Mobile: The Winning Bid

By Nirosha Methananda | 08 Oct 2010

Nearly 25% of Australians are using their mobile devices to shop online, with a third doing it more than once a week, reveal eBay.

It’s hard enough to follow an auction in real life, let alone online. In my experience with online auctions (most namely on handbags from Ebay), I’m always forgetting to logon to check the auction progress, or someone sneaks in at the last minute and swoops my intended items – perhaps I should be using my mobile…

eBay Mobile Applications

Australians purchased more than 220 thousand products via eBay mobile applications in July 2010.

“eBay mobile sales are growing faster in Australia than in any other major market, with an item purchased through an eBay app every 15 seconds,” says Deborah Sharkey, Managing Director, eBay Australia & New Zealand Pty Ltd.

eBay reports that Australians purchased more than 220 thousand products, worth greater than $13 million, via eBay mobile applications in July 2010.

Research done by eBay and pureprofile also revealed:

  • Nearly 25% of Australians use their mobile phone to shop online, with a third doing it more than once a week;
  • 43% of Australians are spending $50 – $250 a month shopping on their mobile phone;
  • That the key motivations to mobile shopping were (in order of popularity): convenience, being able to shop 24/7 and as a cost comparison with retail stores; and
  • Men spend double that of female shoppers, while mobile shopping on eBay.
Sotherby's iPhone App

Sotherby's go mobile, with the launch of apps for iPhone and iPad.

Another more traditional auction house has also moved to mobile – Sotheby’s recently launched a free m-commerce application for iPhone and iPad. The application allows buyers to browse current and upcoming auctions, view items and log-in to their online accounts to place absentee bids –  not only providing a convenient service to their existing audience, but enabling the auction house to increase the reach and saturation of their brand with the wider public.

With these kinds of figures, it is clear that online auction sites present great value for those who are utilising this avenue for e-commerce. In the grand scheme of things Australian retailers should be at least planning to incorporate the mobile channel into their retailing strategies – the opportunities to reach those consumers that have perhaps switched off from the more traditional forms of media are endless.