eBay, Facebook and statistics.

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As every avid viewer of Yes Prime Minister remembers: “statistics can be used to prove anything. Even the truth.” And whilst the headline from Hitwise (respected ‘internet numbers’ people) is accurate, Facebook overtakes eBay to become third most visited website,” it only tells half the story.

hitwise pic

Facebook has enjoyed an irresistible rise in the past two years and in July overtook eBay.co.uk, with 2.75% of UK internet visits, to become the third most visited website in the UK. Google is #1 and so far in the lead that it’s (quite literally) off the chart. Microsoft’s mail.live.com‘ domain (Hotmail, MSN etc. to the rest of us) has benefitted from consolidating URLs and remains firmly established in second place, with a just over 3% of net visits.

And what of eBay? As you can see, it’s been on a largely static course for the past 24 months (note the summer dips and the Nov/Dec peaks) and that’s no real cause for concern. As is pointed out, these are the visits for eBay.co.uk and visits from UK users to eBay motors or the eBay.com domain are not included. Would it make a difference if UK visits to all eBay domains were totted up? I reckon.

This is a good news story for eBay and eBay sellers. Internet visits are on the rise. Newcomers (like Facebook) are going to emerge and, in the face of those, it is remarkable to maintain such a strong percentage share of visits. In real terms, it would seem, eBay.co.uk is seeing more traffic than it did two years ago. Critics will remark that June 2008 was eBay.co.uk‘s low water mark in the past two years and, frankly, only time will tell whether that’s a blip or the start of a trend. For the time being, eBay.co.uk remains the British ecommerce toppermost of the poppermost in terms of visits. Not ‘arf.

Dan Wilson is a writer and consultant and the bestselling author of ‘Make Serious Money on eBay UK’.

2 Responses

  1. Yeah you may be right, I can’t see the drop in ebay having anything to do with the fact that i feel as insecure on there now, as when i first looked at ebay, seven years ago, and was scared to give out my card details.

    A lot of what i hear from people outside of the ebay world, is showing ebay as too unsafe a place to shop. They can buy the items cheaper in other places, more often than not off line, and with the ease of taking them back if they go wrong.

    In the last seven year I have never heard that happen before I even heard one lady telling her friend she uses ebay like old people would use catalogues in the past to see if what they wanted existed, then go to the shop to buy it.

    All these things being discussed surprisingly were new products, which ebay see as their future, which has to be a bad sign.

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