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eBay exec argues for holistic approach to commerce

22 May 2013 - 19:04 by Mike Price

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eBay marketing executive, Alexander von Schirmeister, this week delivered a speech during the IAB Mobile Engage conference in which he talked about the state of the global retail market and voiced an interesting viewpoint relating to his firm's current standing within it.

Von Schirmeister claimed that eBay should no longer be categorised as merely an e-commerce or m-commerce outlet, but instead deserves to be perceived as part of the wider commerce market, which is worth $10 trillion ((6.6 trillion) annually.

This is effectively a promotion of the multichannel approach to retail, which many consumers now take and he argued that safe shopping online, mobile devices and the high street are now intrinsically linked to one another, rather than existing as separate entities.

According to Von Schirmeister, eBay is designed to fit in with the modern shopping trends and habits which shape the way consumers behave. It has a presence on desktop PCs and mobiles, as well as increasing its hold on the bricks and mortar retail market, through outlets in the US.

This appreciation of the immediacy that consumers now expect from safe shopping online is something that has helped eBay cement itself as one of the most important companies in the industry.

Although it began life as an online auction house, it has evolved over the years to encompass many more areas and could be seen as the one major rival to Amazon, which is managing to compete because it is doing things a little differently to this all-powerful retailer.

Von Schirmeister was particularly eager to talk up the role being played by smartphones in the retail world at the moment, pointing out that mobile users access their devices up to 150 times a day for brief periods, which means there is a huge potential audience which can be reached through this medium.