Ebay: Creating Customers on the Move

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eBay: Creating Customers on the Move

The advent of mobile commerce (m-commerce) has begun to create significant changes in the way consumers make purchasing decisions. The introduction of online shopping first began to draw customers away from brick-and-mortar retailers, changing the location of where they made their purchases. The use of mobile devices has expanded the location of purchase decisions even further, so now consumers can make purchases from almost anywhere, so long as they have a mobile device with them. It also has leveled the playing field for consumers in many cases, as it allows them to comparison shop on prices of products that they might find in stores.

In 2009, the mobile commerce market generated $18.3 billion in total revenue. By 2015 it’s projected to reach over $119 billion. When it comes to m-commerce, eBay has jumped in with both feet. It is estimated to hold about 3.3 percent of m-commerce, compared to online retailer Amazon’s 1.5 percent. It also was estimated to sell $1.5 billion in goods via m-commerce in 2010, compared to $600 million in 2009. eBay launched its first mobile application for the iPhone in July 2008 and has since produced 14 apps, including eBay Selling, StubHub, Deals, and Fashion. eBay’s core iPhone application has been downloaded 14 million times, and its entire stable of apps has seen over 30 million downloads worldwide. Purchases range from clothing and accessories to sporting event and concert tickets, computers and technology gadgets, collectables, and even luxury automobiles. Research indicates that more than half of regular m-commerce purchasers are comfortable spending over $100 on a mobile purchase, and 14 percent are willing to spend over $1,000.

eBay has been quick to embrace the trend toward comparison shopping, as potential buyers compare in-store prices online with those offered by other retailers. In June 2010, eBay purchased RedLaser, a mobile app that uses the cell phone camera to...
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