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EBay lists holiday bargains in new Deals app for iPhone

Online marketplace eBay has launched the Deals application, providing iPhone and iPod touch owners with a constant stream of the best deals across hundreds of millions of listings.

Available as a free download in the App Store, the Deals application features intuitive navigation, customizable search features and PayPal integration enabling mobile check-out. EBay launched its first application for iPhone in July 2008 and ever since has continued to ramp up its mobile commerce initiatives.

“We’re really excited about the strategy of building applications that have new ways of engagement for the vast number of listings on eBay,” said Steve Yankovich, vice president of business solutions and mobile at eBay, San Jose, CA. “For us it’s about creating a targeted experience for finding deals and encouraging impulse buys with an app that’s at your thumbtip and is engaging to use.

“This year we’re really becoming the mobile commerce leader, in large part through the original iPhone app we did, and we decided we wanted to engage the customer in a different way than the original app,” he said. “The Deals app is a little bit different, because deals are surfacing right when you open up the app.

“You get a carousel view of the daily deals we have with images and a price so you can act quickly in the mobile environment—this is a way to engage you when you’re out and about on your mobile device, when you can actually be a consumer.”

EBay Inc. connects hundreds of millions of buyers and sellers globally on a daily basis through eBay, which claims to be the world’s largest online marketplace, and PayPal, which enables individuals and businesses to send and receive online payments.

The Deals app is the latest addition to eBay’s mobile offerings—eBay just released an upgraded version of its original eBay iPhone application with new features such as social networking integration.

An enhanced mobile Web interface at also lets consumers browse on any mobile phone equipped with a Web browser.

Its core iPhone application, which is available for free via the App Store in eight languages and 77 countries, has been downloaded more than 5 million times and lets users to browse and buy without leaving the application.

By the end of 2009, eBay’s gross merchandise volume—the value of all goods sold—through eBay’s mobile offerings is expected to surpass $500 million.

Additionally, a special 12 Days of Deals promotion will begin Nov. 27. The first of the 12 Days of Deals will go live with a Samsung Netbook N120-12GBK at a discounted price. Other exclusive Mystery Deals will be featured each day until Dec. 8.

A purchase is made every two seconds via eBay mobile. Users from more than 165 countries visit the eBay mobile Web site and use the iPhone application.

All Deals all the time
The new eBay Deals application for iPhone presents a constantly changing view of deals across, highlighting products in popular categories such as apparel and games.

The Deals application is available in 8 languages.

All listings in the eBay Deals application have less than four hours of listing time remaining, zero bids, no reserve and free or fixed-price shipping calculated into the total cost.

Pre-loaded with eBay’s top-eight mobile search categories, the application lets shoppers quickly access top bargains.

Users can customize their own deal-specific searches and place an icon in the start menu for quick access. To see a new group of deals, users just have to shake their iPhone or iPod Touch.

The Deals application has built-in integration with social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, letting buyers share shopping activity with friends and build consensus around deals.

Upgrading the original
Social networking integration is also built into the upgrade of eBay’s iPhone application, version 1.5. Other enhancements include a Best Offer feature that lets shoppers instantly negotiate prices with sellers through alerts and SMS notifications, and direct phone access to customer service.

The 1.5 iPhone application notifies shoppers through push alerts on the status of their watched items, so they will know if they are being outbid.

PayPal integration lets buyers complete their transactions without leaving the application, and the Buy It Now feature lets buyers purchase items right away at a set price without having to wait for a listing to end.

The eBay mobile applications will be integrated into all of eBay’s holiday campaigns, including its mobile boutiques with shopping assistants helping consumers surf the eBay applications.

The applications are also being promoted on the homepage. If consumers try to access the site via an iPhone or iPod touch, they will be prompted to download one or both of the applications.

“The demographic is pretty broad, because with mobile we want to expand the reach for people who use eBay, and we have 200 million listings, so we want to go after everybody,” Mr. Yankovich said. “The kind of people that have an iPhone is across the spectrum, while the iTouch tends to be in a younger demographic’s hands.

“The beauty about mobile, once people have an eBay app, every time they have a spare moment, they’ll fire up the app to check out what deals have just arrived,” he said. “We’ll be expanding the applications to add value.”