Monday, September 12, 2005

Skype + eBay, ridiculous number and all

Well it happened. Skype + eBay, $2.6bn plus big incentives. Wow.

Let's see how OnoTech fares:
Them: "“Communications is at the heart of ecommerce and community,” said Meg Whitman, President and Chief Executive Officer of eBay."

Us: "People have conversations. About topics. Extended Conversations. And one of the things that people talk about -- *a lot* is commerce."

Them: "Online shopping depends on a number of factors to function well. Communications, like payments and shipping, is a critical part of this process. Skype will streamline and improve communications between buyers and sellers as it is integrated into the eBay marketplace. Buyers will gain an easy way to talk to sellers quickly and get the information they need to buy, and sellers can more easily build relationships with customers and close sales."

Us: "What to buy. Call a friend. Talk to the seller. Ask a question. Think that Skype might reduce friction and increase trust in eBay's core business, which is connecting geographically dispersed buyers and sellers? Hell yes -- reach out and build comfort with someone. Think that eBay would like to track "off marketplace" communications between buyers and sellers, and better understand the entire cycle of commerce around its transactions? Hell yes - and reduce fraud and ensure commission compliance at the same time."

Them: "PayPal and Skype also make a powerful combination. For example, a PayPal wallet associated with each Skype account could make it much easier for users to pay for Skype fee-based services, adding to the number of PayPal accounts and increasing payment volume."

Us: "And then there's PayPal... telephony+payments is a marriage made in heaven. Mobile telephony is the most interesting facet of this marriage, but Skype will soon be a mobile telephony solution, or so I hear through the grapevine."

Them: "In addition, Skype can help expand the eBay and PayPal global footprint by providing buyers and sellers in emerging ecommerce markets, such as China, India, and Russia, with a more personal way to communicate online. And consumers in markets where eBay currently has a limited presence, such as Japan and Scandinavia, can learn about eBay and PayPal through Skype."

Us: "And then there's the geography angle... eBay has clearly been thinking iternational for a while. They're really interested in owning marketplaces in countries where they're not yet dominant - the lessson of Japan, where Yahoo! Auctions stole the country from them, must still weigh heavy in their minds. Skype is an international customer set that can be turned into marketplace customers in all sorts of interesting ways."
Too bad I'm not always this accurate.

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