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UK to Lose £120M in Holiday Mobile Commerce

eBay warns lack of 4G mobile services will mean lost sales, frustrated consumers.

With mobile shopping on the rise, eBay warns that the U.K. will lose a third of its potential mobile-commerce revenue this holiday season because consumers don’t have access to 4G mobile service.

The U.K. economy could lose about 120 million pounds worth of mobile-commerce revenue from holiday shoppers, eBay estimates. According to eBay’s research, Christmas purchases using mobile devices will reach 373 million pounds this year—but could reach 493 million pounds, if 4G service was more widely available.

Initial 4G services are expected to be rolled out to 10 cities in the U.K. this month. However, eBay notes that the majority of the U.K. population will still not have access to 4G.

“Slow browsing speeds and breaking connections are now significant barriers to mobile commerce”

4G, short for fourth-generation mobile communications standard, enables more network capacity and faster Web page loading, something that is essential for a good mobile shopping experience.

“Slow browsing speeds and breaking connections are now significant barriers to mobile commerce—and this comes at a high price,” says Clare Gilmartin, vice president of eBay Marketplaces, Europe.

eBay’s research finds that 55 percent of holiday shoppers plan to do more mobile Web browsing this year than they did last year. Another 39 percent will use their devices to look for gift ideas, and check prices or product details.

eBay has been prodding the U.K. government to improve its broadband infrastructure for some time, as it has a vested interest in universal access to advanced mobile services. eBay Inc. expects to see $10 billion in mobile transactions in 2012, doubling its 2011 total. eBay.co.uk expects about a third of items in this year’s Christmas campaign to be purchased using a smartphone.

About the author

Crista Souza
Crista Souza is founding editor of TheOnlineSeller.com. A journalism graduate of San Jose State University, she spent 13 years as a business and technology reporter in Silicon Valley. Crista has been writing about B2C and C2C ecommerce since 2008. Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.



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