Online marketplace, eBay has announced (via Seeking Alpha) that it has registered a large increase in users accessing the service from their mobile devices, and in transactions originating from mobile devices. Announcing its Q4-2012 results, the company informed that mobile was bringing new users to eBay and delivering strong growth. It informed that in 2012, mobile attracted over 4.3 million new users to eBay and generated $13 billion in sales. This was over twice its sales volume from the previous year and ahead of its original $10 billion forecast for the year.
The company also informed that its mobile payments platform, PayPal Mobile, generated exceptional growth, ending the year with almost $14 billion in mobile payment volume, more than triple the volume compared to the previous year. Mobile payments accounted for about 10% of PayPal’s total payment volume in 2012. eBay expects eBay Mobile and PayPal Mobile to each generate more than $20 billion in volume, in 2013. eBay also added that it expects to do well in markets like Brazil, China and India, where first time users are more likely to buy products using their mobile devices.
India-Potential for mobile? While mobile devices were mostly perceived as interactive catalogs, eBay’s results prove that consumers are more likely to shop via these devices if they’re given the option of using convenient mobile payment mechanisms. In India, a market where credit card penetration is much lower compared to other developed markets, and payment gateways are still plagued with issues like high failure rates, and regulator imposed mechanisms like second factor authentication, there’s a need to devise a payment platform that makes shopping easier even when done through mobile devices. PayPal is expected to enable domestic transactions in the Indian market, and if the industry is able to overcome these hurdles, and the regulator (RBI) paves way for easier integration of mobile transactions, it might be possible for e-commerce companies to scale their mobile offerings and pull users who’re accessing the internet primarily from their mobile devices.
* Updated: The headline has been updated. The previous headline inadvertently mentioned M (million) instead of B (billion).