Known as eBay Anything Points, the program gives members the opportunity to take advantage of special offers, and earn points to buy just about anything on eBay. Points are deposited into members' PayPal accounts and can be applied as currency to purchase items in eBay's more than 27,000 categories. Sprint, Hilton,McAfee Security, and Points.com have enrolled as participating partners in the new program. Don Albert, senior director of strategic partnerships for eBay, said many more brands are currently in talks to participate in the program as well. A brand participant, basically, can have its loyalty program currency translated into currency eBay members can then spend.
"We launched this program for two reasons," Albert said. "One, we're always looking for ways to add value and new opportunities for our users. Two, we've been talking to brand marketers who wanted to figure out ways to patch into the eBay consumer base in ways that would resonate."
Albert believes the brand marketers most naturally suited are ones with existing short term and long term loyalty programs, such as airline and travel brands. However he says the next wave of brands signing up could be from the financial services category among others.
"As part of developing the program, we want to reach out to corporate marketers and invite them to utilize our eBay Anything Points program as a way to reach more potential customers, increase sales, and build customer loyalty," said Albert. "We also want to grow the member base of the program, and allow our users to earn points through many different participating partners."
Albert also highlighted that Anything Points are essentially a promotional currency, giving corporate marketers the flexibility to reward their customers with points that can be spent on practically any item on eBay.