Wired Covers New Breed of Shoppers Buying Vehicles with eBay’s Mobile Apps
By: eBay Inc. Staff
Sales are especially brisk this holiday season, and a dedicated mobile Motors app is coming.
Taking note of the increasing number of buyers who are purchasing vehicles on-the-go through eBay Mobile applications and eBay Motors, Wired magazine has profiled the new breed of shoppers. In a story titled “ Buying Cars, Trucks and $178,000 RVs with the Swipe of a Finger ,” the magazine featured Kenneth Hamilton, who used eBay Mobile to enter a winning bid of $178,100 for a 2007 Tiffin Zephyr recreational vehicle while watching a football game in a restaurant with his 13-year old son.
“We were just sitting in there enjoying our day, and I continued to watch the auction as time wound down,” Hamilton told Wired. “Perhaps the most surprising thing about this is just how common such purchases are,” the story noted.
Indeed, the automotive category led all mobile shopping on eBay between Nov. 22 and Dec. 5. In that time period, mobile purchases of vehicles and parts through eBay Motors brought in $7.9 million in the U.S. alone, an increase of 136 percent over the comparable time period last year. Mobile vehicle and parts shoppers bought nearly $400,000 worth of merchandise on Thanksgiving Day alone.
“The reason we are seeing so many mobile automotive purchases on eBay this holiday season is because there has been a shift in consumer behavior,” said Steve Yankovich, Vice President of Mobile at eBay. “Our mobile app allows consumers to act immediately when a need arises, or as soon as inspiration strikes. When you’re with your vehicle, looking for a matching part or an accessory, or searching for a new car altogether, you probably won’t be at your computer but you will have your smartphone with you. For example, if you’re driving your car and you realize your muffler needs to be fixed, you can search for a replacement as soon as you park, right from our mobile app.”
At November’s 2010 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show — a top automotive industry trade show — representatives from eBay Motors showed off an upcoming, dedicated eBay Motors iPhone application that has already drawn notices for its innovative features. “Once a vehicle is selected, the app gives access to all of the specs and details available on eBay's full site, as well as access to vehicle history reports and photo galleries,” CNet reported. “At the touch of a button, users can share the vehicle with friends and social networks or send the seller a question.”
The mobile eBay Motors application will be available in the first quarter of 2011, and joins a growing array of innovative mobile applications from eBay available on numerous platforms. By the end of 2010, eBay expects to sell $1.5 billion in goods through its mobile applications.
NOTE: On Jan. 5, 2011, eBay Inc. reported that sales volume across its mobile applications reached $2 billion in 2010.