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eBay 2021 Predictions: A Wave of Innovation in Emerging Tech, AI, and e-commerce

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2021.  Read them in this 13th annual series exclusive.

2021 Predictions from eBay Executives Highlight A Wave of Innovation in Emerging Tech, AI, and e-commerce

By Executives from eBay

As 2020 nears its end, 2021 is brimming with new possibilities and a number of eBay executives share their insights to see where things will go next. Executives Tanya Vlahovic, Senthil Padmanabhan, and Lakshimi Duraivenkatesh highlight how the next year will be an opportunity to push further into AI, embrace new technologies, and transform the e-commerce and retail experience.

Tanya Vlahovic,  Head of Developer Ecosystem, Lead Architect  

Tanya Vlahovic

Innovation Predictions 
"When technology is used wisely, it certainly could create an impact. Companies with a flexible and adaptable platform manage to use their services for a good cause and respond to crisis. The focus next year will be to continue finding ways to interact with customers more efficiently, more frequently, and more safely, which is now an imperative. Focusing on innovations that will help in social distancing like QR services for waiting in lines, or to enable life exams, or to optimize delivery services to comply with local lockdowns." 
Emerging Technologies/AI 
"The transformation of the way we interact with the digital world will continue in 2021. As most of the events are virtual, and many of the physical activities are limited, companies will emphasize combining emerging technologies to create immersive experiences. AI is becoming the driving force in technology. It will impact many aspects of work and personal life. For the democratization of AI and its expanded use will continue next year while emphasizing putting ethical guiderails around the use of AI. This is the digital age, but it is also the age of digital ethics." 

Senthil Padmanabhan, Vice President, Technical Fellow at eBay 

Senthil Padmanbahm 

Technology Integration/Small Businesses  

"Small businesses have been largely affected by the pandemic, but it has given them the opportunity to come online to continue business. While some businesses are using online tools for the first time, they are taking it very seriously and creating that same unique experience online as they have offline. 

So this is my prediction for 2021 and beyond: organizations that create the technology and platforms to easily and seamlessly enable small businesses to have additional presence will be the change agents to build an equal opportunity world that we all envision. I believe that our small businesses are just getting started. With the new focus on having a strong and comfortable retail presence, the missing piece between them and the big businesses are finally getting addressed." 

Lakshimi Duraivenkatesh, Vice President, Buyer Experience Engineering 

Lakshimi Duraivenkatesh 

Small Businesses/Restaurant Industry/e-Commerce 

"I believe small businesses will not only remain resilient, but some will grow in ways that we've never seen before. For example, the restaurant industry has already seen a surge in home delivery and takeout services but this will also allow the opportunity for the cottage food industry to rise and take advantage of this in 2021 and beyond. 

We also see a huge shift to online commerce. There will be a lot of innovation behind shipping cost times as well as the rise of autonomous vehicle delivery for smaller goods."


Published Friday, December 11, 2020 7:30 AM by David Marshall
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