eBay was one of the most notable successes during the dot com boom. One of the reason being that eBay offered an enormous opportunity to individuals and small merchants by opening up the huge online marketplace from them. That said the large merchants or enterprises typically stayed away from this model cause of their individual capacity to implement their own eCommerce portals.
Since then, most of eBay’s success has come from the global expansion of it’s operations and more importantly, through acquisitions of new businesses like PayPal, Rent.com, Shopping,com, Skype and Bill Me. This seems eBay’s attempt to compensate for the erosion of it’s traditional marketplace which can be attributed to the fast maturing eCommerce marketplace. And to a certain extent to the lack of a significant in-house innovations that has eluded eBay. That said, eBay has been putting in a significant muscle behind its X.commerce project – that includes some of it’s recent acquisitions. These acquisitions that have put eBay back in news – acquisitions including GSI, Intershop, Magento, Zong, Hunch and now BillSafe – a German payment and invoking technology provider that has a large customer base in Europe.
Interestingly while the BillSafe acquisition brings in new technology, it also gives eBay access to a large European customer based that is typically hard to reach and has eluded PayPal to an extent. This acquisition strengthens eBay’s existing PayPal offering which intern has a significant play in its X.commerce platform. So for now, it seems like that all roads for eBay lead to it’s dream project X.commerce, but only time will tell if this ambitious project will change the eCommerce landscape or break eBay.