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eBay launches enhanced m-web experience for smartphones

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eBay has launched the new version of its mobile site, optimized for smart phones and delivering a rich user experience and new features allowing customers to buy and sell more conveniently via eBay on the go.

Built in partnership with Netbiscuits, the new eBay mobile site gives users access to many features they’ve already used online – allowing buyers to browse categories, save and refine searches, sort results by price, time and location, as well as find similar auctions or other items listed by the same seller.

The smart phone interface improvements of the new eBay mobile site include auto-complete for search requests, expandable swiping galleries for teaser and item pictures, remote content for galleries that don’t require additional download, and a floating menu bar that keeps the most important controls always on the screen while users are scrolling through pages.

“The new mobile site is a major advancement in feature set and user experience for all of our smart phone using customers,” says Han-Shen Yuan, Director Platform Business Solutions and Mobile Engineering for eBay. “At launch the new mobile site will be available only for iPhone users in the US. A version optimized for Android-based smart phones will be launched shortly after. The global rollout to more countries and platforms is scheduled for 2011 which will allow us to provide a compelling mobile eBay experience for all of the 1000+ unique devices that visit eBay each month.”

Netbiscuits exploits the rich and touch-based user interface capabilities of smart phones enabled by Apple, Android, BlackBerry and others and also guarantees optimized delivery to the less expensive but highly popular mass market feature phones as well. Adding to eBay’s successful apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and BlackBerry the mobile portal allows the company to reach far more customers on the go.

“When discussing traffic numbers on a device basis, I think it’s important to note that we’ve actively diverted millions of users from our mobile website to our iPhone, Android and BlackBerry apps”, Han-Shen Yuan explains. “However, despite us proactively diverting traffic, mobile web revenue growth is increasing at the same pace as our mobile app business. Therefore, it is important to have a mobile strategy that includes both mobile sites and apps.”

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