The growing influence of mobile phone users on eBay was reflected in the company’s third quarter results, with its Marketplaces business showing a ten percent year-on-year increase in its active user base with 800,000 new users coming from mobile. And downloads of eBay’s various mobile apps have now exceeded 100 million globally, the company said.
Overall, eBay’s net income in the quarter rose 15 percent to US$3.4 billion, which was in line with analyst estimates. Net income increased to US$597 million from US$491 million in the same period in 2011.
The role of mobile has become increasingly important to eBay and its PayPal unit, although some analysts have debated whether growing mobile traffic is incremental to eBay or a displacement of its existing users. The company’s statistic that 800,000 new users are coming to the auction site via their mobile phones appears an attempt to address such concerns.
eBay chief executive John Donahoe said over the next year the company would work on its relationship with retailers and develop consumer-focused services that shoppers could use while in a physical store.
The company is deploying technology at point-of-sale terminals that enable consumers to make in-store mobile payments although not via NFC technology. In addition, earlier this year it launched PayPal Here, a service that enables retailers to process payments via a smartphone or tablet by attaching a dongle to the device.