eBay Mobile Bidding a Hit with Consumers

Back in 2010 Steve Yankovich, VP of eBay Mobile, stated in an interview that “mobile changes the game” and, with consumers adopting mobile strategies left, right and centre, he was on the money. Its no surprise then that eBay has become one of the strongest players in mobile commerce

In August 2011 alone, eBay UK sold an item via eBay’s mobile platforms on average every second, selling over 2 million items via mobile devices. These figures reflect Yankovich’s statement in the same interview that eBay is ‘allowing people to be consumers when they want to be consumers’, whether that be sat in a restaurant, waiting for a friend or commuting.

When we met with Steve at last year’s Open Mobile Summit, he highlighted his core strategy and gave us some interesting insights:

1. Mobile is it’s Own Platform
Early on eBay made a conscious decision to address core user functionalities that work seamlessly alongside a device’s native functions across its mobile solutions, not replicate the desktop web experience.

This has allowed them to almost ‘distill’ the eBay experience; providing primary functionality that users want, and will use, on the go.

2.   Every Second Counts
Expanding on the above, instead of focusing efforts on design, additional functionality and replicating web experiences, eBay ruthlessly prioritise speed of delivery on the key functions of buying and selling an item.

This has provided eBay’s differentiating factor for mobile: providing a quick, convenient mobile experience focused on core features.

3. Convergence
eBay recognised that in order to increase revenue beyond traditional avenues, they would need to think more outside the ‘delivery box’ (!).

Acquisitions (such as RedLaser in 2010) allow eBay to ‘store and work in’ additional functionalities when consumer markets are ready for them without losing pole position in the mCommerce race.

The above highlights three of the many reasons why eBay’s mCommerce strategy has become so successful. By adopting mobile, thinking through your customer’s wants and needs early on and planning for future requirements eBay transitioned their online audience to a multi platform model, therefore increasing revenue and safeguarding the business they already had.

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