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EBay mobile marketing via Shazam stresses anywhere, inspirational shopping

April 29, 2011

eBay is all about shopping anywhere

EBay Inc. is relying on mobile marketing to make consumers aware that they can be on the go and shop for anything they are inspired by while they are mobile.

The mcommerce giant has partnered with Shazam by sponsoring its Android app and giving users unlimited tagging. This is the first exclusive app sponsorship deal agreed by eBay anywhere in the world, and the first time Shazam has selected a partner to provide free services to its customers.

“The most important thing for us with our mobile channel is to make people aware they can be on the go and shop for anything they are inspired by while they are mobile,” said Steve Yankovich, vice president of mobile at eBay, San Jose, CA. “We call this inspirational shopping.

“That’s what people are doing,” he said. “They are somewhere and they see something that inspires them.

“For example a mom at a kid’s soccer game overhears another parent talking about a product. So she whips out her phone and looks it up on eBay to see if she can get a better deal.”

How it works
Shazam usually comes with five tags per month. The eBay partnership will enable new and existing users to receive free unlimited Shazaming until Jan. 1, 2012.

For example, a consumer in a car hears a song he likes. He Shazams it and is served a little ad that says the unlimited tagging is brought to him by eBay.

When clicked on, the ad asks consumers to download the eBay Android application and the company can now connect the user with products that can be bought on eBay that have to do with the artist or the song.

For example, a t-shirt signed by the artist at a concert.

Choosing Shazam
Mr. Yankovich said that eBay chose Shazam for this initiative because it is a popular app and it turned out to be a serendipitous opportunity, as this was something Shazam wanted to do.

Also, Shazam’s service fits into the whole idea of inspirational shopping. When someone is out and is inspired by a song they Shazam it and will likely buy an MP3. So pointing out the fact that eBay is selling something that is related to this song or the artist was a good fit.

“This is about having people discover unique eBay inventory and getting the word out in a popular mobile application,” Mr. Yankovich said.

“This is mobile marketing and we are driving consumers to download our app so that we can have the opportunity for frequent engagement,” he said.

“We have experienced the mobile growth we have had because of this notion of inspirational shopping. It does not matter what you discover when you are out and about, you can find it on eBay.”

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

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