eBay customers to sell almost £1 billion worth of goods via mobile in 2010

According to a blog post by Elizabeth Woyke on US Forbes magazine, eBay expects to sell more than £959 million ($1.5 billion) worth of goods via mobile in 2010, and has aggressive plans for mobile.

eBay Mobile vice president Steve Yankovich told Woyke that eBay has plans to release an app for phones running Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 operating system, as well as additional apps for Apple’s iPad – it already has one – , an app for eBay subsidiary Half.com and one focused on car enthusiasts.

The eBay app figures given in the article are huge. According to the article eBay has more than 10 different apps worldwide including apps for BlackBerry, Android, iPhone and iPad and the eBay iPhone app has been downloaded more than 11 million times. However the biggest number is the value of good eBay’s users sell via mobile.

“In 2009, eBay sold ($600 million) of goods (which it calls GMV for Gross Merchandise Volume) by mobile. This year, it expects to more than double that amount to £959 million ($1.5 billion).”

The article also says that Yankovich is also working on brand-new apps. One, for the discount book and DVD store Half.com which will debut in a few weeks. Another, dedicated to eBay-surfing car enthusiasts, is in development. Both apps are likely to be infused with barcode-reading technology that eBay acquired in June through RedLaser. In the Half.com app, the barcode reader (accessed through the phone’s camera) will let users compare prices. In the “motors” app, it could scan a car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) to help users identify compatible car parts on eBay.

Yankovich also admits that eBay were asked by Microsoft to build an app for Windows Phone 7. Surely if eBay thought the platform was going to be useful they would have started a build themselves. In our view this doesn’t bode well for Microsoft, after all, if a business as big as eBay doesn’t see the platform as important then who will?

There will also be more eBay apps for the iPad. The company considers its first iPad app, which debuted in April, a hit because users spend three times more money per session than a typical mobile user. Yankovich says there are several possible reasons, including the app’s more inviting design, with larger, higher-quality images, and the fact that people tend to log onto their iPads at night, when they are likely to be more relaxed and willing to make purchases.

That closeness is the kind of connection Yankovich wants all mobile shoppers to have with eBay. “Ultimately, we want people to experience eBay products in a way they never did before, even in a store,” he says. “That’s the only way we’ll get people who don’t buy things on their phones to try.”

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