November 11th, 2011

eBay’s ‘Mobile Mani­festo’ could boost UK eco­nomy by £4.5 bn

eBayeBay has sub­mit­ted a Mobile Mani­festo to the UK Gov­ern­ment set­ting out what industry and poli­cy­makers must do to sup­port the UK’s grow­ing mobile driven economy.

eBay’s research revealed that mobile shop­ping could deliver a £4.5bn boost to Britain’s eco­nomy by 2016.

The Mobile Mani­festo includes seven crit­ical areas of focus that will boost the UK’s broader eco­nomic recovery:

  1. Faster mobile broad­band, bet­ter coverage
  2. Sup­port­ing cross-​border trade
  3. Optim­ising for mobile
  4. Mobile and local (mobile tech­no­logy enabling local services)
  5. Mobile pay­ments
  6. An open mobile inter­net (net neutrality)
  7. Skilling up for next gen­er­a­tion mobile

As a pri­or­ity, the mani­festo urges Ofcom to accel­er­ate the auc­tion of the 4G spec­trum to improve speed and cov­er­age, and enable the rol­lout of next-​generation broad­band in 2013.

New research, com­mis­sioned by eBay and car­ried out by retail research spe­cial­ist Ver­dict, showed that con­sumers are being held back from spend­ing owing to frus­tra­tions with the speed at which they can com­plete every­day func­tions like brows­ing and shop­ping on their smartphones.

45% of the 2,000 con­sumers ques­tioned are dis­ap­poin­ted with the speed at which they can down­load data on their mobile phone, and 73% say they would spend more on their mobiles if retail­ers’ sites were optimised.

68% say they have con­cerns about giv­ing per­sonal details over a mobile con­nec­tion — and most say net­work pro­viders are respons­ible for address­ing their con­cerns in this area.

The cost of down­load­ing data is another issue, espe­cially roam­ing charges and cross-​border trade.

Three’s cus­tom­ers make the most of their smart­phones, but a fear of high data roam­ing charges force them to limit their inter­net use the moment they leave the UK.” David Dyson, Three UK’s Chief Exec­ut­ive Officer

The Mobile Mani­festo was drawn up by eBay fol­low­ing con­sulta­tion with retail­ers as well as net­work oper­at­ors and con­sumer groups to dis­cuss the future of mobile shopping.

Our cus­tom­ers are increas­ingly using their mobiles to make shop­ping more con­veni­ent and easy while they are on the go and it’s up to us to make sure that we make the cus­tomer jour­ney as simple, fast and enga­ging as pos­sible.” Rosie Srao, Mobile Busi­ness Devel­op­ment Man­ager at Marks & Spencer

As smart­phone and tab­let own­er­ship increases there will be even greater poten­tial rewards for com­pan­ies invest­ing in mobile, and this is par­tic­u­larly true for retail­ers. At eBay in the UK we now see around 10% of sales by value trans­acted on mobile devices, but we need the right infra­struc­ture in the UK to match this demand,” said Miriam Lahage, VP of global fash­ion at eBay.

For retail­ers, it’s about put­ting mobile at the heart of your strategy and cre­at­ing a site that is optim­ised for every device.”

The UK’s digital com­mu­nic­a­tions industry — includ­ing mobile oper­a­tions from retail­ers, net­work pro­viders and developers — is itself worth over £50 bil­lion to the UK eco­nomy accord­ing to a recent report pre­pared for the Depart­ment for Cul­ture, Media and Sport, and dir­ectly employs five hun­dred and thirty one thou­sand UK workers.

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