eBay's Mobile Apps Ring in Historic Holiday Sales

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Much of eBay’s attention and resources the past year have gone into its mobile commerce development, and on Wednesday the world’s largest online marketplace publicly released the fruits of those labors. In doing so, eBay also provided a helpful overview of the mobile shopping trends that took place throughout 2010.

The company reports that its overall mobile sales during the holiday season increased 166 percent from last year to $230 million, with U.S. sales from eBay’s mobile apps up 134 percent to nearly $100 million. Those numbers coincide with eBay’s mobile push for the holidays, which yielded more than 13 million downloads of its primary iPhone app and approximately 30 million downloads for its entire suite of mobile applications.

The top five categories sold in the U.S. through eBay’s mobile apps during 2010 were cars and trucks with 16.5 percent of the share; clothing and accessories (12.2 percent); auto parts (8.3 percent), sporting goods (7.8 percent) and cell phones (6.5 percent). The top categories in eBay’s five other most active mobile markets were as follows: Canada (clothing and accessories; jewelry; cars and trucks); France (clothing and accessories; jewelry; computers); Germany (auto parts; cars and trucks; clothing and accessories); Australia (cars and trucks; home improvement; clothing and accessories), and the United Kingdom (cars and trucks; clothing and accessories; auto parts).

Other trends in 2010 mobile shopping behavior included peaks in U.S. consumer electronics sales following the April release of the iPad and the June release of the iPhone 4; in U.S. videogame sales during the week ending on Valentine’s Day, as World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy hosted special online gaming events; and in sports memorabilia sales in Canada during the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, B.C.; in Germany during the FIFA World Cup held in South Africa, and in France during that country’s Tour de France cycling event.

Going back to the 2010 holidays, December 12 was the busiest day for U.S. mobile sales, with the iPhone being the leading platform used by shoppers and the most purchases taking place in California, Pennsylvania, Florida, Indiana and Ohio.

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