Mobile technology has certainly changed the nature of trade and commerce in modern times. In particular, though it has led to a dramatic shift in the conduct of online retail. Where just a few years ago, we would be confined to desktops in pursuing our internet shopping needs, these days, consumers can bid and list auctions with just a few clicks on smartphones such as the Blackberry and iPhone.
Not one to be left behind, eBay has played a central role in the development of mobile shopping. In 2009, its worldwide mobile sales amounted to nearly $600 million US dollars. In 2010, this figure was closer to $2 billion. With rapid growth in a number of key markets leading the way, particularly in the United Kingdom, eBay is working hard at securing its position at the forefront of mobile retail.
eBay’s mobile retail experience is primarily offered through applications. In 2010, two of its popular apps were ‘Selling’ and ‘Classifieds’. While the names may not be revolutionary, both simplified considerably the process of listing an item for sale or bidding in an auction. For example, the time it would take to create a new auction was reduced to less than 60 seconds. Since then, eBay has continued to innovate and has regularly released new and more sophisticated apps. Recently, it announced that it is developing the first truly international mobile retail app in partnership with telecommunications giant, Telefonica.
eBay’s successful use of applications has in large part been a result of an equally successful marketing campaign. Its sponsoring of the tagging feature found in the music recognition app Shazam is just one of a number of ways that it has sought to increase the profile of mobile shopping and the number of people engaging in it. With its recent acquisition of specialist mobile marketing provider, ‘Where Inc’, eBay clearly intends for mobile advertising to be an integral part of its future.
Looking forwards, eBay is projected to increase its mobile sales to $4 billion in 2011. With its ever expanding array of applications and mobile advertising strategies, the statement of senior eBay exec, Steve Yankovich, that “the future of shopping for our customers is mobile” could not be more true.
eBay and Mobile Marketing