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EBay aims to corner mobile commerce market with RedLaser acquisition

EBay has acquired RedLaser and plans to integrate the technology platform into its suite of mobile commerce services.

RedLaser is a bar code scanning application used for comparison shopping and finding product information. EBay plans to use the technology in its eBay Marketplace, eBay Selling, StubHub and applications.

“EBay Mobile is focused on giving our customers what they want, when they want it, as frictionless as possible,” said Steve Yankovich, vice president of mobile platform at eBay, San Jose, CA. “RedLaser uses the camera in ways that everyone can understand making commerce seamless and engaging.

“It’s a perfect fit not only for our existing stable of products that can use RedLaser technologies, but also allows us to explore new ideas through the existing RedLaser application,” he said. “We will use it in some very obvious ways like buying, price research, local inventory and selling.

“We will also use it in ways you can’t yet imagine, but we’ll leave that for you to see – it’s exciting, trust us.”

EBay connects hundreds of millions of buyers and sellers globally on a daily basis through eBay, which claims to be the world’s largest online marketplace, and PayPal, which enables individuals and businesses to send and receive online and mobile payments.

Mobile shopping
Consumers can use the technology to find deals online for almost any product with a bar code.

EBay sellers can also create listings by accessing pricing trends and product details for items in the company’s catalog.

According to the company, the eBay Selling application for the iPhone will be the first iPhone application to user RedLaser’s technology for mobile users to sell items online.

In addition, eBay is transitioning RedLaser from a paid application to a free standalone application.    

“We have two areas that it will accelerate, first, by leveraging and building on the existing RedLaser application, and second, you will see us expand the features showing more rich content and information about what you’re looking for – reviews, local availability, etcetera,”’ Mr. Yankovich said. “It’s not eBay-only results either – it’s everything available and everywhere – making us the largest comparison shopping tool.

“The idea behind RedLaser is comparison shopping with marketplace agnostic results,” he said. “We’ll make eBay mobile the most comprehensive suite of mobile shopping applications by expanding the selection for both RedLaser and mobile. We’ll want to become the defacto comparison shopping engine for consumers.

“Secondly, integrating scanning into our current applications will break down more walls for our users and selling, buying, researching and more will be done with a simple scan.”

Bar code app
The company will also extend the use of RedLaser beyond 1D bar codes, 2D bar codes and VIN number lookup.

EBay also plans to increase selection on RedLaser by integrating more than 200 million listings from the company, as well as product inventory from more than 7,000 global merchants on

The technology is used in a wide variety of application, including grocery shopping lists, gift registries and nutritional tracking.

EBay has a suite of applications for iPhone,  iPod touch, iPad, BlackBerry and Android users in more than 190 countries and eight languages.

“We have numerous releases coming each month for all things mobile, from iPad releases to new applications across all mobile platforms.” Mr. Yankovich said.