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EBay puts WHERE to work as PayPal Media Network

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A little over a year after eBay (s ebay) bought mobile ad network WHERE, it’s ready to show how it will put the Boston startup to work. WHERE will become PayPal Media Network, as it moves beyond serving location-based mobile ads to offering inventory across eBay’s different online properties.

In addition to the 70 million mobile users reachable through the existing WHERE network, PayPal Media Network will now offer advertisers the ability to target,, Bill Me Later, RedLaser and other properties. This helps PayPal address the increasingly multi-channel nature of commerce, which is happening on smartphones and tablets, online and in-store.

Now, advertisers can entice new customers into a store with location-based mobile ads and offers, or they can reach them when a user scans a barcode in store using their RedLaser app. Advertisers can also find shoppers when they’re browsing eBay or they can hit them up after a transaction is completed through Bill Me Later or through follow-up emails.

Walt Doyle, the former CEO of WHERE who is now GM of PayPal Media Network, said these days consumers are shopping in a variety of ways, aided by smartphones and tablets. A person may walk into a store to buy something but then find it online for cheaper. Or they’ll start their research while commuting, and do some more comparing at home before heading out to a store to buy the item. This can make it hard for advertisers to know where to place their bets.

“The consumer shopping behavior has become multichannel; they don’t know where they begin and end a purchase,” Doyle said. “We’ve enhanced our platform to embrace this behavior to allow our partners to reach consumers anywhere on that pretzel journey.”

Doyle said the PayPal Media Network will also be able to lean on the mountain of data PayPal and eBay have to help deliver relevant ads and offers to consumers. If they can tie a user to their activity across different sites, PayPal Media Network can incorporate their tastes, location and purchase history to show really personalized ads.

This is why eBay bought WHERE. It knew it needed a way to provide its PayPal customers with better tools to increase sales. Having location-based ads and offers are helpful in bringing in consumers and can be a key component in PayPal’s new in-store and small business payment services. But WHERE gets even more powerful when you tie it into eBay and PayPal’s bigger ecosystem.

2 Responses to “EBay puts WHERE to work as PayPal Media Network”

  1. Philip Cohen

    Here, Where, everywhere: clunk, clunk, clunk …

    There is a rumour afoot that the reason PayPal is now so aggressively applying lengthy holds on seller-users’ funds is because PayPal’s clunky, stand-alone payment system is causing too much trouble for the real banks with charge-backs and other transactional disputes and PreyPal has apparently been told to shape up or ship out, and if they don’t shape up, then they risk having their “merchant account” with the infamous Wells Fargo Bank declared “persona non grata”. (Funny too how the unscrupulous tend to congregate.) This, of course, is the same risk that any unscrupulous merchant account holder faces with the real banks. And what could such action against PreyPal mean? It could effectively mean the end of the clunky PreyPal.

    The fact is the eBay marketplace is still going nowhere; it lags behind ecommerce in general and has been effectively “dead in the water” since John Donahoe started his “destructive renovations” in 2007. The only real organic growth has been from PayPal, and so eBay is now all about “PayPal Payments”—unfortunately, behind that new mask, it’s still the same old, clunky, unscrupulous, regulation-ignoring, fraud-enabling, “merchant of sorts”, PreyPal. That the retail banks / Visa ( / MasterCard will soon enough garrotte this clunky operator, I have absolutely no doubt.

    As for PreyPal’s venture into physical point-of-sale (at Home Depot for instance), in competition with the traditional payment cards, well, I simply can’t stop laughing … But don’t take my word for it, drop into Home Depot and ask them how the clunky PreyPal is going.

    Square has just announced an increase in its uptake. The announcement of PayPal Here, and its subsequent many comparisons with Square, has undoubtedly been the best thing that has ever happened to Square. Obviously, for any small off-eBay merchant, the nauseating thought of dealing with the clunky PreyPal has given Square a boost that Square could have otherwise only dreamed about …

    Regardless, with PayPal “mobile” at physical point-of-sale and “PayPal Here” merchants can expect the full package of PreyPal services: hard-wired “buyer protection”, funds holds, rolling reserves, and all the scamming buyers the criminal facilitator eBay has encouraged to crawl out of the woodwork—won’t that be fun for merchants, just like on eBay …

    And, just for a laugh then, some comment on PayPal’s off-eBay products: “The New Way To Pay In-Store” (at Home Depot), PayPal Here, SmartPay, PayPal Digital Wallet, PayPal Debit MasterCard, PayPal Local and Watch With eBay …

    And, when do we start calling eBay a payments company …

    eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking