Web portal Yahoo! and auction site eBay have formed a multi-year strategic partnership designed to mutually benefit both companies by better serving their user, merchant, and advertising communities in the US. The agreement consists of four major components in the areas of search and graphical advertising, online payments, a co-branded toolbar, and the opportunity to explore ‘click-to-call’ functionality.
Under the agreement, Yahoo! will become the exclusive third-party provider of all graphical advertisements throughout the eBay site and sponsored search for complementary products on some eBay search results pages in the US. Through this partnership, Yahoo! can expand upon its services with the addition of eBay.com’s online inventory.
Yahoo! and eBay have also agreed to collaborate on ways to increase the quality and comprehensiveness of Yahoo! web search results for eBay.com and to provide Yahoo! search users with more up-to-date listings from the millions of products on the eBay.com marketplace, with the goal to create a better search experience by enabling shoppers to more easily find relevant eBay listings.
Yahoo! web search functionality and Yahoo! site links, including the Yahoo! home page, Yahoo! Mail and My Yahoo!, will be integrated into a co-branded version of the eBay toolbar. The eBay toolbar has been downloaded by more than four million eBay users to date, and lets consumers quickly link to preferred eBay locations while offering enhanced online protection. Yahoo! expects the new co-branded toolbar to make it even easier for consumers to take advantage of both companies’ offerings to quickly access information wherever they are on the web.
Yahoo! and eBay will also explore developing and deploying ‘click-to-call’ advertising technologies on their respective websites in the US, accessible by users of both Yahoo! Messenger with Voice and Skype. ‘Click-to-call’ is a product feature link included inside an advertisement that consumers can use to directly call that advertiser to pursue a transaction.
Meanwhile, Yahoo! has selected PayPal to become the exclusive third-party provider of its online wallet – allowing customers to pay for Yahoo! services from bank accounts, credit cards or balances associated with their PayPal accounts. PayPal, which has 73 million accounts in the US, also will be integrated on the Yahoo! site and will receive prominent positioning when users purchase Yahoo! services across its network. This offering will provide Yahoo! consumers with additional online payment choices and the option to use PayPal across the entire Yahoo! network.
“Our consumers will benefit from the combination of Yahoo! and eBay’s leading technology and services, providing them with one of the best online experiences,” said Terry Semel, chairman and chief executive officer, Yahoo! Inc. “Yahoo! holds a leadership position in all forms of online advertising. 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,” Semel added.
“We are thrilled to be working more closely with Yahoo! and we think this agreement represents a great opportunity to benefit our communities and grow our businesses,” said Meg Whitman, President and CEO, eBay Inc. “Yahoo! offers an engaged online audience, which drives massive traffic through its rich consumer content and premium services. Working together, we can create more exposure for our properties, which in turn makes them more valuable to our users,” she added.
Yahoo! and eBay will begin to roll out the initiatives outlined in the agreement this year. This will include a testing phase that will take place over the next several months, with a plan to achieve full implementation in 2007.