eBay has begun to leverage Google’s open-source Accelerated Mobile Pages framework to deliver faster browsing experiences on mobile devices, the companies said.
AMP enables rich content like video, animations and graphics to load instantaneously and simultaneously. While publishers like the New York Times, the Guardian, the Wall Street Journal and BuzzFeed have adopted AMP for content-heavy news articles, eBay is one of the first retailers to embrace the technology, an approach that Brian Klais, founder and president of mobile marketing and mobile search engine optimization firm Pure Oxygen Labs, called “off-the-charts innovative” in an interview with Internet Retailer.
eBay also announced it will acquire Israeli predictive analytics startup SalesPredict to boost its machine-learning capabilities. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
When eBay CEO Devin Wenig in February outlined the company’s turnaround plans—which include a shift from an auction site to more of a marketplace selling new as well as used goods (more often at fixed prices) along with more product reviews, better search capabilities and new tools to aid sellers—it sounded like Amazon, minus Amazon’s superior search capabilities and expanding fulfillment capacity.
But eBay’s recent moves to boost its tech capabilities show that it’s serious about competing on Amazon's turf, although Senthil Padmanabhan, principal engineer at eBay, told Internet Retailer that the marketplace hasn’t yet determined how speeding things up on mobile will impact revenues.
“We have seen numerous times in the past that speed plays a critical role in e-commerce,” Padmanabhan said. “Faster pages lead to delighted users. How this will manifest into sales is something we need to wait and see.”
eBay isn't taking any chances: It's acquring SalesPredict to anticipate customer buying behavior and sales conversion.
“SalesPredict’s deep expertise in predictive analytics and machine learning will contribute to eBay’s structured data efforts," Amit Menipaz, eBay's vice president and general manager of structured data, said in a press release. "For our buyers, it will help us better understand the price differentiating attributes of our products, and, for our sellers, it will help us build out the predictive models that can define the probability of selling a given product, at a given price over time."