Ecommerce 2013: Is eBay doing enough to help sellers maximise mobile?

By Dan Wilson March 5, 2013 - 7:05 am

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!

  • Gary
    9 years ago

    Give sellers a fee discount of 25% for every mobile sale.

    Then I will love mobile!

  • elvis
    9 years ago

    “Mobile numbers: Sellers don’t have a handle on where their purchases come from.”

    It’s not ideal, but one solution for this info can be obtained from downloading files in paypal.

  • 9 years ago

    I still think eBay need to provide a facility for a mobile optimised listing description.

    Whilst a rich media description is great for a desktop it’s horrible on a mobile.

    The other thing I hate is a description full of T’s and C’s – I just want the product info and whilst it might be laid out nicely on a desktop again it looks horrible on mobile – another reason for a mobile optimised description field.

  • Lee Pearce
    9 years ago

    The description of the item needs to be more easily accessible.

    It seems easier to ask seller a question than to check the description on a mobile which might be why we get so many more questions about an item now than we did 6 – 12 months ago.

    Possibly for ebay to advise “best practice” to take advantage of the expolsion in mobile purchases.


  • I agree with everything mentioned above.

    I think if eBay integrated better seller analytics tools, that are easy for sellers to understand, it would help. They have this, in their apps, in beta, right now. (U.S.)

    Downloading your files in Paypal works, however it would be easier to have a tool in their dashboard that could pull all of your sales and sales history for you to analyse.

    Being able to compare your desktop sales to your mobile sales is key!

  • Richard
    9 years ago

    Not being able to use eBay’s shopping basket for multiple purchases/P&P discount, etc. is something that needs to be addressed ASAP.

    I’d also like ebay to issue guide lines on how best to adapt/change/improve my listings to be better and easier for mobile users.

    Looking through PayPal downloads it’s amazing to see how numbers of mobile purchases have increased dramatically in the last 12 months, the percentage increase is amazing.

    • Gemma
      9 years ago

      I spoke to eBay about the shopping basket/discount issue a couple of weeks ago and a fix is imminent – they’ve been working on it since last year. Fingers crossed we’ll see it in the next app update if all goes to plan…

    • Richard
      9 years ago

      It’ll make my day when they do integrate the mobile app and the basket, it’s a major pain in the wossits. Hopefully before the silly season at Xmas.

    • Gary
      9 years ago

      This lack of mobile basket may explain the increase in the number of multiple single purchases from the same buyers.

      Not happy as it increases the number of 20p’s that Paypal get and the number of shipping refunds that have to be done.

      So it seems that mobile adds to costs for sellers which is all the more reason that ebay should discount their fees for mobile purchases to offset these hidden costs of mobile.

    • 9 years ago

      Hi Richard,

      Could you tell me the report to select, not getting the info you are seeing.

    • Richard
      9 years ago

      Just go into PayPal, select History – Download History, stick in the date range, Select “tab delimited – All activity” and tick ” Include Shopping Cart details (comma and tab delimited files only).” and follow the on screen details for how to download once done.

      Also in every lot of transaction details it’ll have “PayPal Express Checkout Payment Received” if it’s a normal eBay payment or for a mobile payment it will say “Mobile Express Checkout Payment Received”

    • 9 years ago

      Cheers Richard, I had the right report, just not reading it correctly.

      I’m stunned by the numbers.

  • Gary
    9 years ago

    Just had a message stating that ebay won’t allow the buyer to pay for multiple purchases using a mobile phone which the buyer says is a pain and they will have to use a PC and they apologise for the delay in payment.

    This is hopeless if this is the way mobile works and surely this has to be an ebay priority.

  • puddleglum
    9 years ago

    is the data and facts blurring here! between smart phone or tablet ,we use an i pad for everything other than the actual listing, though we do have family who never list and access ebay only on a smart phone, the per picture fee is our main complaint, even if they reverted to the old system of a per mb fee would be a help, though we cant understand the logic of allowing most of the world free pictures and then charging the UK for the same service

  • 9 years ago

    It will be wise to look into how Amazon is listing its products on mobile.

    I personally find Amazon checkout process on Mobile is smoother than eBay. Saying that I like new eBay Three Click process.

    Elvis mentioned already above to check paypal. When I did I was surprised to see the result. May be you would !

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