eBay on Thursday announced the launch of its new live, interactive shopping platform, called eBay Live. Much like the traditional cable TV experience of the “Home Shopping Network,” viewers will be able to watch hosts on the platform showcases different items they can instantly purchase. The platform also lets users chat with the hosts and interact with them via reaction buttons.
The platform launches in beta on June 22, with an inaugural series offering a curated selection of rare trading cards from top eBay seller Bleecker Trading. The series will be hosted by trading card enthusiast DJ Skee.
“eBay has always been the original home for trading cards and collectibles,” Dawn Block, eBay VP said in a statement. “As the collector community grows, we’re offering a new live platform that combines an engaging environment with incredible ease, allowing our community to come together over shared interests and merchandise.”
While a live shopping platform seems like a natural fit for a massive online marketplace like eBay, a number of other online platforms have already rolled out their own versions. The Chinese tech giant Alibaba was a pioneer in the space, debuting its Taobao Live platform in 2016. Live commerce quickly became a staple of the Chinese e-commerce experience. In 2020, Taobao Live reportedly generated a whopping $7.5 billion in total transaction value in the first 30 minutes of Alibaba’s Singles’ Day — a sales event akin to Amazon Prime Day.
In 2019, Amazon launched its own livestreamed shopping experience called Amazon Live, while QVC rolled out a new app with shoppable videos. Facebook, meanwhile, first tried out Live Shopping in 2018 and began testing “Live Shopping for creators” last year. Twitter launched a livestreamed shopping platform last year as well. Then earlier this year, YouTube announced plans to roll out shoppable videos as well as a Live Shopping experience.
eBay’s new platform will be accessible on the eBay app and at ebay.com/eBayLive. The company is starting with trading cards as it continues to cultivate markets in certain “focus categories.”
To support the enthusiastic trading card community, eBay earlier this month launched its vault for trading cards, a 31-thousand square foot, 24/7 secured, temperature controlled facility and digital marketplace for collectors. eBay also recently expanded its Authenticity Guarantee service to trading cards, and last year the company debuted Price Guide and Collection and Image Scan to help collectors manage their portfolios.