November 2, 2011, 10:48 AM

eBay brings mobile commerce to the morning commute

A giant billboard shows just how mainstream m-commerce has become.

Lead Photo

The City of Chicago yesterday started a month-long construction project on the legendary Lake Shore Drive. That’s just not a smart move, but that’s another story. Anyway. I was taking an alternate route when to my great surprise I spied a giant billboard before me (see picture at right; don’t worry, I was not driving). It read: “Fashion Wherever You Are. eBay.” And there was a huge smartphone with fashion on display.

When eBay Inc. is advertising its Fashion App on Ashland Avenue in Chicago, you know mobile commerce has gone mainstream. There are no instructions on what to do or where to go. It is presumed the savvy consumer will know to go to their app store, search eBay fashion, download the app, and begin shopping anywhere, anytime. People are shopping via mobile, which is why a company like eBay is reaching out to the common man through such a traditional medium as a billboard.

Here are some mobile commerce fun facts from eBay:

  • In Q3 2011, three purchases per second were made using eBay on mobile devices globally.
  • eBay apps have been downloaded more than 50 million times globally.
  • eBay’s RedLaser bar code scanning app has been downloaded more than 14 million times globally.
  • eBay predicts nearly $5 billion in sales through its mobile commerce channel this year.
  • In Q3 2011, 117,000 car parts and accessories were sold globally through eBay’s iPhone apps every week.
  • The busiest time of the week for shopping via eBay’s mobile apps in the U.S. is Sunday between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • In 2010 on what eBay calls “Mobile Sunday,” the Sunday of Thanksgiving Weekend when its m-commerce sales spike, eBay’s mobile site and apps generated nearly $5 million in sales.

Mobile commerce has come into its own. Half of all mobile phones in use today are smartphones, according to The Nielsen Co. And when people buy smartphones, they begin shifting desktop web activity to their powerful new mobile devices. And that’s going to make for a very interesting holiday season in mobile commerce. Get ready.

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