terms of the operating agreement entered into with its former subsidiary PayPal when the two split in 2015. Next month, eBay will be able to expand Managed Payments to a second country under the agreement, and said in April that it plans to enter the German market.
Other APIs announced at eBay’s developers conference reveal eBay’s priorities, and some could potentially help sellers boost sales. For example, eBay will make available later this year an “Offers to Buyers in Negotiation” API.
“This new capability allows Sellers to send offers to buyers that are watching their product with an exclusive discount. Buyers will instantly get notified on their mobile and desktop devices and can accept the offer or counter with the price they would like to pay to purchase.”
Another, called “Volume Pricing in Marketing” API, allows sellers to offer a volume discount to their buyers when they buy multiples of the same item.
One that promises to boost eBay’s active listings, the “Consumer Selling” API, will be released later this year. According to eBay’s announcement, it will “enable users on partner marketplaces to also list their inventory on eBay Marketplace, giving those sellers the additional reach of eBay’s 180M buyers.”
And then there’s an API to help boost eBay profits:
“We have also announced enhanced Promoted Listings capabilities with the Recommendation API. This API provides guidance for Promoted Listings to help sellers optimize their advertising strategy by leveraging trending ad rates and recommended listings. Our third-party developers can use this new capability to competitively elevate sellers’ visibility in sponsored placements across eBay.”
While eBay pushes even small, casual sellers to advertise through Promoted Listings, eBay boasted that a big brand has had success using the Recommendation API: “Reebok saw great success in following eBay’s Promoted Listings recommendations. They promoted more than 100 items at eBay’s trending rate for their multi-quantity inventory. Over the past 5 months, Reebok has seen a 55% lift in overall sales and a 142% lift in sales for the items that were promoted.”
You can find the full announcement on the eBay corporate blog.