February 26, 2013, 4:12 PM

Magento sets out to make new waves with eBay

Leveraging eBay’s technology and consumer data, Magento pushes ahead with new offerings.

Lead Photo

Roy Rubin

With 100 million buyers on the eBay.com marketplace and 100 million users of the online payment service PayPal, eBay Inc. has lots of data about online shoppers. And eBay aims to make insights gleaned from that data available to retailers that sell through the company’s Magento e-commerce technology platform, Roy Rubin, chief operating officer of Magento, tells Internet Retailer.

Magento, part of eBay’s X.Commerce technology division, is working with retailers in a pilot project that analyzes eBay and PayPal consumer transaction data to provide Magento merchants with recommendations on such matters as what new products or shopping features to offer, pricing, or marketing campaigns, says Rubin, who is also chief operating officer of X.Commerce and the founder of Magento. PayPal is a unit of eBay Inc.

An overall goal of Magento and X.Commerce, he adds, is to free up merchants from the chore of choosing among many technologies and to help them find and deploy the ones that will produce results. “We allow merchants to be merchants,” he says.

Magento—which is an open-source technology platform offered in a free base Community edition, a licensed Enterprise edition and a Magento Go software-as-a-service model—is also expanding the number of technology options available to client retailers as well as making them easier to access. As an open-source technology, Magento provides access to the software source code that technology developers can use to customize an e-commerce platform to a merchant’s specific needs in areas such as page navigation and merchandise displays.

The company offers more than 5,000 technology extensions developed by independent software developers. Extensions take many forms—they can include blog tools, wish list applications and connections to comparison shopping engines, for example. When making recommendations to a merchant as a result of analyzing consumer data on eBay.com and PayPal as well as other demographic data, Magento might recommend that a merchant introduce a new line of consumer electronics products within a particular price range and deploy a wish list.

Magento, which makes its technology extensions available via download from the Magento Connect marketplace on MagentoCommerce.com, is also making more extensions available as Magento-hosted applications through Magento Go, says Matthew Mengerink, chief technology officer of X.Commerce.

To expand Magento’s connections with business operations software, such as fulfillment and customer service systems, Magento and X.Commerce are also working on integrating Magento with the technology offerings of GSI Commerce, a provider of e-commerce technology services that eBay acquired in 2011, the same year it acquired Magento, Mengerink says.

More than 150,000 retailers use Magento  technology, including 1,000 that have opted for its Enterprise Edition within the past year, Rubin says. He would not say how many retailers in total use the Enterprise Edition but indicates that it’s in the thousands.

The Enterprise edition, which starts at $14,420 per year, comes with technical support and more shopping features, such as layered navigation, than are available in the free Community edition. Magento Go starts at $15 per month.

Magento has eight clients among the Internet Retailer Top 500 and 37 among the Second 500.

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