From the Editor
By Ina Steiner
This week I'm headed to the eBay Developer's Conference and eBay Live, where sellers continue to cope with a new eBay under new management. Users will be able to hear from President and CEO John Donahoe directly at the keynote address at 9 am (central) on Friday morning.
AuctionBytes will be covering the events to bring you all the news that affects your business. We've set up a special section to bring you news, photos and podcast interviews (http://www.auctionbytes.com/cab/ebaylive2008). This year, we also have a dedicated blogger covering eBay Live.
We're hearing rumors about changes that will be announced at the show. The Developer's Conference immediately precedes eBay Live, and folks are talking about Project Echo and possible plans to implement a Facebook-like strategy to let developers launch applications directly on the eBay platform. Two of the keynotes at DevCon are executives from Mozilla and Salesforce.com, indicating eBay may indeed be planning a more open platform.
We've also heard that eBay is dissatisfied with third-party checkout and may be considering phasing it out. If true, and checkout is only allowed on the eBay site, this could be a significant change for sellers who use third-party providers to list on eBay and use checkout to up-sell and cross-sell customers on their own storefronts. We'll keep a close eye on this story.
Multi-channel ecommerce is not ignored in the broader retail world. Infopia, an ecommerce-management service, recently raised $12 million, and last week's Internet Retailer conference in Chicago signaled vibrancy in the etail space. I ran into several eBay sellers at that show, and you can read my take (and view my photos) of the conference in Newsflash (http://www.auctionbytes.com/cab/cab/abn/y08/m06/i11/s03).
The Internet Retailer conference confirmed that many eBay sellers are looking for alternatives with renewed interest. Creating online storefronts has become easier, but it requires more marketing savvy to drive traffic to listings. These are the challenges facing online sellers today, and AuctionBytes continues to delve into these issues in our newsletters and blog. We want your feedback on many of the challenges that face sellers as they attempt to go multi-channel. Today, we're starting the discussion with a column called "EcommBytes - Let's Talk Storefronts."
We're continuing to report on the developing story in Australia where the government has told eBay it intends to reject its PayPal-only policy, and eBay has countered by saying it would challenge the agency's decision (http://www.auctionbytes.com/cab/abn/y08/m06/i13/s00).
You might have read about the special deal eBay did with Buy.com, and if you follow the AuctionBytes Blog, you know that sellers are concerned about the relationship and how Buy.com listings affect them.
Some people have speculated in the comments section of the blog post that eBay is considering acquiring Buy.com. It's an interesting theory, given the "Amazonification" of eBay these days (DSRs, feedback and search). Read more and post a comment with your own theories on the AuctionBytes Blog:
Now on to today's issue, where Amazon answers some tough questions about third-party selling; Greg Holden interviews niche site AquaBid.com, and Jan Perry reviews AuctionBlip, a service for arts and antiques collectors looking for sought-after treasures. This and much more in today's AuctionBytes-Update!
Thanks for reading!
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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