eBay on Google Assistant now live in Australia

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Australia is a country infatuated by tech, it’s second only to Singapore in terms of mobiles per capita with a penetration of 74% and one in ten dollars spent by Australians on consumer electronics is now being spent online.

Australia is on the verge of a new era with home and work lives increasingly becoming infiltrated with gadgets and gizmos created to make peoples lives easier. That makes it no surprise that Australia is the second territory after the US to get eBay on Google Assistant.

What is eBay on Google Assistant?

Google Assistant is the artificial intelligence that you talk to on your Android smartphone or tablet, in Google Maps when you ask for directions and on the Google Home range of voice assistant products. What you can now do in Australia (or the US) is to wake up Google and ask Google to get eBay. You then stop talking to Google and start talking to eBay – note in the accompanying image the Google Assistant logo change to the eBay logo!

“eBay has a long history of being the first to market with new innovations here in Australia, and our latest collaboration with Google is no exception. eBay built this technology from the ground up and it’s the perfect example of how artificial intelligence is helping to make a truly personalised shopping experience.”
– Tim MacKinnon, managing director of eBay’s Australia and New Zealand markets

I’ve tried this in the UK and it’s a bit hit and miss. It kind of works on a smartphone but appears to default to information derived from eBay.com. On Google Home eBay are a bit more upfront saying “We’d love to help but I’m tied up in the US and Australia right now. Hang tight while I work my way to a device near you“.

What’s the big deal with eBay on Google Assistant?

The world is going to undergo a change with how we shop online over the next 3 to 5 years. With ever more voice assistants, smart TVs and other devices, we will be visiting website less and less and become more product focused. We don’t really care which retailer products come from or even if we order a number of products from multiple retailers in a single transaction (we already do that anyway on marketplaces). In the future we’ll simply interact with a device and make purchases without ever visiting a marketplace or website.

eBay are well aware of this. So are Amazon which is why Amazon launched their Alexa Echo devices to tie consumers in to purchasing from them. eBay however don’t make tech and aren’t a retailer so don’t expect eBay voice assistant devices any time soon, but take a look into the past and you’ll remember eBay are at heart a tech company with a record of success.

Way back eBay launched the first eBay app for the iPhone and it came to Europe back in 2008. eBay’s mobile app wasn’t just a success, it is still today the single most downloaded smartphone app ever. Nothing since has come close, eBay went big on mobile early and they won. That’s why eBay’s integration with Google Assistant is so interesting.

iPhones were great, they set the mark for all other smartphones to follow, but today Android is way more popular with a 78% marketshare compared to a paltry 12% for iOS. Apple may have dominated the smartphone market in the early days but worldwide they’re don’t even come close to Android penetration.

Android is of course Google’s operating system and so (except on heavily bastardised versions like Amazon Fire OS which Echo runs on) comes with Google Assistant. eBay are making a play for the most popular voice assistant out there which is way more popular than Apple’s Siri.

Positioning eBay on Google Assistant give people instant voice (or hand typed) access to eBay anywhere on any Google device without having to log into eBay. I mean why would you want to open the eBay app when you can just speak to eBay through Google on your Google Home device or smartphone or possibly even an Android based TV?

Watch this space, eBay on Google Assistant is going to get big, or at least that’s what eBay are betting on… just not here in the UK and Europe yet until they get the tech working for us.

5 Responses

  1. wow that is absolutely fantastic.
    merely by using some convoluted and difficult way to do something otherwise easy,
    you have multiplied the price of a Samsung 4 times.
    Brand new from Samsung costs $800, through the awesome ebay app you can sell it for $3091
    so this is what the future tastes like.

  2. But I prefer US$ to Hong Kong$ so I’ll check exactly which before investing and then trying to sell!

  3. The app only works in the US and Australia currently as per the post… it’s vaguely accessible from the UK but obviously pricing is totally borked

  4. I am in Australia but I get the “We’d love to help but I’m tied up in the US and Australia right now. Hang tight while I work my way to a device near you“. Message whenver I try to use it. Help !


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