eBay Wants Better Broadband in U.K.

Company says unreliable coverage hinders growth of mobile shopping.

by Auctiva.com staff writer
- Jun 01, 2011

Shoppers in several areas of the U.K. are spending considerably less than the national average on their mobile devices because of unreliable broadband coverage, pushing eBay to ask for better coverage.

According to eBay, in 16 percent of the U.K., consumers are spending at least 20 percent less than the national average on their mobile devices because of unavailable coverage, unreliable service, slow connections and high data costs. These problems turn buyers off to mobile, which could be costing U. K. retailers an estimated 1.3 billion pounds per year, eBay notes.

The company is asking law makers to improve broadband coverage when they consider the fourth generation of mobile networks later this year, adding that access to reliable and affordable mobile broadband service will help online retailers improve their sales and help the economy as a whole.

"High quality and reliable mobile broadband coverage throughout the U.K. has to be our ambition, giving consumers choice over when and how they shop, encouraging spending, thereby benefiting online and High Street retail, and giving a much needed boost to the fragile economic recovery," says Angus McCarey, U.K. retail director for eBay U.K.

eBay adds that mobile shopping is expected to grow four-fold in the U.K. over the next five years, and could reach 4.5 billion pounds. On eBay, mobile is the fastest growing sector. It's expected to surpass $4 billion this year with an estimated 160 million people using their mobile devices to buy on the site, eBay reports.

However, unreliable coverage could hinder growth and reduce sales, eBay adds.

Coverage problems need to be addressed throughout the U.K., eBay notes, adding that while the areas seeing the least mobile spending are those that are less populated, even densely populated areas like London underspend because of unreliable broadband.

"Mobile shopping represents a massive opportunity, not just for retailers, but for the economy as a whole," McCarey says. "But our research shows that consumers and retailers are missing out as the cost and reliability of mobile broadband prevents shoppers from spending."

About the Author

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.

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