Internet users can't seem to get over their collective obsession with eBay, according to two recent reports, which separately measure the popularity of leading online venues.
The auction site ranks No.4 in Nielson Online's list of top 10 Web brands U.K. users can't live without. Nielson studied more than 7,000 sites to name the top 10. Facebook came out on top, accounting for 13 percent of U.K. users' Internet time. MSN/Windows Live and Google followed with 7 percent and 5 percent, respectively. Users spent 4 percent of their online time on eBay.
"It's great to see eBay is synonymous with people's online lifestyles," Carey Maguire of eBay's Irish operations says in reports. "Irish Internet surfers are spending more and more time online, and eBay expects its popularity to grow even more as Irish deal hunters seek out eBay.ie."
In the U.S., eBay's popularity already seems to be growing. Searches for eBay increased by 20 percent in April—the largest increase for any site that month, reports Internet market researcher comScore. Web users conducted 654 million searches for eBay during April.
The search increase and recognition come at a time when eBay is struggling to stay competitive with large retail sites like Amazon. The company reported an 8 percent decrease in revenue during its first quarter for 2009, while the site's gross merchandise volume fell 16 percent.
Amazon, meanwhile, didn't make Nielsen's top 10 list, despite reporting good first quarter numbers. In fact, comScore notes the marketplace saw a 2 percent decrease in searches. Still, a marketing study by Shop.org and Forrester Research analysts identifies Amazon as the online retailer that has been the most effective in getting people to spend their cash online. Analysts credit the marketplace's success to low prices, a wide selection and its discount shipping program.
And despite its global popularity, Facebook saw the largest decrease in searches among Americans—a drop of 28 percent. The popular classifieds site, Craigslist, saw slight improvement in searches with a 4 percent increase.
Overall, Americans conducted 14.8 billion searches in the month of April, an increase of 3 percent over March, with 64 percent of searches conducted on Google sites.
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Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.