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EBay, PayPal to report $20B each in 2013 mcommerce, mobile paymentsBy Chantal Tode
EBay and PayPal are reaping the benefits as consumers increasingly turn to their smartphones and tablets for shopping-related activities, with mobile proving to be a key driver of revenue for both companies.
For the year ending Dec. 31, 2012, eBay said its mobile commerce volume totaled $13 billion in 2012, up more than 120 percent from the previous year while mobile payment volume for PayPal totaled $14 billion, up more than 250 percent from the previous year. With fourth quarter results exceeding the company’s expectations, it expects mobile to continue to grow in 2013 and is forecasting mobile commerce and mobile payments volume to each exceed $20 billion for the year.
“Mobile is rewriting the commerce playbook,” said John Donahoe, president and CEO of eBay, San Jose, CA. “At an extraordinary pace, the consumer is embracing mobile as a way to pay.
“We are a leader in this mobile commerce world,” he said. “Our focus is delivering growth, attracting new consumers and enabling retail and brand partners to engage their customers.
“Mobile is quickly becoming the new normal and we are leading this new way to pay and shop.”
Apps attract new customers
Mr. Donahoe pointed to several recent developments in mobile as examples of how the company continues to expand its mobile business. One of these developments is a new program in Jamba Juice outlets enabling customers to order ahead via the PayPal app.
Additionally, the eBay Now mobile app was expanded into New York City in the fourth quarter. The app was introduced last summer in San Francisco, enabling users to get same-day delivery for orders from local stores such as Target, Best Buy and Macy’s.
Overall, eBay reported that revenue for the fourth quarter totaled $4 billion, up 18 percent. For the full year, revenue increased 21 percent for a total of $14.1 billion.
The jump in mcommerce volume was driven primarily by increased adoption of eBay’s mobile apps and increased engagement from product innovation, according to the company. Its stables of mobile apps attracted more than 4 million new customers in 2012.
Seamless mobile buying
The strong fourth quarter results reflect the focus that eBay put on mobile over the past couple of years as well as the growth mobile adoption.
The 2012 holiday shopping season marked a significant shift in shopping behavior with many retailers reporting seeing significant jump in the number of customers using mobile devices in store as well as while on the go or at home to research and purchase items, eBay among them.
To take advantage of the growing opportunity in mobile, eBay has consistently innovated in the area of mobile apps to create a seamless buying and selling experience that has helped reinvigorate its core online auction business and attracted younger consumers.
EBay recently enhanced its mobile applications to streamline the user experience, as well as improve the checkout process.
Other examples of how eBay has been innovating in mobile commerce include roll outs of hundreds of mobile-exclusive deals during Thanksgiving weekend.
EBay is also partnering with retailers to provide multichannel commerce solutions, including mobile. For example, over the holidays FAO Schwarz teamed up with eBay to launch the FAO Schwarz Gift Finder mobile application to let consumers search through thousands of toys.
In addition to driving mobile commerce sales, eBay is also driving mobile payment volume via its PayPal division.
Last year, it introduced PayPal Here for small businesses, which includes a free app and thumb-sized card reader that turns any iPhone into a mobile solution capable of processing payments made via debit or credit cards, check and PayPal.
The PayPal app was also updated to include loyalty, gift card and coupon integrations for the first time.
“Mobile is bringing new users to eBay and driving strong growth,” Mr. Donahoe said.
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