On Thursday, eBay and Shopify both announced that eBay joined the Shopify Sales Channel Platform.
The Shopify Sales Channel platform allows Shopify merchants to easily integrate with marketplaces and other eCommerce related services.
Shopify has been aggressive in getting “official” blessings from Amazon and Facebook. Now they added eBay and are extending themselves as a true multi-channel tool.
The new eBay integration will roll out soon to U.S. merchants of Shopify. There is no word of availability in other markets yet.
EBAY AND SHOPIFY INTEGRATION GOES BEYOND LISTING TOOL
The integration announced by both companies is more advanced than existing integrations with other services. Typically, SaaS eCommerce vendors provide listing services with limited two-way integration.
However, eBay’s integration includes inventory, items specifics, and order processing. Even eBay messages will integrate into the Shopify platform.
This type of tight integration rivals third party extensions on eCommerce shopping carts like Magento, WooCommerce, and Prestashop.
SHOPIFY TURNING INTO TRUE MULTI-CHANNEL PLATFORM
By adding eBay to its Sales Channel Platform, Shopify is extending integration capabilities that already include Amazon, Wanelo, Wish, Facebook, and others.
On the surface, it appears that Shopify will help many merchants turn to multi-channel sales. However, a review of existing Shopify Sales Channel integrations also shows much disappointment by users with features and functions offered.
Since the eBay integration is not widely available yet, we will have to see if it will rival other integrations such as M2EPro for Magento or WP-Lister for WooCommerce.
SIMULTANEOUS ANNOUNCEMENT A HINT OF FUTURE?
In May, an article on Fool.com speculated that some investors believe eBay may be interested in acquiring Shopify. While possible, there is no concrete evidence suggesting that eBay is interested in doing so.
The rumors may came from the fact that eBay and Shopify were probably working on the final phase of their integration at that time. So it is likely the rumors were false signals from the cooperative work.
We need to remember that eBay has been down this road of trying to integrate their marketplace with in-house website hosting.
The company acquired Kurant Store Sense in 2005 and re-branded it as Pro-Stores. eBay ended up shutting down Pro-Stores in 2015.
And, we must not forget that eBay-owned Magento at one time and subsidized M2EPro integration by allowing M2EPro to offer their service for free.
So would eBay try again? Acquiring Shopify would not be cheap.
Granted most of this was before the breakup with PayPal and the current management may see an opportunity to focus on website integration instead of running a multi-service platform.
With all caveats mentioned, this integration matters. Could it lead to more? Possible. If implemented correctly it would provide merchants an easy way to build a multi-channel store.
Are you a Shopify owner? We love to hear your thoughts on this news in the comment section below.