MOUNTAIN VIEW–For eBay, competing with Amazon is difficult, in part because the company’s services have reshaped the playing field for retailers everywhere.
“Amazon has raised the game in terms of the basics of commerce,” Paul Todd, the head of strategy for eBay Marketplaces, said at The Atlantic’s Silicon Valley Summit this morning.
Thanks to programs like Amazon Prime, Todd said that consumers have come to expect more from retail experiences. But that doesn’t mean the Seattle-based retail giant is unassailable.
In addition to working on bolstering its own capabilities through new initiatives like eBay Now, the company’s rapid delivery service, Todd said that eBay also sees a strong future in serving as a platform to give retailers access to tech tools that would be hard for them to develop from scratch.
In particular, PayPal’s Beacon dongle allows smaller retailers to leverage PayPal’s user-base to track what customers are buying, and provide them with the ability to pay with their smartphone, rather than having to fish out a credit card.
“We want to be the platform that gives those capabilities that a retailer can’t develop by themselves, or find very difficult to develop by themselves,” he said.
Those tools, in turn, could help retailers better compete with Amazon. Todd said that while Amazon offers free two-day shipping, physical retailers can provide a product instantly, which can be a key advantage in the fight to draw sales.
That lines up with comments that Hointer CEO and former Amazon exec Nadia Shouraboura made earlier this year at the GeekWire Summit, saying that retail isn’t going anywhere just yet.
Previously on GeekWire: eBay continues to grow in Amazon’s backyard, inks big lease in Bellevue