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Making things easier

January 7, 2011

I was interested today to see the results published by eBay.

There was one stat that really blew me away:

“In the UK, an item was purchased on average every two seconds through the eBay buyer app”

Now, that’s a huge figure.

How many people have smartphones – say 11 million at last count.

And of those 11 million, how many have the eBay app?

And there are 43,000 odd purchases every day.

I’d be interested to see how eBay purchases made on traditional computers compare this with.

Now, eBay think that this is proof that consumers want to be able to shop anytime, anyplace, anywhere.

But I’m not so sure that is the whole story.

Mobile shopping on eBay makes a lot of sense.  It takes away the hassle of having to remember to stop what you’re doing, sign in on a computer, and wait while the auction has finished.

It makes the whole process much easier.

In a way that other mobile shopping sites don’t really.

There you have to contend with limited functionality; an inability to browse as easily – it all feels like a less comprehensive way to do something.

Which is an interesting point.  If it’s all about making things easier, helping the consumer, what can online retailers do with apps that would genuinely make them more useful places. 

I can’t really think of any that have achieved this in the retail sector in the same way as things like the tube app, or the UK Train Times app (I’m open to suggestions though!) 

So what could retailers do to catch up?

Something to think about.

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