In the recent results from eBay Inc., executives were very clear that mobile shoppers and those accessing the marketplace through tablets such as iPads and smartphones were very much the fuel that was driving eBay’s encouraging growth. In particular, eBay CEO John Donohoe mentioned an important new cohort of buyers. These are the 4.3 million buyers who signed up on mobile in 2012 and have become active buyers.
Donohoe clearly has ambitions to make the registering and buying experience easier. He suggested that soon registering on eBay would soon be as easy as sending in a snap of your credit card photo of your drivers license. “Mobile continues to rewrite the commerce playbook, and we continue to be a mobile commerce and payments leader,” said Donahoe. “In 2013, we expect each to exceed $20bn.”
So that’s all well and good. The more buyers the merrier and it seems like mobile is going to be a critical driver there in the next few years. But is eBay doing enough for sellers to understand what sort of impact mobile shoppers have on their businesses? I don’t think so.
Here are two things I think eBay could do to help sellers love mobile more:
Mobile numbers: Sellers don’t have a handle on where their purchases come from. Whether they be on an iPhone or a wheezing ancient PC is a mystery. Provide the numbers eBay so sellers can make the right decisions and perhaps be amazed by how many of their sales come from an iPad.
Stop taxing great listings: In 2013 it’s ludicrous that eBay discourages sellers from creating the best possible listings for mobile devices by charging for more than one picture. Mobile buyers shop visually, so help sellers help them.
You probably have more and better ideas than those, so please do share them!