The e-commerce giant does a massive amount of business via mobile transactions, but this holiday season it's planning to further promote its offerings with mobile-only deals, exclusive mobile inventory and free spa appointments in partnership with Bliss.
In the first nine months of 2012 alone, more than 1.8 million new users made their first eBay purchases on mobile. And the retailer is now projecting $10 billion in mobile sales in 2012, more than double that of 2011. In discussing second-quarter results earlier this year, eBay President-CEO John Donahoe called that a "staggering surge in mobile shopping and payments on devices that did not exist just a few years ago. Retail is at an inflection point, and we are helping to reshape how people around the world shop and pay."
In a nod to the way technology is disrupting retail and putting shopping at consumers' fingertips, eBay will encourage consumers to "Buy in Bliss" on Black Friday. At eight Bliss locations around the country, eBay will be treating consumers to free manicures, pedicures and foot massages, all while encouraging them to shop eBay mobile. The retailer will provide tablets and plans to promote the event with public relations and through social-media channels.
"We're giving people an opportunity to shop on their own terms without having to wait in lines and battle the crowds," said Karina Sokolovsky, eBay's public relations senior director. "We want to raise exposure and consideration of our mobile efforts. This presented a great opportunity to take mobile out-of -home and enable people to shop but be on the go and multitask."
Ms. Sokolovsky declined to comment on the marketer's holiday budget.
Bliss, which operates a storefront on eBay, said Black Friday is typically a high-traffic, high-sales volume day for its spas. "Our customers come to Bliss to get away from the holiday stress, improve their overall well-being and indulge in their personal beauty regimen," said Mike Indursky, president of Bliss. Customers seeking to take advantage of eBay's offer will be required to make appointments.
EBay also plans to heavily promote its mobile deals, beginning at exactly 5:23 p.m. Thanksgiving Day -- the time its research shows most families are finishing their turkey dinners. More than 60% of the people surveyed by eBay said holiday sales should start after dinner, while 35% worry about missing out on deals Thanksgiving Day.
Mobile-only deals will feature products like the Samsung Galaxy Tab and brands such as Kenneth Cole, refreshing through Cyber Monday, Nov. 26. Ms. Sokolovsky said the focus will be on fashion, electronics and toys, given those were among the most popular categories last holiday season. This year eBay is building out its selection of toys, in partnership with Toys "R" Us. "We're loading up on those categories," she said. "We know that 's what we people want."