Is Mobile shopping coming of age?

By Jane Bell January 5, 2012 - 3:30 pm

Jane Bell is one of the top eBay Education Specialists provides consultancy to a host of eBay businesses. Today she looks at mobile commerce in the UK:

I’ve just been reading The Guardian article, Mobile Shoppers Snap Up Bargains, reporting record numbers of sales using barcode scanners to compare prices on the move and getting it delivered.

eBay opened a shop in London for five days at the beginning of December to enable shoppers to do just that. Although seemingly a gimmick for promotional purposes, the serious side is a new breed of High Street online stores taking shopping into the twenty first Century and perhaps seeing the demise of Catalogue High Street stores. Saving some of the pain of shopping by not having to transport any item you’ve purchased can only be a good thing especially on larger items. A shop to inspect the item, barcode to scan it, buy it online on your smartphone and get it delivered, job done.

Mobile technology and shopping is the way forward and eBay have embraced the technology to their advantage. Reporting a sale made on a mobile device every second during peak Christmas period and mobile sales accounting for 10% of total sales. eBay have predicted smartphone app sales would rise 150% globally on 2010 by this New Years Eve. So, as far as the promo shop in London I would think will be rolled out to other cities in the future and open for longer. Sounds like my kind of shopping.

Have you purchased with your smartphone yet? What did you buy? Was it an item search while standing in a shop so you could examine the item first or while travelling?

Sellers, is your website mobile friendly?

  • 10 years ago

    One thing I do is to put brief descriptions onto listing photos so that people could buy just from the photo

  • Jimbo
    10 years ago

    I have noticed that some DVD’s now have the little square code thingy which you can scan and it takes you to a URL to watch a trailer. Interaction with customers through mobile devices has giant potential.

  • I still find any mobile browsing quite a cumbersome experience, so the thought of checking online prices while in a packed shop near Christmas still sends shivers down my spine

  • 10 years ago


    This is exactly why ensuring that you enter the GTIN on your eBay listings is completed, so that positive matches can be made (along with helping them appear in the Google shopping search results).

    “Sellers, is your website mobile friendly?”

    Ironically, I normally flip back to the full version of a site when on the mobile. eBay is the best example of this as I find their mobile version too restrictive.


  • St Georges Dragon
    10 years ago

    one of the big advantages of internet shopping for us is that we dont need premises that need so much additional adfmin and servicing such large windows public toilets, extra security, insurance, heating, staff etc etc, having premises open to the public sort of defeats the object

    • 10 years ago

      Argos thought differently once… I think it’s a best of both worlds. I suppose it could enable some net only companies to take the opportunity at Christmas (like eBay did) or other seasonal times according to their product of those empty shops on the High Street on a ‘Flash rental’ basis. Bring more footfall to the otherwise emptier High street while getting more sales for them selves.

      The expense of a High Street shop for a couple of weeks at peak season could then be offset by the extra sales and website promotion that should go with it, no?

  • 10 years ago

    I haven’t ever purchaswed a product using my smartphone just because I don’t completely trust how secure the connection. I have however been in a shop when looking for an item, finding it, but then checking for cheaper prices on my smartphone. I have then found a better price in another shop in town and gone there to buy the product.

    Mobile shopping is bound to increase further with the expected release of newer and more up to date tablet devices, such as the iPad 3 and Samsung tabs all expected this year. As well as this, a huge number of stores offer special online prices that can sometimes be significantly cheaper than in-store prices, which will increase the popularity of online/mobile shopping.

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