At Germany’s Digital Life Design Conference, John Donahoe Discusses Consumer and Retail Shifts

eBay Inc. Staff

John noted that eBay Inc. can help retailers respond to changes in how consumers shop and pay.

eBay Inc. President and CEO John Donahoe spoke at the Digital Life Design conference in Munich, Germany on Jan. 24, noting that lines between online and offline commerce are blurring “at a stunningly fast rate.”  For half of retail transactions last year, he said, consumers accessed the web at some point during the shopping experience. His comments were widely covered in the media.


As VentureBeat reported, Donahoe predicted more rapid changes in consumer behavior going forward. “I believe that you’re going to see more change in how consumers shop and pay in the next three years than we’ve seen in the last 20 years,” he said.    “We're providing mobile capabilities that consumers are grabbing, but the consumer is in charge here."

VentureBeat added: “Donahoe talked extensively about eBay’s role as a friend to the retailer — criticizing Amazon’s competitive approach without specifically naming the company — and how through the acquisitions of GSI, RedLaser, and Milo, along with payments solution PayPal, eBay has transformed itself from an auction site to an open commerce platform (X.commerce).”

“We’re enablers,” Donahoe said. “The real winners are going to be retailers … the retailers that adopt a multichannel shopping experience.”

The Next Web took note of Donahoe’s comments on social commerce and its evolution. “Our platform connects into Facebook’s platform in a very compelling way, and I’d like it to plug in to Google+’s platform too,” he said. “Innovation and social commerce won’t be a big winner-takes-all killer app. It’s going to be a lot of innovative experiments, some of which will really take off.”

On the topic of innovation, The Wall Street Journal reported on Donahoe’s comments on eBay’s interest in pioneering start-up companies. “Those are the kinds of companies we are interested in talking to and if you are out there, we’d love to talk.”