The Google And Microsoft That Ebay Information Technology Essay

Electronic commerce, commonly know as e-commerce, is the concept of the buying and selling of products or services on internet. The trading by electronically on internet is very popular and widespread between most of the people, because of its easy to use approach, secured services and less cost. E-commerce do not have any border restriction. It’s make shorten the gap between buyers and sellers. You don’t need to invest large amount of money to start your own online business. Even through some popular trading web site can help you to sell your new or used product without going into the market. Vice versa you can buy any product with the help of internet web sites. E-commerce can classified into three categories which include, Business to Business, Consumer to Consumer and Business to Consumer. Through the internet world is become smaller and businesses work like a global market. One of the biggest name is eBay, eBay captured most of the market with its monopoly for number of years. Similarly two giant companies one is Microsoft and other is Google plan to enter into the trading market. Microsoft launch Windows Live Expo and Google launch Google Base, which seems to be big competitions for eBay’s monopoly in the trading business. Mean time eBay was enjoying its monopoly but now its having big challenges from Windows Live Expo and Google Base.

According to Auction Bytes (2007),”The ecommerce space continues to heat up with eBay competitors releasing services that are a cross between classified ads and eBay fixed-price listings.”

eBay Vs Google Base ?

Google launch its online classified service called Google Base in 2005.This is a free service for its users. Users can upload everything from jobs to unwanted products. User can upload online information which can be available on Google as soon as possible. It is also allowed traders to upload inventory listing in massive database, which can be searchable through Google’s search engine. Prospective buyers can find product when they type related searches by Google, so buyers can save time to get information about any products.

EBay may be vulnerable by Google Base for some time because users can upload any information online on Google Base for free of charge. And this all information is easily searchable to users.

When Google base came into the market, some experts were talking about it would take out eBay and other online business. But this all rumour take off. Google Base has not taken off eBay, because of lack of factors like user struggling to get on the site and other it is not user friendly. Other side of eBay, its all business depend on its large amount of sellers and buyer and eBay have its own online and mostly popular secured payment system PayPal. It is used all over the world by its millions of user with fully satisfaction.

Google need to be do more advertising for Google Base to compete with eBay.

eBay Vs Microsoft’s Windows Expo Live ?

Microsoft wanted to be a part of e-commerce business after launching its new online service in 2006, called Windows Expo Live. It can help users to upload advertising for their personal use and that is free of charge. Such service that can be integrated with the Microsoft’s own Virtual Earth, so users can trace their requirements by configuring parameters for the products and services they want. This application was new to the user and it is unique in its own right. Even Virtual Earth provide images which help users to view maps and find the location of the product or services. User can Poster of a listing through windows live messenger and advertise their own listing on windows live services.

According to Wikipedia (2010) Windows Live Expo was described by Microsoft as an “online social marketplace”. The website ceased operations on July 31, 2008.

Live Expo comes with windows live services with free listings and allows users to create own search attributes for their products. Microsoft requires change in its competitive strategy into innovative strategy in order to get success in e-commerce market. Microsoft was late to launch Live Expo without enough promotions which cause the downfall of Live Expo.

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The below figure 1. Shows Traffic growth comparison with three Live expo, Google Base and eBay. According the Hitwise (2007) An incremental 1.3% growth for eBay is almost 10 times larger than Google Base’s entire January market share of 0.0019%

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Figure .Traffic Growth source from Hitwise (2007).

Conclusion :

According to the current scenario eBay still dominates online trading market. EBay is mostly popular between people because of its easy to use application, easy product searches, easy to upload new product for auction, positive or negative feedback about seller from buyers, user can provide better information about product with more that a photo. As we know Windows Live Expo is out in this league because it is already discontinued in July 2008.Remaining Google Base is the only one you can see, which can be a big challenge for eBay if it’s get well in the future. At the movement It is very difficult to guess who will win the battle for online trading market.

 Q2. What are the major advantages and limitations of Google Base and Windows Live Expo? Which do you prefer or would you use both? Why? Go to their Internet websites and read reviews at other sites to help you answer.

Advantages of Google Base:

Google base is a online place where you can easily upload any type of online and offline information or data. Your uploaded content will be available for search with Google immediately.

It is absolutely free. You do not need to pay for this service. You can use it as long as you want.

Using Data feed or Google Base API, user can submit any kind of online or offline content.

According to Google Base web site (Google Base,2010) It is different like, Google Base enables you to add attributes describing your content, so that searchers can easily find it. The more popular individual attributes become, the more often we’ll suggest them when others post the same items. Similarly, items that become more popular will show up as suggested item types in the Choose an existing item type drop-down menu.

Store Connector : Even user can allowed to move content from eBay store to Google Base store.

With the help of store connector unsatisfied user of eBay can swap their content easily to Google Base store.

Google Base have its own massive searchable database.

Limitations of Google Base:

Google Base is currently available in English and German only.

