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EBay defining mobile commerce landscape: exec

December 23, 2010

<i>EBay mobile site</i>

EBay mobile site

EBay’s acquisition of Critical Path is yet another move on the part of the auction platform to cement its position as a formidable force in the mobile commerce market.

The company would not disclose the financial terms of the acquisition. An eBay executive did say that the acquisition will help the company strengthen its mobile commerce presence even further.

Mobile Commerce Daily’s Giselle Tsirulnik interviewed Steve Yankovich, vice president of mobile at eBay, San Jose, CA. Here is what he said.

What’s the strategy behind the acquisition?
Since last year we sort of established ourselves as the mobile commerce leader and when we do the final numbers this year we will still be leading the way.

This acquisition is part of keeping that going and part of our belief that mobile commerce will be an ever-increasing important part of ecommerce.

The acquisition will help eBay accelerate all the apps we can release and the types of engagement within the applications. We are hoping for better engagement in-app and aim to help people experience products better.

How does this acquisition underscore eBay’s commitment to innovating in mobile commerce?
It’s an investment in people. Critical Path is a leader in the application development space with a really great team that is very experienced.

Mobile is still very nascent but these guys have tremendous experience.

We can’t talk about which apps they build because of Critical Path’s agreement with its clients. But I can say that the apps they have built top their particular categories in the application stores.

They have some of the most experienced mobile developers in the world.

How will integrating the Critical Path software team into eBay be a big win for mobile shoppers?
Two things will come out of this.

The first is it will accelerate our efforts to expand our footprint of mobile apps.

Also we are focusing on changing the way consumers can experience products, to help the purchase decision.

For example in our Fashion App, you can assemble clothes from various eBay sellers into an outfit and even superimpose it onto a picture of yourself.

We will allow buyers to see how a pair of sunglasses looks on their face.

Yeah, you can go to the store and try the sunglasses on, but you have to go to the store and park and wait for help from the salesperson.

We are trying to make it more convenient for buyers and easier for sellers to sell.

How will this move position eBay as a formidable force in the mobile commerce market?
We are a formidable force in the mobile commerce market and this is part of the effort to stay there.

We are defining mobile commerce and what it means.

We have the largest footprint of transactional mobile apps.

This is so we stay there.

Final take
Mr. Yankovich gives his view of what’s happening in the mobile world. He loves the iPad and iPhone, because they are selling the most products.

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Giselle Tsirulnik is senior editor at Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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