eBay links shopping carts across platforms as it updates apps

Customers can start shopping on one device and finish on another.

Bill Siwicki

Online marketplace eBay Inc. has released updated versions of its iPhone and iPad apps, bringing some desktop site features to mobile commerce and making shopping on multiple devices easier.

New features in the updated apps include the introduction of multiple search views so app users can see search results in table, grid or tile view, and a universal shopping cart that links platforms. The new shopping cart functionality helps U.S. and U.K. shoppers buy items from multiple devices.

“We want to provide seamless shopping experiences across all kinds of devices and platforms. It’s what our most engaged customers want from eBay,” says Kevin Hurst, vice president of mobile products. “With the shopping cart available on desktop, Android, iPhone and iPad, consumers can start shopping on one screen and easily finish on another.”

Other features in the iPhone 3.0 and iPad 2.3 updates include: an improved user interface, in particular, the iPad gets a more customizable home screen; new photo-editing tools for the iPad version of the app; and in the iPhone version drivers license scanning technology to help new customers create eBay accounts more speedily.

The company’s last significant mobile update, in January, introduced the ability to start a listing on a smartphone or tablet and finish it on the web, and vice versa. It has helped increase first-time listings on eBay by 67%, the company says. EBay did not say exactly how much of that growth it attributes to the January app update.

EBay’s apps have been downloaded 162 million times since eBay launched its first app in the third quarter of 2008, the company says. EBay gained approximately 2.8 million new customers in Q1 2013 through mobile devices, helping drive double-digit growth in active mobile users, eBay says.

In March 2013, eBay had 48.8 million desktop-only unique visitors, 22.2 million desktop and mobile visitors, and 20.7 million mobile-only visitors, comScore reports.


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