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Ebay Prepares to Transform the Online Marketplace with X.Commerce




eBay wants to transform the way we sell things on the internet and believe me, there’s not a drop of sarcasm behind that statement.

Technology has changed everything about the way we shop, but it seems like the retail industry is always rushing to play catchup. eBay says it’s time to get ahead of the curve, and to that end, they’ve created X.Commerce.

For developers, X.Commerce is the key to creating cutting-edge, apps and tools that will help people shop better, faster, and hopefully, more often.

For merchants, X.Commerce aims to be a one-stop shop for selling tools and solutions.

For marketers. . . well, it’s a little too early to tell how it will effect your job, but it’s probably going to be good.

For awhile now, eBay has been slowly positioning itself as more of a large-scale retailer and less of an auction site for naked action figures. They’re trying to become Amazon, which is ironic since Amazon got a little eBay-like when they started buying and selling used goods.

In order to entice developers to play along, X-Commerce has a community section that promises free blogging space, a forum, profiles and directories (to help freelancers get hired by others) and even a point reward system for a coming Q&A project. Simply sign up and take the X.Commerce Pledge. All that’s missing is the secret decoder ring, which takes on new meaning in 2011. (Okay, a little sarcasm there.)

Putting my natural suspicious nature aside, I have to say I believe in everything X.Commerce stands for. Here are the lines from the pledge:

We believe that merchants should harness technology, not the other way around. Technology solutions should be future-proof and meet their needs, not enslave them with confusion and costs.

We believe that developers should have one place where they can plug in, get the latest and greatest tools they need to build killer apps and features, using proven code.

We believe in helping all merchants and developers compete, save time, share ideas, grow, and frankly just make more money—faster.

And we’re realists; we know we can’t do it alone. Things are changing constantly, new ideas and technologies crop up daily. The customer is in control. The notion of “build it and they will come” is dead. To win in the commerce game, we need to combine forces, roll up our sleeves, stay caffeinated, and shape the future of commerce.

We pledge to make this happen in an open, transparent, and collaborative way. After all, isn’t that the way it should be?

That really says it. I especially appreciate the line about “build it and they will come” being dead. Every week, I see newbies jumping into the online marketing game with the idea that they’ll build a website tonight and be rolling in cash by the end of the month.

It’s never been that easy, and technology is, in some ways, making it harder. It’s not enough to sell items on a website. Now you have to have mobile, video, and social, too. I don’t think we’ll ever build a product that is “future-proof,” but it would be nice to have a shopping experience on my tablet that is nothing like the one I get on my PC.

That’s the idea behind X-Commerce and I can’t wait to see what the developers come up with. Just don’t stop running as an auction site, eBay, at least not until I complete my collection of Hardy Boys Casefiles.