EBay Inc will launch a new online retail platform in five European countries and Russia by the end of March, spurring cross-border transactions and allowing buyers to navigate purchases in their native languages.
The move comes as eBay seeks to increase transactions on its sites by making them more user-friendly and reliable. It has been emphasizing fixed-price goods, rather than auctions, to encourage more buyers.
Online shoppers in Russia, Greece, the Czech Republic, Norway, Denmark and Sweden will now be able to buy online in their native tongues. Those countries were chosen based on demand, eBay said.
The company will also offer PayPal, its online payments system, to these customers to facilitate transactions across borders.
EBay continues to look at ways to provide online consumers with access to the wide range of products on sale on eBay, even if there is no eBay platform in their market, the e-commerce company said in a statement.
Vsevolod Denisov from the Edelman public relations agency told Reuters the Russian-language interface would be launched by mid- or late-March.
Previously, consumers in those six countries had to navigate eBay's branded marketplaces in a different language than their own. EBay currently operates some 20 eBay-branded marketplaces.
Under the new platform, buyers will only be allowed to purchase fixed-price items, as opposed to those sold in an auctions format.
In Russia, competition is limited, due to the poorly developed and highly fragmented market. Ebay will compete with Russia's Internet auction site Molotok.ru which serves around 200,000 people a day, offering more than 5 million items on sale.
(Reporting by Anastasia Teterevleva and Alexandria Sage; writing by Maria Kiselyova and Alexandria Sage; Editing by Louise Heavens, Bernard Orr)