Mobile and broadband is still too slow and patchy says eBay/YouGov survey

A car is bought on eBay using a mobile every 2 minutes; a tablet is bought via mobile every 41 seconds; a handbag is bought via mobile every 16 seconds; and a pair of ladies shoes is bought via mobile every 6 seconds.

That’s some pretty amazing stats, but the time you’re reading this another pair of ladies shoes just sold on eBay mobile and by the time you get to the bottom of the article a car will have been purchased on eBay by someone on their mobile phone or tablet.

eBay released some interesting stats alongside the launch of version 5 of the eBay app, which is the most popular app ever with over 314 million downloads world wide.

According to an eBay survey, the majority of small businesses are expecting to see mobile sales growth in the next 12 months. This comes despite concerns that connectivity issues and the patchy provision of services like 4G and WIFI may hold their businesses back.

Of the 400 eBay and other online businesses that research partners YouGov spoke to, two thirds expect a mobile sales boost from this year, with a third of businesses saying mobile will be ‘vital’ to business growth in 2016.

Over the next 12 months:

  • 36% anticipate mobile sales growing by up to 10%
  • One in five (21%) expect to see sales increase by up to 30%

However, in a clear warning that more needs to be done for the mobile’s impact on business growth to be fully realised, over a third of SMBs feel held back by insufficient 3G and 4G coverage across the UK.

Communications regulator Ofcom recently published an online map which enables users to check average broadband speed in their area. It revealed Grimsby as having the fastest download speed in the UK (46.8 average Mbps). In contrast, Na h Eileanan an lar in the Outer Hebrides was the slowest, averaging 5.6 Mbps.

Small business owners are also dissatisfied with the state of UK broadband by a margin of nearly two to one, with over half calling on the Government to improve wired and wireless internet access to help SMBs. Almost half say the Government should improve Wifi in public spaces and on public transport to realise the potential of flexible working.

Of course it’s difficult for a small retailer to fully harness the benefits of mobile for their customers. Apps are still relatively expensive to design and market and realistically consumers are already overloaded with apps so why would they want to download yours? This is where marketplace apps like eBay’s really come into their own.

Businesses are now fully realising the benefits of the mobile revolution” said Andy Towers, Head of Mobile at eBay UK. “Mobile optimised sites and apps like eBay’s are helping customers to access technology that was once preserve of just the big retailers, and they are reaping the benefits”.