eBay Opens up Third Party Application Development Within Selling Manager

Breaking News from Devcon 2008 - eBay Loosens Up!

eBay to Open up Merchant Tool to Developers


eBay will open a tool used by 700,000 of its merchants to external developers, the next step in an ongoing effort to promote the creation of applications for its online marketplace.

For the first time eBay will feature third-party applications within Selling Manager, a tool merchants use to manage their eBay listings, the company plans to announce Monday at its annual eBay Developers Conference in Chicago.

"We're taking our open [application development] platform to the next level," said Max Mancini, eBay's Senior Director of Mobile Platform and Disruptive Innovation.

Selling Manager is the most popular tool among eBay merchants, but so far has only featured applications created by the company. However, eBay now recognizes that it can't extend the tool's functionality on its own in a way that meets all of its users' demands and requirements, Mancini said.

By turning Selling Manager into an open platform, eBay believes it will be able to enhance the visibility of third-party applications for the benefit of both the developers who create them and the merchants who adopt them.

Merchants will be able to browse and search an application's directory for tools and applications that could help them run their eBay business. In addition, eBay will also deliver to them contextually relevant promotions for such tools and applications, based on what the company knows about the merchants.

Mancini offered the hypothetical example of a merchant that sells its 10,000th item, a milestone that could trigger a promotional suggestion for CRM (Customer Relationship Management) applications. "The point is to help sellers scale their business," he said.

eBay hasn't yet decided whether developers will have to pay for their applications promoted via the new contextually-relevant suggestion system, as in an advertising program. It's still early in the rollout of the system and eBay will settle on specifics later based on feedback from developers, Mancini said.

eBay is trying to help external developers market more effectively their applications, by giving them more direct and targeted access to the type of professional seller that typically uses Selling Manager, Mancini said.

"One of the biggest requests from developers is how we can help them to promote and distribute their applications to sellers," Mancini said.

Meanwhile, PayPal, eBay's online payment division, will also court external developers next week when it announces a new Developer Central portal, designed to support the creation of applications for PayPal.

"The goal is to help developers be more productive," said Glenn Lim, PayPal's General Manager of Alliances and Developer Services.

The PayPal Developer Central portal will debut in July and will contain free business and technical kits, including marketing materials, sample code, training information and discussion forums.

The portal will also feature a directory where merchants can find developers who have been certified by PayPal for building tools and applications for the online payment system.

In addition to the portal, PayPal will also announce several new APIs and fraud filters, including a Recurring Payments API for building subscription billing into an applications and a Reference Transaction API to ease transactions with repeat customers.

PayPal's Developer Program, established in 2001, currently has some 35,000 active developers, 300 of which have the PayPal certification. The eBay program, founded in 2000, has about 70,000 developers.

Courtesy: Maldiviandigital.com forum

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0 Responses to eBay Opens up Third Party Application Development Within Selling Manager

  1. Matt Naso June 16, 2008 at 2:49 pm #

    I can always count on Scott to be on top of new eBay developments and we will be looking into how to take advantage of this new offering as it unfolds.

    The good news is that AuctionSound has already been working on its inventory management features, in particular an inventory import tool, which will greatly improve upon eBay’s Selling Manager tools as they exist today. As more and more brick and mortar retailers make their way to an online platform we are seeing the need to aid this transition by providing flexible tools to accommodate for the diversity their inventory systems.

    Our import tool allows for a greater flexibility when importing products from any available platform with very little csv modification for the sellers. The goal is to provide a simple process that doesn’t require a complete restructuring of your data and also display previews of the imported data so that you may confirm you have successfully matched relevant data types before committing.

    Look out for this new feature release the last week of June 08.

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