Some times its come with full of spam links ,for example: you win lottery.

While searching on Google Base you will find some external links which are very dangerous because of our personal details can be hack.

According with State of Search (2010),we have find some problem which users are facing:

No images showing in your Merchant Account.

Tracking how many visitors you receive via Google Shopping, tracking is not accurate.

Assigning product attributes is very difficult.

Occasionally you might submit your product feed to Google Base which contains errors.

Even google take care of all possible security from external attack on its Google Base online applications, then there are more problems occurred by spam .

There is lack of interaction between buyers and sellers, so they can evaluate each other for future references.

Occasionally Google Base is shut for hours for its maintenance purpose.

Market share for Google Base is limited because of eBay having big share in the market.

Advantages of Microsoft Live Expo:

Microsoft live Expo is a free to use service for its users. It is a listing service which allows users to search its buyers, map listing, and sell their items.

It is very easy to setup.

It is easily integrated with the other Microsoft family product.

Reduce spam attack ,Windows live expo feature helps prevents others from seeing a customers personal data.

With the help of MSN Messenger two parties can involved in the transaction and can be finalise the deal quickly.

Microsoft live expo have limit access by buddy list.

As per Softpedia (2006), we find some advantages of Microsoft Live Expo as below :

All the products and services listed in Windows Live Expo are geographically identified, or geo-tagged, by ZIP code, not city, which specifically defines where the product is located.

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Windows live expo also work with windows Virtual Earth.

Users can have opportunity to visualize the location of the seller.

Windows live expo-only inbox, is the new and interesting feature which can protect the user’s privacy.

Limitations of Microsoft Live Expo :

Bad marketing is the one of the reason for downfall of Window Live Expo.

Microsoft not given more importance or preferences to live expo like their other product. So many people don’t know about the product and its uses.

Market share for Microsoft live expo is limited because of eBay having big share in the market (Comp,2010 ).

It’s services do not support large data uploads and data feed compare to Google Base.

Integration with the Microsoft’s other product’s with the Windows live expo make confusion between users.

It is not much user friendly compare to Microsoft’s other product, and not Microsoft provide enough support to its uses.

Conclusion :

Microsoft live expo and Google Base, both having their own different benefit for different users. It can be wise to use both the online application depends on users requirement.

Google Base, user can upload large amount of data and data feeds. Google most important part is its database which you can use while searching any listing. Google have its own secure payment system which can give user more satisfaction while doing any transaction through online purchasing.

Microsoft is having lots of better features with its other products like operating system, MS office and plenty of application software. Window live expo help users to integrate with other Microsoft’s family products. If user can have experience with the similar product then it is become very easy to use different Microsoft application for different purposes.

Q3. Are eBay’s development of Kijiji, acquisition of Skype, alliance with Yahoo, and other acquisitions as noted in this case enough to ward off the competitive assaults of Google and Microsoft? Defend your position.

When Microsoft and Google trying to settle with there new products, eBay shows some sort of enthusiasm to compete with its two giant competitors. Like eBay ‘s development of Kijji, acquisition of Skype and alliance with yahoo.

eBay’s Development of Kijiji :

The blogs on New York Times claim that (New York Times, 2008 ), launching Kijiji In 2005 ,eBay went into the classified ad business overseas, and in 2007, eBay took the web site in the United States. According to Kijiji web site (2010),”Kijiji is Canada’s most popular free, local classifieds site. Kijiji offers a convenient, fun, and easy way for people in the same city to buy, sell, trade and help each other out in areas such as goods, cars, services, housing and jobs. The word “kijiji” means “village” in Swahili. This name was chosen because it captures the essence of what we are creating – a site where people can connect with others in their community.”

Kijiji is a small company for online listing business. It concentrate on small area. After acquiring Gumtree and LoQUo, eBay developed Kijiji for online classified market.

With the help of Kijiji, eBay decided to create a strong hold in online classified business. The main reason to Kijiji development is to give strong competition to Craiglist, where eBay owns 25 percent of stake. Craiglist helps buyers and sellers to deal locally without any shipping cost or handling charges. Buyers and sellers can interact face to face seeing each other rather than seeing the items picture on web site and bidding for them (Digital trend, 2010). Kijiji can not compete with Google Base because of the popularity of Google search engine.

eBay acquisition of Skype :

Skype is a global internet communication company. Customers can make free and good quality voice call to everywhere in the world. It use a award winning peer to peer software. eBay want to put its hand into the telephony market, so eBay acquisition of Skype to implement the internet telephony in order to better the voice communication and accelerate its trade. eBay acquisition of Skype and PayPal is to create an un-paralleled e-commerce and communication for buyers and sellers around the world. There is no communication between buyers and sellers while doing any transaction through online . With the help of Skype, eBay want to reduce the communication gap between buyers and sellers. eBay have plan about communication between its users so it will help buyers and sellers. “Communications is at the heart of ecommerce and community,” said Meg Whitman, President and Chief Executive Officer of eBay (Skype, 2005). “By combining the two leading ecommerce franchises, eBay and PayPal, with the leader in Internet voice communications, we will create an extraordinarily powerful environment for business on the Net.”

