eBay's X.Commerce Innovate DevCon Generates Buzz on Day One
By Ina Steiner
Over 3,000 people gathered in San Francisco to attend eBay Inc.'s X.Commerce Innovate conference for developers. Here's an informal summary of announcements from Day One along with some reaction from attendees and the Twittersphere.
1) The Big News: X.commerce Integration Announcements
eBay Inc. unveiled X.commerce, an open commerce ecosystem focused on arming developers and merchants with the technology tools needed to define the future of commerce. Via the X.commerce Fabric, developers can distribute their innovations directly to the hundreds of thousands of merchants currently in the Magento, eBay and PayPal merchant portfolio.
Merchants can deploy and integrate tools ranging from demand generation (advertising) to merchandising, transactions (payments, identity, fulfillment), business management (analytics, customer service) and more. The open environment provides merchants the freedom to implement, customize and scale technologies at the pace most appropriate for their businesses.
And what exactly is X.commerce Fabric? If you're technically minded, find out on the X.commerce website.
Steve Aldrich of Outright, one of the first developers to integrate with X.Commerce, told EcommerceBytes he's excited about the platform because it gives merchants the ability to spend less time to get more information. He also said that eventually X.commerce could help merchants cross-sell complementary products from each other's catalog (this was not front and center in Wednesday's announcements, however).
2) Facebook Open Graph Available on Magento and GSI Commerce platforms
Facebook announced it would provide its new Open Graph functionality into the Magento and GSI global commerce platforms. This will allow developers to build new social shopping experiences for millions of consumers and retailers of all sizes.
More than 100,000 retailers worldwide who use Magento will soon have a seamless way to enable their customers to use new sharing options including "want" and "own" buttons as part of a new social shopping experience.
Anuj Nayar of X.commerce told EcommerceBytes merchants should be excited because consumers will be telling their friends exactly what they want and like in their stores - this closes the commerce loop. It can be better than advertising, he said.
3) PayPal Access
PayPal Access is a new "trusted commerce identity system" that makes it safer and easier for customers to shop across the web without having to remember multiple passwords. With just two clicks or taps, a customer can sign up or sign in to a retail site. Important user information, such as shipping address, will be automatically updated. Although customers can choose to use their financial details stored in their PayPal accounts, PayPal keeps that information private and secure.
Partners joining the PayPal Access program include social integration provider Gigya and social identity and user management provider Janrain, the social login solution for more than 350,000 websites.
Victor White of Gigya told EcommerceBytes PayPal Access has real potential to increase conversion rates for retailers because it addresses a major pain point for shoppers - registration and login. "Identity is becoming a paramount concept in how users experience the web outside of their core social networks - and allowing users to bring their preferred identities to sites, including their PayPal identities, is really helping push that concept forward."
Anuj Nayar said right now, PayPal Access shares just basic information. In the future, each merchant will be able to set up what information they wish to collect (i.e., shoe size), and shoppers will be able to decide which information they wish to share for each store when they connect through PayPal Access for the first time.
Wall Street analyst Colin Sebastian of Baird Research said he viewed PayPal Access as a "Trojan horse to increase PayPal's merchant penetration and commerce database."
We asked readers on Monday what they thought of a PayPal "commerce identity" - you can read what they had to say on the EcommerceBytes Blog including some of their concerns.
Reaction to X.Commerce News on Twitter
You can follow the tweets from X.commerce Innovate by searching for the hashtag #Innovate2011 - here are a few of the more interesting ones from Wednesday.
#Innovate2011 Xcommerce is live now (see ToysRUs). The fabric is being used on a few high end sites and will be open to all soon.
@nickweisser Nick Weisser
which state is the x.commerce fabric in right now? Neal Sample, x.commerce CTO: it's in super awesome state #innovate2011
@bcantoni brian cantoni
It's like a reunion of ex-Yahoos here at x.commerce! #innovate2011
Here's a tweet of special interest to eBay sellers that shows just what kind of competition they're facing from the big brands:
RT @Mercent: #Innovate2011 @Mercent now listing 1M SKUs per hour via eBay's Large Merchant Services (LMS) APIs for high-volume sellers
Magento announced that merchants using its hosted Magento Go platform would now be able to buy extensions.
#innovate2011 Magento Write one and use anywhere. Deployed and Go platform will be able to exchange extensions and customizations
A lot of developers were excited that Milo was opening up its API, giving developers access to real-time product availability data from local stores.
@billday Bill Day
@MiloShopping just announced they are opening up their local commerce API at milo.com/api-inquiry #innovate2011 pic.twitter.com/517wgbMz
@appathoner app a thoner
Just Announced: Milo API for all partners - Info on millions of products, from 50,000+ stores, real time local data #innovate2011 1/2
RedLaser mobile app that lets consumers scan products combined with Milo local product data provides an interesting experience:
@frogtwitt Sebastien Taveau
RedLaser and Milo integration allows to pick any product at any place and see where to get the same in surrounding. #innovate2011
@cathyvigrass Cathy Vigrass
Milo + Red Laser integration is kinda awesome. Making commerce more solomo! #Innovate2011
(SoLoMo is short for social, local, mobile.)
More to Come Today (Thursday)
A panel of venture capitalists chose three entrepreneurs to present at Thursday's VC Bait session: OneID MODOA and Pikaba. You can follow the Twitter hashtags #vcbait and #Innovate2011.
John Donahoe did an interview with CNBC on Wednesday and was actually asked some interesting questions.
Wednesday offered a full day's worth of news (be sure to read today's other Newsflash story What X.Commerce Means for Merchants and Developers). Now stay tuned for Day Two - there will be more announcements forthcoming, here's a peek from Naveed Anwar. Continue to tweet your reactions and email ina@ecommercebytes if you've got something to share.
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 email@example.com.
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