EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 3062 - May 10, 2013     4 of 4

Former eBay Exec Sees Amazon and Google on Collision Course

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While eBay never admitted it, the marketplace believed Google to be its biggest competitive threat, according to former eBay executive Jeff Jordan, who is now a partner at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. Jordan said he now believes Amazon and Google are on a collision course.

"Amazon is a vertical search engine focused on helping users find products. The overwhelmingly dominant way to find things on their site is the search box. Users enter a keyword phrase and are presented with results that match his or her query. The order of the search results is determined by algorithms that seek to optimize relevance and monetization. Sound familiar?"

Jordan estimates that Amazon captured 16% of North American ecommerce in 2012 based on its $35 billion in net sales - and that's a conservative estimate, he says.

He states he can purchase an item on Amazon in a minute, "secure in the knowledge that I'm likely paying the lowest price while getting free shipping and fast delivery," while he says "Shopping on Google is work."

And not only are people finding shopping on Amazon easier than on Google, Jordan writes, merchants are finding Amazon a viable alternative to advertising on Google.

"This has to be a very big deal for Google. Virtually all of Google's revenue comes from advertising ($44 of $46 billion in 2012, excluding the Motorola acquisition), and the majority of that comes from search. And possibly their largest advertising category is shopping."

The idea that Amazon and Google are in a massive "Godzilla vs. Mothra" battle isn't a new one, but Jordan's post provides some interesting perspective. What's missing is why eBay isn't in the equation, and Jordan is in the position of being able to provide unique insight into what eBay is doing right and wrong these days.

You can read the full post on Jeff Jordan's blog on the Andreessen Horowitz website.

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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