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EBay expects $5B in mobile sales in 2011

According to the company clothing, shoes, accessories, sporting goods, computers, jewelry and watches are the top shopped categories.

“Over the last 12-18 months we at eBay have changed our view on ecommerce,” said John Donahoe, CEO of eBay, San Francisco.

“We’re now seeing a profound change in how consumers are behaving, and we’re going to see more changes in the next three years than we’re seen in the previous 20 in terms of shopping and payments,” he said.

“Mobile devices are blurring the lines between online and offline at a rate no one would have predicted.”

Earlier this year, eBay predicted its mobile sales to reach $4 billion.

According to the company, downloads for its mobile applications have surpassed 50 million globally.

In the past months eBay has been strengthening its position in the mobile commerce space.

Earlier last month the company announced that it will be driving mobile commerce innovation as it migrates to an open ecommerce ecosystem that will enable developers to create new services and apps that enhance online and mobile shopping.

The X.commerce open commerce ecosystem lets consumers use their PayPal login information to pay on retailers’ sites. The moves point to eBay’s desire to play a bigger role in all types of commerce, including mobile commerce (see story).

Additionally, the company recently launched an ad campaign that showcases the immediacy of mobile shopping.

The “When it’s on your mind, it’s on eBay” advertising campaign targets on-demand consumers who prefer to shop anywhere and anytime via their mobile device.

According to the company, the campaign aims to prime the market for what will be its largest mobile shopping season (see story).

“We are seeing profound change in how consumers are behaving and will behave. We believe we are at an inflection point,” Mr. Donahoe said. “Our perspective on mobile is that it’s not incremental, it is another screen in the shopping experience.

“It’s a consumer that is coming back more frequently and shopping more because now it can be done at any time of the day. We know it is driving consumer engagement and customer value,” he said.

Mcommerce enhancements
In addition to the expected $5 billion in mobile gross merchandise, the volume of payments made via PayPal from mobile devices will total more than $3.5 billion in 2011, with the company expecting a significant jump in mobile payments during the upcoming holiday shopping season.

PayPal’s mobile payments volume predictions for 2011 have grown throughout the year, starting at $2 billion in the beginning of the year and jumping to $3 billion a few months ago.

“The world of payments is hardcore risk management and extension of credit, and that’s a world operators don’t want to get into,” Mr. Donahoe said. “That’s PayPal’s world.”

Final Take
Rimma Kats is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York