London: Two years after eBay Inc. attained eCommerce technology and services provider GSI Commerce Inc., eBay has renamed it eBay Enterprise. That places 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, providing retailers a wider 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 up some 1,000 clients. They take in retail chains Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. and RadioShack Corp., fashion brands and retailers Kate Spade and Ralph Lauren, and the eCommerce 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 provided a preview of such offerings in March at its eBay Analysts Day, where Saridakis brought in GSI clients Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. and Kate Spade. Dick’s CEO Ed Stack noted how eBay and GSI had allowed Dick’s to give store pickup for online orders and its 500 physical stores to serve as a “virtual distribution network” for satisfying online orders.
Bill McComb, CEO of Fifth & Pacific Companies Inc., the parent of Kate Spade and other brands, said that eBay’s attainment of GSI had been “a real turning point for the industry and clearly a turning point for us.” He noted that GSI had previously assisyed his company ship overnight online orders received as late as 9 p.m., and that it was also working GSI’s incorporation 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 let passersby to find and select products, enter their mobile phone numbers, and then obtain information required to complete a purchases on their smartphones. The interactive windows are proposed to ease shopping when a walk-in store is closed. “This is about changing how we do business,” McComb said.
eCommerce Magento, the open-source eCommerce platform company that eBay attained in 2011, goes on to function as a separate unit of eBay Inc., an eBay spokesman says. He notes that Magento will center on small to mid-size web retailers, while eBay Enterprise focuses primarily on larger merchants, together with retail chains and brands.