eBay calls for smart support for mobile economy
· Consumers frustrated with mobile internet speeds
eBay.co.uk, the leading online marketplace, has today submitted to Government its Mobile Manifesto which sets out what the industry and policymakers need to do to support the UK’s burgeoning mobile powered economy.
The UK’s digital communications industry – including mobile operations from retailers, network providers and developers - is worth over £50 billion to the UK economy according to a recent report prepared for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and directly employs five hundred and thirty one thousand UK workers.[i] eBay’s Mobile Manifesto includes seven critical areas of focus that will boost the UK’s wider economic recovery through the support of this growing industry. The Manifesto can be viewed at www.ebay-mobilemediacentre.mobi on your mobile phone.
The launch of the Mobile Manifesto comes as new research, commissioned by eBay, reveals that consumers are being held back from spending owing to frustrations with the speed at which they can complete everyday functions like browsing and shopping on their smartphones. Half of the 2,000 consumers questioned (45%) are in fact dissatisfied with the speed at which they can download data on their mobile phone.
With the auction for 4G spectrum suffering delays, eBay is calling for Ofcom to proceed as quickly as possible to enable the rollout of next generation broadband in 2013. According to Verdict research, Ofcom should prioritise improvements to mobile internet coverage on transport routes such as railways and roads as over a third of consumers (36%) already shop on their mobiles whilst travelling – a number which could be boosted to benefit retailers with faster mobile internet and better coverage.
David Dyson, Chief Executive Officer, Three UK, said:
“Three’s customers make the most of their smartphones, but a fear of high data roaming charges force them to limit their internet use the moment they leave the UK. High wholesale charges mean high roaming prices. We stand with eBay in calling for the European Commission to cap wholesale data charges at 3c or less and lead the world in making the mobile internet accessible wherever consumers want to use it.”
In the development of the Mobile Manifesto, eBay brought together retailers, network operators, industry bodies and consumer groups to discuss the future of mobile, and it is clear that retailers need to be ready to harness the potential of the mobile economy.
Three quarters of mobile users (73%) would spend more through their mobiles if retailers had optimised websites. Furthermore, 68% of consumers still have concerns about giving personal details over a mobile connection – something they think mobile network providers are responsible for addressing (68%), in addition to banks and payment providers (63%) and retailers themselves (57%).
Rosie Srao, Mobile Business Development Manager at Marks and Spencer, said:
“Our customers are increasingly using their mobiles to make shopping more convenient and easy while they are on the go and it’s up to us to make sure that we make the customer journey as simple, fast and engaging as possible.”
The Mobile Manifesto also includes recommendations on how to reduce prohibitive data roaming charges. Over half of respondents (53%) have used their mobile internet to browse and find a store location whilst abroad, 49% have compared product prices and a third (36%) have used mobile internet to buy a product. However, retailers are missing out as two thirds of respondents (63%) say they are put off using the internet more overseas because of the cost of downloading data.[ii]
Miriam Lahage, Vice President of Global Fashion at eBay, said:
“The mobile economy is proving resilient as people increasingly see owning and using a mobile phone as an essential expense, despite cutting back in other areas.
“As smartphone and tablet ownership increases there will be even greater potential rewards for companies investing in mobile, and this is particularly true for retailers. At eBay in the UK we now see around 10% of sales by value transacted on mobile devices, but we need the right infrastructure in the UK to match this demand.
“For retailers, it’s about putting mobile at the heart of your strategy and creating a site that is optimised for every device.”
The development of the Mobile Manifesto follows recent research conducted for eBay by retail experts Verdict that shows mobile shopping could deliver a £4.5bn boost to Britain’s economy by 2016, and a further 13bn by 2021.
For more information, visit www.ebay-mobilemediacentre.mobi on your mobile phone and join the debate on Twitter use #mobmanifesto
[i] Taken from ‘Contribution of the digital communications sector to economic growth and productivity in the UK’, a report for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) produced by Frontier Economics
[ii] Based on responses from the 1040 consumers that confirmed they do download data on their mobile phone
About Populus research
· Populus interviewed 2,050 GB adults online between 4th and 6th November, and results have been weighted to be representative of all UK adults.
· Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. For more information go to www.populus.co.uk
About Verdict research
· The consumer polling was conducted with 1,500 consumers between 11th and 16th May 2011.
· Verdict uses a variety of sources for its market forecasts and numbers. Consumer research is used to understand current consumer penetration and habits in the mobile space and this data is modelled and sense checked against retailer data and other industry sources. Forecasting is conducted using Verdict’s rigorous integrated forecasting model that assesses retail’s position in the broader UK economy and the relative performance of individual channels, including mobile. It also takes account of macro-level factors such as demographic change, consumer preferences, evolving technologies and economics. All forecasts and numbers are challenged in an internal analysts’ forum to ensure that they are compatible with expectations of other retail channels and sectors and for retail as a whole.
• Founded in 1999, eBay.co.uk is the UK’s largest online shopping destination, providing a platform for over 17m unique visitors per month to buy and sell new, unique and used items in a fun and easy way.
• eBay has around 40 million live listings on the UK site, with fixed price goods accounting for the majority (61%) of items sold globally.
• Sellers of all sizes, including 180,000 registered businesses and over 100 well-known brands and retailers use eBay.co.uk to reach the UK’s largest online shopping audience.
• The eBay fashion Outlet sells products from over 30 high street brands at up to 70% off the recommended retail price.
• Over 4m shoppers regularly look for Clothing, Shoes and Accessories on eBay.co.uk. Transaction volume on eBay Fashion grew 30% YoY over 2010, outstripping the market.
• eBay.co.uk is owned by eBay Inc, which has expanded to include a range of brands that help consumers find and purchase the goods they want including eBay, PayPal, Shopping.com, RedLaser, Milo and others.
eBay mobile facts
· Over 20 million people have now downloaded the core iPhone eBay app across the globe.
· eBay mobile users are visiting the mobile website 10-15 times a day.
· 300,000 new eBay shoppers made their first eBay purchase through the company’s mobile apps between January and May 2011.
· eBay mobile applications are available in more than 190 countries and eight languages.
· eBay mobile apps have been downloaded over 50 million times globally.
· Mobile shoppers on eBay.co.uk have bought more than 30 million items through iPhone and WAP since July 2008.
· There are up to 380,000 daily visits to eBay.co.uk via mobile apps, and more than 170,000 UK mobile shoppers spend over £30 with the eBay mobile app per week.
· In 2010, global eBay sales via a mobile device more than tripled, generating $2 billion in sales – up from $600m in 2009. This is set to more than double again in 2011 to over $5 billion.
· Globally an item is purchased every second using the eBay app.