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EBay, Amazon dominate 70 percent of mobile commerce market: Panelist

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March 5, 2010

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Siteminis' Marci Troutman, Steve Madden's Andrew Koven and Netbiscuits' Ran Farmer

EBay and Amazon account for 70 percent of the mobile commerce market, according to a panel at Mobile Marketing Day 2010, cohosted by the DMA, Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily.

EBay first launched its mobile site in 2003 that included an integration with PayPal,  and there have been a series of updates. There was a redesign in 2008 and there will be another redesign this year.

 “The goal of eBay is to increase the number of bids,” said Ran Farmer, managing director of Netbiscuits, Reston, VA. “That is what they are all about.

“They try to see the metrics in terms of seeing more bids,” he said. “The new application, which on some devices is built by eBay, also leveraged by a service that we provided.

“Eighty percent of their mobile traffic is coming through the Web, with the rest coming via apps.”

Netbiscuits is a company that provides a developer platform that allows users to create mobile applications.

Users can create their own mobile site, publish it and then Netbiscuits takes care of detecting what device is trying to view that mobile site.

In regards to eBay, Netbiscuits claims that there is one thing to search for a product and track a product and it is another thing to be a seller and sell a product.

EBay application
The company claims that eBay has 5.4 million unique mobile users per month and generated $500 million in gross sales via a mobile device in 2009.

1.5 million items were bought via the mobile application and site over Christmas 2009 and one item is purchased every two seconds via mobile.

In addition, mobile sales are growing at a double-digit rate month-over-month and it is not just small items that are being bought via a handset, but a $75,000 1966 Chevrolet Corvette and a $19,000 boat were purchased with a single click.

According to Netbiscuits, the success of eBay is based on several key factors. A company should take the time to prepare and design its mobile Web site, leverage the existing web infrastructure, and have workflow that is recognizable and mobile-optimized.

Furthermore, a company should have a frictionless checkout and payment process, multi-channel customer relationship management, such as SMS, email and applications and have continuous innovation.

Apple’s iPhone has the largest percent of mobile traffic for eBay with 29.17 percent, with the iPod touch coming in second with 7.64 percent. BlackBerry’s 8330 device rounded up the third spot with 4.06 percent.

Mobile Commerce
Consumers are searching, shopping and buying products on mobile sites and applications.

Additionally they are persuaded by targeted, permission-based SMS messages to visit sites or stores to receive discounts and mobile coupons.

Marci Troutman

Sitemini's Marci Troutman

“Mobile is doing the exact same thing that ecommerce did,” said Marci Troutman, CEO of Siteminis. “We come to the table with a little different of an approach.”

“We play well together with all of the mediums that are tied together,” she said. “In speaking about how the mobile Web will work in the future, it will work the exact same way – we believe – as it works on the Internet right now.”

Siteminis claims that a new mobile site needs to be functional and a company needs to focus on what a consumer would want to see there.

“You need to make sure you’re using the right software company, so your mobile site looks and works on all platforms,” Ms. Troutman said.

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Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at rimma@mobilemarketer.com.

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