Earlier today in the coverage about Amazon's new PayPhrase system, I noted that J&R had added CBA. I received a tip just now that buy.com seems to have soft-launched CBA as well.
Back in April, I noted that it looked like CBA was making some progress with SMBs, but not larger retailers. Buy.com and J&R are significant because they are definitely larger internet retailer wins.
In fact, according to Internet Retailer magazine: (2008 results)
- Buy.com - #33 retailer with $660m in sales
- J&R - #103 with $151m in sales
These are their largest wins to date and I'm starting to feel that I was wrong that CBA wouldn't get a lot of traction with top retailers due to competitive concerns. The jury is still out, but this is definitely an material development.
I think what's most interesting is the Buy.com implementation - it speaks volumes about what Buy was thinking.
The buy.com CBA implementation
First on every buy.com item page, CBA has 'parity' with the Buy.com add-to-cart button - that's premium placement - you don't see any other options here (PayPal/Google/etc.)
If you click 'add to cart', you are presented with this cart summary where again CBA has premium placement (PayPal with three flavors are the other options), but also noticed that it looks like Buy.com and Google checkout have parted ways. I did find it in one payment flow, but it was hard to get to (required a cart edit/add) and could be more of a bug than a feature.
Buy.com and Amazon relations thawing out?
Not only is the placement interesting because it's a) above PayPal and b) bumped Google all together, but also it seems things maybe thawing between Buy and Amazon. Buy used to be one of Amazon's largest 3P merchants and then left as the two started to compete more head on.
Buy's partnership with CBA is an interesting development and could signal things are getting better between the two companies.
In fact I did some searches for top buy.com items on Amazon and it does look like they are back selling on Amazon:
You can tell a couple of interesting things from this listing:
- Buy.com is listed as a normal, not featured merchant
- They are marked as 'just launched' (no feedback to-date) so they must have just done this
The timing with CBA is interesting - you start to wonder if there was some combined deal at play there.
eBay, Buy, Amazon - a tangled web we weave
The connections and web between Buy.com, eBay and Amazon is now very interesting and in several areas:
- Payments - Buy accepts both PayPal and CBA
- 3P seller - Buy sells on eBay and Amazon (new!). Buy.com is eBay's largest seller.
- Marketplace Competition - Buy.com operates a rapidly growing 3P of it's own
- Internet Retail competitors - Amazon and Buy.com are direct competitors as they overlap a great deal in BMV and electronics
Amazon CBA just added two wins in the payment battles and things seem to be thawing between Buy.com and Amazon. Google checkout is on the outs. Do you have a theory? Are eBay and Amazon going to look at acquiring Buy.com? Sound off in comments.
SeekingAlpha Disclosure - I am long Amazon and Google. eBay is an investor in ChannelAdvisor. Buy.com is a ChannelAdvisor partner (our software supports their 3P marketplace)