ebay have been regularly reporting on the success of their mobile-based sales. In 2009 that was $600 million, but in 2010 that lept up to $2bn. These figures are the merchandising turn over, rather than revenues, but however you look at it, the company’s early entry into mobile has paid dividends. Interestingly 1/3rd of these sales came from the UK and Germany – it seems that the British were quick to adopt ebay’s mobile app and website. 30 million versions of the ebay app have been downloaded, half of which are for the iPhone. It was only a few months ago that ebay were predicting $1.6bn revenue for 2010, surpassing these predictions led the VP of ebay Europe said, ‘it’s staggering to think that $2billion worth of sales has been generated through a platform that didn’t exist a couple of years ago, and on a device that didn’t exist three years ago’.
All the signs are there that mCommerce – people buying stuff through their mobile phones – is on the increase. Along with the recent appearance of some good mCommerce websites (M&S and John Lewis), eBay and Amazon have continued their mobile strategy. Ebay’s iphone app saw purchases of $350,000 sports car, a Bentley and a $150k boat. The point here is that where there is trust, mobile users will spend. Amazon are expecting to do $1 billion through mobile this year. Ebay, who made around $600 million last year through mobile now expect it to grow to at least $1.5 bn next year.
That’s interesting. But what is very interesting is that Ebay expect mobile sales to outstrip fixed internet sales within the next few years. Thinking about ebay and the immediacy of bidding on some items, it kind of makes sense.
Product manager, Oliver Cockcroft said “For eBay, mobile commerce is the future, and our plan is to innovate and hit the gas pedal—we don’t see the steep growth trajectory of mobile commerce changing”.