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EBay aims for gold with updated mobile app

The app celebrates the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London and lets consumers bid for merchandises such as shoes worn by their favorite track star or a poster of the Team USA swimming team. EBay has consistently been paving the way in the mobile space and an initiative such as this is a great way for the company to stay up-to-date and engage users during big events such as the Olympics.

“Like many big events, and the Olympics is a big one, not all of us have the privilege of being there and so TV is how most of experience such events and for eBay this is a unique opportunity to combine watching an event and discovering our amazing and vast inventory related to nearly anything you can watch on TV,” said Steve Yankovich, vice president of mobile at eBay, San Jose.

“We bring it to the user in a compelling and relaxing way in our iPad app Watch with eBay and those iPad owners already have them out while watching,” he said. “Nielson did a large study and found that 86 percent of TV viewers with smartphones and tablets were engaged with them while watching TV so this is natural extension to what consumers are already doing.

“And, sports is a popular category for Watch with eBay – in fact the U.S Olympic Trials were the second most popular programming for our users. Now eBay is turning the summer games on TV into a serendipitous shopping discovery and browse.”

Mobile goals
In time for the Olympics, the mobile app has been updated with a special summer games section on the home screen that lets consumers access the merchandise available.

The Watch With eBay app helps consumers find and buy items related to what users are currently watching on TV.

Through the app, consumers can also access content related to their favorite television shows in real time with the ability to curate content by category.

Updating the app to coincide with the Olympics is a smart move on eBay’s part.

More users are using their mobile devices while watching their favorite TV programs.

Therefore, this initiative is crucial to driving new and existing customer engagement.

“Mobile is revolutionizing how people shop and pay and is quickly becoming the digital hub of consumers’ lives,” Mr. Yankovich said.

“Our focus is on enabling commerce and giving consumers what they want, when and how they want it,” he said. “We offer mobile apps that are an easy, fun way to shop smarter, saving time and money on the items consumers want.

“Mobile continues to be a game changer.”

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York