Having a strong suite of enterprise-class e-commerce developer tools is key for eBay's pursuits of these high-growth markets because they can offer large retailers help with building their own storefronts along with mobile and social commerce.
However, the Magento software is more suited for smaller merchants that have outgrown the eBay Marketplace but whose annual sales are usually under $2 million, and rarely larger than $10 million, said Gartner analyst Gene Alvarez in a phone interview.
"eBay's move to buy this company is in line with its strategy to capture more and more of commerce occurring in smaller enterprises, kind of e-commerce for the masses, and driving payments to PayPal," Alvarez said.
"Magento customers are bigger than the typical eBay individual merchant but not big enough to support the costs of more industrial-strength e-commerce solutions," he added.
The Magento platform lets eBay give options to its larger marketplace merchants that are ready to graduate to having their own online stores in their own websites, and thus extend eBay's relationship with them, Alvarez said.
Magento also gives eBay a community of e-commerce developers that can boost participation in eBay's developer program, he said.
A challenge for eBay will be to integrate the technology of Magento and GSI Commerce into its own offerings quickly to benefit existing and potential customers, Alvarez said.