The name change heralds tighter integration among eBay’s e-commerce technology and services.
Paul Demery , Chief Technology Editor
Two years after eBay Inc. acquired e-commerce technology and services provider GSI Commerce Inc., eBay has renamed it eBay Enterprise. That positions GSI as one of eBay’s three main business units, alongside eBay Marketplaces and online payments provider PayPal.
The name change heralds the immersion of GSI as a more deeply integrated part of the overall technology and services of eBay, offering retailers a broader range of multichannel capabilities, says Chris Saridakis, who had been CEO of GSI and is now president of eBay Enterprise.
“We’re delivering our clients greater omnichannel capabilities,” he said in a blog post today. “For example, we expect that by the end of 2013 more than 30 of our clients will have stores on the eBay Marketplaces platform, creating an additional distribution channel to help grow their businesses. Also, by the end of this year, we expect PayPal coverage to extend to over 90% of our client volume.”
The former GSI, which got its start hosting web stores for sporting goods retailers, serves some 1,000 clients. They include retail chains Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. and RadioShack Corp., fashion brands and retailers Kate Spade and Ralph Lauren, and the e-commerce operations of the National Football League and Major League Baseball.
Saridakis added that eBay Enterprise will work with eBay technology to expand its offerings in local and mobile commerce, and “is committed to leveraging data in ways that enable our retail and brand partners to deliver unparalleled loyalty-driven consumer experiences.”
EBay offered a preview of such offerings in March at its eBay Analysts Day, where Saridakis introduced GSI clients Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. and Kate Spade. Dick’s CEO Ed Stack noted how eBay and GSI had enabled Dick’s to offer store pickup for online orders and its 500 physical stores to serve as a “virtual distribution network” for fulfilling online orders.
Bill McComb, CEO of Fifth & Pacific Companies Inc., the parent of Kate Spade and other brands, said that eBay’s acquisition of GSI had been “a real turning point for the industry and clearly a turning point for us.” He noted that GSI had already helped his company ship overnight online orders received as late as 9 p.m., and that it was also working GSI’s integration with the broader eBay system to begin selling select new merchandise on the eBay.com marketplace to reach its target audience of young women.
McComb added that Kate Spade had been working with GSI to deploy a new store point-of-sale system offering PayPal as a payment option. GSI and eBay also helped Kate Spade to deploy in New York City this summer “shoppable” storefront windows with touchscreens that allow passersby to find and select products, enter their mobile phone numbers, and then receive information needed to complete a purchases on their smartphones. The interactive windows are intended to facilitate shopping when a walk-in store is closed. “This is about changing how we do business,” McComb said.
Magento, the open-source e-commerce platform company that eBay acquired in 2011, continues to operate as a separate unit of eBay Inc., an eBay spokesman says. He notes that Magento will focus on small to mid-size web retailers, while eBay Enterprise focuses primarily on larger merchants, including retail chains and brands.