eBay.co.uk, the leading online marketplace, has predicted $8billion in global mobile sales on the site as a new consultation from Ofcom set out proposals to make 4G mobile spectrum available in the UK.
Welcoming Ofcom’s proposals, Angus McCarey, UK Retail Director for eBay, said: “We know that the potential for mobile shopping is huge – but only if the infrastructure is there to make it work smoothly for consumers. This year, we are predicting global sales of $8 billion via mobile on eBay alone.
“According to our research, mobile retail will be worth a massive £19 billion to the UK economy by 2021. A high speed 4G network will make it easier for consumers to shop via their mobile and for retailers to grow mobile sales.”
However, McCarey sounded a note of caution about network coverage and reliability. Mr McCarey warned: “Network coverage and reliability are massive frustrations for consumers. Our research shows that 16% of Brits are in an ‘m-commerce not-spot’, meaning mobile spending is lagging behind national levels. In the current economic climate, that’s lost revenue that retailers can ill afford . However, Ofcom needs to ensure that the implementation of 4G addresses the quality of mobile coverage, as well as geographic coverage.”
In November 2011, eBay submitted a Mobile Manifesto to Ofcom which set out in seven critical areas to support the mobile economy and further boost the UK’s wider economic recovery. At the forefront of these recommendations was faster mobile broadband and better coverage in the UK.
The news comes as eBay today announces that it is projecting 2012 global mobile sales on the site will surpass $8 billion, with PayPal projecting that its global mobile total payment volume will be $7 billion in 2012. Speaking at CES 2012, eBay Inc. CEO, John Donahoe, said: “Mobile plays a significant role in how eBay Inc. is enabling commerce and using technology to connect consumers and provide new ways for them to shop when, where and how they want”.
eBay’s global mobile sales reached $5 billion in 2011, more than doubling 2010 global mobile sales of nearly $2 billion.