News E Commerce Giant Celebrates 25 Years

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e-commerce giant celebrates 25 years
14th September 2020

By Justine Thompson

Arguably the first global online marketplace retailer – eBay – celebrates its 25th anniversary this month.

The e-commerce giant was founded on September 3, 1995 and is now a $40bn business with 190 million registered users.

It began life as AuctionWeb, launched by computer programmer Pierre Omidyar from his own living room. The shortened name came later – Pierre’s consulting group was called Echo Bay Technology but the echobay.com domain name was already taken, so eBay it was.

The concept took off and, on the back of the booming Beany Baby phenomenon, the company received $6.7million in funding in 1997, explained David Jinks MILT, head of consumer research at delivery firm Parcelhero.

GIANTS

He added: “In September 1998, it went public. In 2002, eBay merged with PayPal and, by 2008, revenues had risen to $7.7 billion and the company sold Skype for $2.7bn. eBay has been buying and selling e-commerce firms ever since.”

Over time eBay has inspired now widespread terms such as ‘Buy It Now’, ‘Seller Rating’ and ‘Best Match’, which have become known across the globe.

Now there is speculation about mergers with other giants such as Amazon, but with a new boss Jamie Iannone in charge there are plans afoot to keep the marketplace giant at the forefront of ecommerce, with use of new technology to improve user experience and increased marketing spend aimed at a new, younger audience.

David Jinks said: “eBay faces many possible futures and, doubtless, millions of UK users will be hoping the next 25 years prove to be as successful as its first quarter century.”