Mobile phones have become a recent revenue killer for major tech companies such as Google (GOOG) and Facebook (FB). However, eBay (EBAY) has capitalized on this new market, bringing in $5 billion in mobile commerce last year and projecting a doubling of revenue from mobile transactions over this year.
eBay has over 100 million downloads of its mobile apps, including Red Laser which just added geofencing that allows retailers to deliver deals to customers when they are close to the store. Soon users will also be able to use their phone’s camera to identify products via image recognition.
Personalization is another element eBay is trying to incorporate into its business model, acquiring Hunch and Svvply to deliver a more personalized shopping experience. Two weeks ago eBay launched Setify that allows users to track, like and collect products, all in an effort to help target recommendations.
PayPal is also capitalizing on the mobile phone market growth with president David Marcus insisting that any new products being designed must always start with “mobile first” in mind. This has translated into a new cleaner platform for PayPal’s iPhone app and increased investment in a future location-based payment feature.
Best Buy’s (BBY) Geek Squad has expanded to eBay, who will now offer around-the-clock Geek Squad support for three and six month packages. This support will be offered to customers regardless if they purchased electronics on eBay’s online marketplace with eBay splitting the fees with Geek Squad.
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While eBay has great financial metrics, what makes them so attractive right now is their innovation. Unlike many other tech companies, eBay has successfully (and profitably) adapted to the expanding mobile phone market. They are continuing to innovate and are not just trying to adapt existing services, but build new products with mobile devices in mind.
With 91.4 million Smartphones in the U.S alone, this strategy seems to be a smart one. Meanwhile, by offering Geek Squad to its customers eBay has shown that they’re are on the hunt for new revenue streams, proving further that eBay isn’t simply an auction site anymore.
Written by Nick Sousa