On what many predict will be the busiest online shopping weekend of the year, eBay has opened a pop-up shop in London’s Covent Garden to promote itself as a destination for Christmas shopping.
The shop doesn’t have any products on show, but instead uses QR codes and augmented reality to links shoppers to product pages on eBay.
The idea is partly to give inspiration for Christmas gifts, but also to showcase eBay’s broad range of mobile apps.
Ebay expects a third of Christmas purchases to be made through mobile this year, though the percentage is predicted to be even higher than that for fashion and homewares.
We’ve previously reported that the online retailer expects its m-commerce sales to exceed $10bn in 2012, a figure that was revised up from an initial estimate of $8bn.
It's been a great year for innovation in mobile, with brands embracing new technologies to try and find different ways of engaging with consumers.
Location-based services, social tools and augmented reality apps have been among the most prominent trends, and there have also been some interesting developments in mobile payments and m-commerce.
To round-up some of the most impressive examples of mobile innovation from 2012 I asked several brands and agencies for their input.
Pinterest is definitely one of the big digital marketing success stories of the past few years and most brands have finally recognised the site’s potential for driving both traffic and sales.
The reason for Pinterest's impressive referral stats is at least partly attributable to its page design, as the pinboards allow users to to window shop and pick out attractive products that they want to buy.
The affect on users is so dramatic that last week we blogged a number of cases studies which indicate that Pinterest drives more sales than Facebook.
So it’s no coincidence that a number of major brands have used a Pinterest-style design recently when overhauling their websites.
Now we're not saying that Pinterest invented the image-focused layout, but it definitely helped to popularise it as an alternative to a traditional linear timeline of content.
And here are some of the most high profile examples. If you think we’ve missed any then please point them out in the comments...
Pinterest is one of Silicon Valley's hottest startups, and while companies like Facebook struggle to prove that they can monetize social media, many see reason to believe that the image-based social network is poised to deliver on the promise of social commerce.
That social commerce potential seems to have caught the attention of eBay, which yesterday announced "the new eBay."
With 6 billion phones on the planet and 1 billion of them smart phones, mobile is growing faster than ever. Tablets are close behind with 30% of Americans owning tablets or eReaders that are internet enabled. But what are we are marketers and businesses doing about it?
According to today's presentation by MEC's Global Chief Strategy Officer, Melanie Varley, and their Head of Mobile and Emerging Platforms, North America, Andy Wasef, the only way to be creative is to be mobile. Now, more than ever, we need to think of mobile first instead of an add on further into the process of developing a campaign or experience.
UK retail sales directly through social media are forecast to grow to £290m by 2014 from £210m.
The study, commissioned by eBay, also predicts that £3bn of retail sales will be influenced by social media by 2014.
The increase is expected to be driven by retailers targeting consumers with personalised offers and deals on social networks.
Nearly half (46%) of social media users are already using social platforms while thinking about making a purchase, and 40% of users are actively deciding what to buy based on what they have seen on social media platforms, including reviews and recommendations, and this is only set to grow.
Industry observers and analysts have been predicting that mobile commerce would have a bright future for nearly a decade, but it wasn't until recently that those predictions started to look like they might be accurate, if still poorly timed.
The latest source of confirmation that mobile commerce is real: eBay's CEO John Donahoe.
eBay has revealed that 20% of its UK vehicle sales in Q1 were made via smartphone, amounting to nearly 45,000 transactions.
It represents an increase of 120% year-on-year, and shows that the online marketplace is probably on track to hit its target of $8bn in mobile sales in 2012, almost the double the $5bn it achieved last year.
Among the cars sold were a Porsche 911 and a Land Rover Evoque that both went for more than £40,000.
The news comes in the same week that eBay launched its new Motors iPhone app complete with an image recognition (IR) search function, allowing users to search for cars and parts by taking a photo of the back of a vehicle.
Earlier this month eBay overhauled its iPad app to offer users a range of new functions and hi-res images.
The app now has a customisable homepage, back button and new ways to view search results. eBay appears to have taken the liberty of giving itself five stars in the product description, but are the upgrades actually an improvement?
User reviews in the App Store show that opinion is fairly polarised: 362 people give it five stars but 265 give it one star.
Nissan has partnered with Pentagon Interactive to launch an official merchandise and accessories shop on eBay.
Launched today, Nissan is the second car manufacturer to work with the e-commerce provider on an eBay-based marketplace – following the success of BMW Direct.