EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 1272 - May 04, 2006     0 of 4

eBay to Integrate Skype and Introduce Online Advertising Service

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eBay CEO Meg Whitman said the company plans to integrate its Skype VoIP service into the eBay marketplace to reduce friction in communications between buyers and sellers. Currently eBay is cross-promoting its eBay, PayPal and Skype services among all users. It will continue to introduce Skype into selected categories and geographies on eBay through the end of the year. In 2007 and beyond, it will facilitate new categories and new monetization models, including getting into online advertising through a new pay-per-lead service.

Whitman made the remarks at eBay's Analyst Day in San Jose on Thursday. The theme of the day was "The Power of Three," referring to eBay, PayPal and Skype, eBay's new VoIP telecommunications service.

eBay has introduced Skype into several international marketplaces, including eBay Belgium and eBay Eachnet in China. Whitman said 25 percent of listings on eBay China include Skype, and the Average Selling Price of those listings is twice as high as those listings that do not utilize Skype within the listing.

Whitman also said eBay would create new ecommerce markets and showed a prototype of a "Pay-Per-Lead" enabled web page. She said certain segments, such as services, travel, real estate and new cars, are built on the lead-generation model, which she estimated to be a $4 billion market. Using Skype in a pay-per-lead model, eBay can address the needs of these kinds of segments, reducing friction and making the transaction seamless for the user, she said.

eBay will also integrate Skype and PayPal, so users can order an item or service and pay for transactions while on the phone with a service provider - like a pizza parlor - without leaving the Skype client.

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

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