eBay UK’s stellar performance bolsters group earnings
During last night’s Q1 2011 Investor Earnings conference call John Donahoe once again emphasised that eBay UK is the darling of all country sites. The UK is outperforming it’s rivals including eBay.com, although only the third biggest country site after eBay.com and eBay.de it’s growth is faster.
eBay UK Q1 in numbers
eBay released the following figures to put some colour around their performance:
• Online enterprise continues to thrive on eBay, as over 180,000 SMEs and entrepreneurs take advantage of low start-up costs and access to eBay’s 90 million users across with globe, including over 25,000 joining since the start of the recession in September 2008
• Mobile continues to be eBay’s fastest growing channel, with global eBay mobile sales expected to double to $4bn in 2011, up from $2bn in 2010
• Over 100 high-street retailers use eBay as an additional sales channel to reach the UK’s largest online shopping audience, across categories including fashion, home & garden, and consumer electronics – footwear brand Cloggs is one of the latest to join the UK site.
• Fashion is eBay’s most successful category and the appointment of Miriam Lahage as European General Manager of Fashion is part of its ambitious plans to further boost the category, which already has over 4m unique visitors per month
• Over one million pairs of women’s shoes were sold in Q1, as well over one million dresses and over four million men’s coats and jackets
• A year ago, eBay launched the Fashion Outlet, which now hosts over 30 high-street brands, including Superdry, Ted Baker, House of Fraser, Schuh, Jigsaw, and Office, offering customers the best deals and discounts on new, branded goods up to 70’% off
• The consumer electronics category saw a strong Q1, with nearly 2 million Apple iPod Touches sold, as well as 600,000 home cinema systems and over 1m amplifiers
Mobile commerce is growing fast and the UK is leading the way with eBay a deal with O2′s owners Telefonica, to pre-install eBay’s mobile app on smartphones sold by O2 in the UK, putting the eBay mobile shopping experience into the hands of thousands more shoppers. The pre-installation will be trialled in the UK before it rolls out to other Telefonica markets worldwide.
Clare Gilmartin, eBay European Marketplaces VP said of the results “It’s an exciting time at eBay UK. We believe that the rise of tablet computers will present significant growth opportunities for m-commerce generally. We find people tend to spend longer shopping on eBay via their iPad as compared to their PC, laptop or other mobile device – the ease of navigation makes for a better shopping experience, more time spent shopping and therefore more money spent. Whatever your brand or product, the chances are that people are searching for it on eBay so it makes sense for brands to be where their shoppers are.”
There are good reasons why John Donahoe is so keen to call out the UK performance. Many of the changes to eBay UK were made a year before rolling out on eBay.com. The impact of the changes is only just beginning to be felt on the US site and, if they effect is the same as in the UK, eBay.com’s growth should begin to accelerate.
The next couple of quarters will be very telling for eBay’s overall marketplaces performance. If eBay.com shadows the turnaround and growth of eBay UK then investors may begin to love eBay again.