“The store used to be at the center, but now the consumer is. With mobile, you go to the consumer — a powerful idea, and one that has enormous potential,” said Christopher Payne, head of eBay North America, in his keynote address today at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition in San Diego, Calif.
Payne talked about the transformational impact of mobile devices on commerce, and provided insights into other key trends – social and local – that make up the new retail, which he called Commerce 3.0.
“By 2020, it’s estimated that there will be about 50 billion connected devices,” he said. “And that means people can shop virtually anytime, anywhere. At eBay, we believe this convergence represents a new retail, which combines the advantages of offline with online, and serves them up via mobile capabilities. We call it Commerce 3.0.”
He noted that Commerce 1.0 largely revolved around a physical store and cash; Commerce 2.0 brought shopping and transactions online. “Commerce 3.0 is the intersection of technology and shopping,” he said. “It’s promotions and coupons for local offers. It’s the idea of the digital wallet, where you can make online payments in physical stores, and, of course, it’s about enabling research and buying options using a mobile device. It’s clear that there is huge opportunity in this convergence.”
The Social Opportunity
One area of opportunity is social, Payne said. He provided a preview of a social feature that is in the works for eBay. In addition to using the social graph to get more relevant recommendations, customers will soon be able to connect to Facebook to poll their network of friends and family on items they’re considering purchasing on eBay.
With regard to local commerce, Payne recapped the work eBay has done in integrating Milo on eBay.com, and announced that the Milo plug-in beta for QuickBooks POS is now available at http://milofetch.com.
Payne ended his keynote with the concept of greater collaboration and partnership with retailers of all sizes. He also talked about the idea of an open commerce platform through eBay Inc.’s newly formed division, X.Commerce, which will include Magento, a company that eBay Inc. has agreed to acquire.
“To deliver the kind of innovation customers want and need, it’s clear we can’t do it alone,” he said. “We’ve known this for many years — that that the new retail isn’t a winner-take-all scenario. And we’ve grown our business to embrace partnerships and collaboration. Today, we believe we’re in a unique position to help merchants of all sizes grow their businesses.”
Read more about Payne’s remarks in Internet Retailer’s story.