EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2648 - October 10, 2011     1 of 6

eBay to Unveil Commerce Identity at X.Commerce Innovate DevCon

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eBay will reveal more about its identity product at this week's X.Commerce Innovate Developers Conference. Shoppers can sign in to websites with Commerce Identity, which is tied to PayPal, and includes their shopping profile so retailers can show them targeted offers.

eBay's X.commerce unit is the new unified developers program for all eBay Inc. properties, including PayPal, Magento, eBay, GSI Commerce, Where and Milo. X.Commerce has been piloting Commerce Identity and helps shoppers easily log in to retail websites, just as they can log in to many sites using their Facebook accounts, for example.

Neal Sample, X.Commerce's CTO, told EcommerceBytes it's a little different from a typical log-in or social identity in that it includes a shopper profile, or "commerce identity." It will include such data as the user's purchase history, preferences, and shoe size, for example. It's tied to PayPal but is an opt-in program.

"We think there's room for a Commerce Identity for an individual to provide them both with safety and security and convenience of shopping that they don't get out of other identities that are currently available on the web," Sample said.

Will it be "creepy" for consumers to think companies know so much about them? Sample said not if it provides enough value to consumers. "If you choose to log into a site using your Commerce Identity, it would be really nice if that site showed you representative offers that made sense for you."

Sample believes the ability to separate their commerce behavior from their social behavior and social identity will actually provide them double the value. "Not only do you get the upside of commerce and behaviors and preferences and keeping the things there that are important to you, you also get to segment and separate out from your social life. You get to keep that away from your Facebook identity."

XCommerce is beginning the program with eBay, PayPal, GSI Commerce sites, and Magento sites. Sample said there are prototypes that are already integrated with identity providers such as Janrain and are currently in pilot. "It will become far more widely understood after Innovate," he said.

You can see Janrain's solution in action by logging in to using your PayPal account or using Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Google or AOL. Gigya is another social-login provider that works with accounts including Facebook and PayPal.

Let us know what you think - do you need or want a commerce identity? Comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

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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