Artificial Intelligence

eBay Announces New APIs and AI Capabilities for the Developer Community

eBay News Team

Image Search, Machine Translation and Marketplace Feeds are all now available for developers to implement into their business

At eBay, we’re continuing to deliver a developer-centric platform, opening our APIs to third-party developers so they have access to the latest technology advances. With the impact of artificial intelligence and its transformation of ecommerce, we’re enabling developers in our ecosystem to take advantage of emerging technologies.  

Starting today, eBay is making its image recognition technology available to developers with our Image Search API. To help build their businesses, developers will now be able to incorporate new computer vision-based eBay features including Image Searchdrag-and-drop visual shopping, and Find It On eBay into their own platforms. We’re already seeing integration as deals site Wikibuy is using this API to develop a new “eBay visual search feature” on its mobile app, furthering the distributed commerce strategy that is core to our open marketplace model. 

“We’re excited to be one of the first that have access to eBay’s Image Search API to leverage the latest computer vision technology tools and bring new ways to shop to our customers,” said Kyle Schumacher, Head of Partnerships at Wikibuy, our launch partner for the Image Search API. “This feature makes it easier for our customers to find what they are looking for—using pictures instead of words.”

Additionally, we’re rolling out more APIs to our developers to help them expand and bolster their offerings, including:

  • Machine Translation API– Recognizing how difficult it is to build a localized site for China, we’re giving developers access to eBay’s English-to-Mandarin machine translation service that powers item title and description, and Mandarin-to-English translations for search queries. This is the first capability in our new Machine Translation API, and we plan to expand to other languages and contexts in the future.
  • Feed Platform for Buy APIs – This major new capability in our Buy API allows authorized developers to curate, mirror and surface eBay inventory at scale. Our developers can now store and synchronize millions of eBay items on their site, staying up-to-date with those listings as they change on eBay.

Increasing Our Developer Strategy to Propel Our Business

Through our APIs, our developer ecosystem plays a critical role in helping us build and deliver the best experiences for our buyers and sellers. As part of that, we’ve been on a journey to enhance our API offerings. 

Last year, we joined the OpenAPI Initiative at the Linux Foundation to further our commitment to the developer community and promote developer efficiency and productivity. Now, eBay is providing OpenAPI specifications for all of our RESTful public APIs. With OpenAPI, developers can download an eBay OpenAPI contract, generate code and successfully call an eBay API within minutes.

"We are thrilled to continue our partnership with eBay. Their commitment to the latest version of the OpenAPI Specification is another example of how the OAS has evolved to become the defacto standard in API design," said OpenAPI Initiative Business Governing Chair Ole Lensmar. "The entire OpenAPI community benefits when innovative companies like eBay build their brand on top of open source standards and reinvest the efficiencies back to the development of the specification." 

Ushering in Updates and a New Set of APIs

Over the last two years, we’ve worked to modernize our API platform and cultivate our eBay Developers Program. 

“eBay’s success depends on our talented developer community building quality applications for buying and selling,” said Gail Frederick, GM of eBay Portland and VP, Developer Ecosystem. 

To further our commitment to deliver innovative experiences for our buyers and sellers, we have new and updated APIs and a broadened developer strategy.

  • Buy APIs – Last year, we announced the availability of Buy APIs for the US market. To ensure that more developers have access to our Buy APIs, today, we are making all of our Buy APIs (Feed, Search, Item, Checkout, Order and Marketing) available in US, UK and Germany. Even more geographies are coming soon.  
  • Inventory API – Developers will now be able to migrate all of a seller’s listings to the Inventory model in one shot, instead of migrating them in small batches. We have also added bulk endpoints for all entities so developers can serve large sellers efficiently. 
  • Trading API – Developers can now remove variations from MSKU listings that have transactions. This will help sellers ensure that the listings are compliant with our Product-Based Shopping Experience by adding products from the eBay catalog to the variation. Sellers can also now remove secondary category, best offer and charity from their existing listings. 
  • Fulfillment API – This API is now available in eight additional territories including the U.S., U.K., Canada, Germany, Australia, France, Italy and Spain.  Stay tuned for availability on other sites. We have updated the Fulfillment API in Australia to support the Goods and Services Tax (GST).  

We have also added new APIs to the portfolio including Developer Analytics and Limited Release APIs. 

  • Developer Analytics API – As the first capability in this new API, developers can understand their progress to rate limits. 
  • Limited Release APIs – For vetted partners, we are releasing new Buy Marketplace Insights and Remote Shopping Cart. 

On the heels of these announcements, this week, we’re also kicking off our annual developer event, eBay Connect, at our San Jose headquarters. Influential and innovative developers from eBay’s community will come together to learn how they leverage the latest technology tools through our APIs to help us create new eBay experiences.  

eBay APIs/Developers By the Numbers

In 1H of 2018, external developers used our public sell APIs to:

  • Created more than 2.1B new listings
  • Managed about 4x that number
  • Drove more than $9.6B GMV globally

In 1H of 2018, external developers used our public buy APIs to:

  • Drove more than $85M GMB globally
  • # of transactions: 1.7M