Social shopping “behind” mobile, says eBay exec

Social commerce is “three years behind” mobile shopping in terms of value to retailers, according to eBay’s UK retail chief Angus McCarey, who claims that mobile will drive more retail changes in the next three years than anything in the last 20. “In the next three years, there’s going to be more changes in the way people shop and pay for things than there has been in the last 20,” he says, speaking at the Guardian Mobile Business Summit. “There will be four critical trends, and mobile is definitely the most important.”

While McCarey believes that social, local and digital will all influence retail over the coming years, he dismisses social as a game-changer on its own. “We don’t yet see social driving a huge volume of transactions,” he says. “Social shopping is still in that early stage and it’s probably three years behind mobile.”

In the last two years, eBay has seen 50m users download its apps, dominated primarily by iOS and Android users. McCarey also says eBay underestimated its global mobile sales figure, pinning revenues at USD4bn. The firm will actually close the year with around USD5bn in sales made via connected devices such as smartphones or tablets. While this still represents only a fraction of eBay’s USD60bn global business, McCarey predicts that a “huge” portion of business will involve mobile.

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