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EBay expands cross-platform sales strategy with Windows Phone 7 app

Users can search, bid, buy and check their eBay buying and selling activity via the application. The company is using Windows Phone 7’s push notification technology to let users receive real-time alerts on deals and best-offer activity.

“We have to be where our customers are or where our potential future customers are,” said Steve Yankovich, vice president of mobile and platform business solutions at eBay, San Jose, CA.

“There are two criteria to build for a new platform,” he said. “One is who is behind it – do I believe they’ll end up with a large footprint, and two, is the platform appropriate – does it have the right technical capabilities?

“I would couple that with the device – does it have a shot at being successful? – and both of those answers are pretty clear – Microsoft has intentions to make this successful.”

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 scroll through the panoramic user interface to engage in Daily Deals, searches and my eBay activity, including bids, items won, selling or watching, messages and reminders.

In addition, users can personalize their shopping experience with saved searches, user-controlled push notifications, sharing favorite items with friends and background themes.

Consumers can use the “Best Offer” feature to negotiate the price of a particular item with real-time notifications when an offer is received and finalized.

Additionally consumers can pay for items using PayPal.

“The application has all the basic things that you expect – browsing, search and bidding,” Mr. Yankovich said. “We’re also bringing up some of the clues.

“There is now a saved searches feature that we haven’t implemented in other platforms,” he said. “We’re trying to improve the browser experience.”

Mobile search
Users can download the application to their smartphone and shop eBay’s listings in eight countries, including Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Britain and United States.

“The Windows application has great visuals,” Mr. Yankovich said. “I think people are going to like it.

“We know from user research that people are in fact mobile when they use eBay Mobile,” he said. “We have to make things super-streamlined and super-easy for users.”

Final take