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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