Speaking at the HTIA2012 high-tech conference in Yerushalayim, eBay CEO John Donahoe said that the Israel R&D centers of the e-commerce giant and its subsidiary PayPal will continue to help drive the company’s innovation in commerce and payment in the foreseeable future.
Donahoe praised the role eBay’s and PayPal’s Israel R&D centers have played in helping drive the commerce revolution. These centers are based mainly on Israeli start-ups acquired by the commerce giant, including shopping.com, The Gifts Project and Fraud Sciences. The centers have 340 employees and work on everything from eBay’s global social activities to cataloguing and data, to search mechanisms as well as security and risk management. Donahoe said, “What they like is to innovate at scale – creating exciting entrepreneurialism and putting them on global platforms.”
Donahoe said that he is looking forward to partnering with more Israeli entrepreneurs to help further spur the future of retail and commerce
He said, “I believe that we will see more change in how consumers shop and pay in the next three to five years than we’ve seen in the last ten to twenty,” Donahoe added that eBay has focused the company on enabling that future.
Donahoe stressed that the $10 trillion commerce market is going through a fundamental transformation, stressing that it is at an “inflection point” due to changes driven by technology – primarily in the way consumers are using their mobile devices to shop. He observed that over the past year, in more than 50% of offline retail transactions in the US, consumers accessed the web at some point in their shopping experience. Donahoe added that the lines are being blurred between online and offline shopping, concluding that “It’s time to take the ‘E’ out of E-commerce.” The eBay CEO said that much like in the world of media, consumers want their shopping “when they want it, where they want it, how they want it.”
Donahoe described a world in which, thanks to smartphones, salespeople will know shoppers’ names the moment they set foot in the store. “The value that smartphones are bringing in the world of commerce is just beginning,” he said.
Due to these changes, Donahoe said, eBay is investing heavily in its mobile technology. Nearly one hundred million people have downloaded eBay mobile apps in the last several years. Donahoe also pointed to the thousands of cars sold weekly on eBay on mobile devices alone.
Source: GLOBES ISRAEL