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In case any doubt between two parties, buyer can have communication with seller and vice versa seller can talk to buyer about his requirements. Skype have strong customer base in all over the world and new users, who joining everyday. eBay get benefit from the Skype customers as well. Skype can help eBays customer to communicate between buyers and seller to hand on some expensive items.

eBay alliance with Yahoo :

Yahoo and eBay are teaming up as the Internet search and commerce markets grow even more competitive. There are some benefit companies by giving better service to its customer.

According to SeekingAlpha (2006), A agreement consists of four major factor in the areas of search and graphical advertising, online payments, a co-branded toolbar, and the opportunity to explore “click-to-call” functionality.

“This partnership with eBay provides us with a great opportunity to further extend our sponsored search and graphical advertising reach to one of the largest and most active communities on the web,” Yahoo Chairman and CEO Terry Semel said in a statement (MarketingVox,2006).

Yahoo has selected eBay’s paypal service to become the external provider of its online wallet. With Paypal account customer can pay yahoo from there bank account. Wall Street analysts explain (Cnet,2006) that a tie-up between eBay and Yahoo would make sense, explaining that pooling their resources would give the more leverage in search, advertising and customer breadth.

Conclusion :

Microsoft Live Expo and Google Base need more time to be familiar with people, but eBay is its own and dominate the e-commerce industry. eBay has big customer base. It is very hard to compete with eBay at this stage for any other company. Google Base is the only product which can give difficult time to eBay if Google look into and do marketing for it. Google search engine, which is strong customer base can help to promote Google Base to its customer. Apart from there are few new online classified companies is coming. One of them is Facebook’s Marketplace, which is getting strong because of its customer base. Users can use Marketplace for its listing products and its services, which is free of charge for its users. But if we look into e-commerce market, there is no doubt that eBay still hold its monopoly within the market. In this fast changing world it is very hard to guess, who will be come top of the list.

References used :

Auction Bytes (2007), Microsoft Live Expo Joins Google Base in Going after eBay, http://www.auctionbytes.com/cab/abn/y06/m03/i01/s01, (Last accessed 9/12/2010).

Comp (2010 ) Competitive Battle for e-Commerce Supremacy, http://www4.comp.polyu.edu.hk/~csajaykr/Presentation_Group_2.pdf (Last accessed 9/12/2010).

Cnet (2006), Yahoo, eBay team up on e-commerce,

http://news.cnet.com/Yahoo,-eBay-team-up-on-e-commerce/2100-1032_3-6076708.html, (Last accessed 7/12/2010).

Digital trend (2010), eBay Ditching Kijiji in Favor of eBay Classifieds, http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/ebay-ditching-kijiji-in-favor-of-ebay-classifieds/, (Last accessed 7/12/2010).

Google Base(2010), About Google Base, http://base.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=59260&hl=en (Last accessed 9/12/2010).

Hitwise (2007),Traffic Growth,

http://weblogs.hitwise.com/leeann- prescott/2007/02/google_base_google_checkout.html (Last accessed 9/12/2010).

Kijiji (2010),What is Kijiji ?,http://help.kijiji.net/ca/knowledgebase.php?article=78,(Last accessed 9/12/2010).

MarketingVox (2006), Yahoo and eBay Form Online Advertising and E-Commerce Alliance, http://www.marketingvox.com/yahoo_and_ebay_form_online_advertising_and_ecommerce_alliance-021833/ ,(Last accessed 9/12/2010).

New York Times ( 2008 ), EBay-Craigslist Fight Is About Kijiji and Control, Complaint Shows, http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04/30/ebay-craigslist-fight-is-about-kijiji-and-control-complaint-shows/,(Last accessed 9/12/2010).

SeekingAlpha (2006), Sell-Side Reaction to the eBay-Yahoo Alliance, http://seekingalpha.com/article/11243-sell-side-reaction-to-the-ebay-yahoo-alliance-ebay-goog-yhoo, (Last accessed 9/12/2010).

Softpedia (2006), Windows Live Expo, Microsoft’s Response to Google Base, Available to All Users,

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Windows-Live-Expo-Microsoft-s-Response-to-Google-Base-Available-to-All-Users-18950.shtml (Last accessed 9/12/2010).

Skype(2005), eBay to Acquire Skype, http://about.skype.com/2005/09/ebay_to_acquire_skype.html, (Last accessed 7/12/2010).

State of Search (2010), 5 Common Problems (and solutions) with Google Base, http://www.stateofsearch.com/5-common-problems-and-solutions-with-google-base/ (Last accessed 9/12/2010).

Wikipedia (2010), Windows Live Expo.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Live_Expo#cite_note-0 (Last accessed 9/12/2010).

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