eBay CEO says company will handle $5B in mobile sales in 2011


SAN FRANCISCO-eBay CEO John Donahoe said that his company will close more than $5 billion in commerce via mobile phones, and eBay subsidiary PayPal will handle more than $3.5 billion in mobile payments in 2011.  

In addition, Donahoe said that consumers have now downloaded eBay's applications for platforms such as iOS, Android and Windows Phone more than 56 million times.

Speaking at the Open Mobile Summit here, Donahoe said that he believes that there will be more changes to the way consumers shop and pay for items in the next three years than there have been in the past 20 years. "We are seeing profound change in how consumers are behaving and will behave. We believe we are at an inflection point." 

Donahoe said he is asked frequently by the investment community whether purchases made via mobile phones are considered incremental purchases. He said his response is that they aren't thinking about this correctly. "Our perspective on mobile is that it's not incremental, it is another screen in the shopping experience," Donahoe said. "It's a consumer that is coming back more frequently and shopping more because now it can be done at any time of the day. We know it is driving consumer engagement and customer value."

Regarding social commerce, Donahoe said that he thinks it is where mobile commerce was three years ago--at the starting point. "We work a lot with Facebook. But no one knows how consumers will behave... different consumers will respond in different ways."

When asked about his thoughts on the wireless operator's role in mobile commerce and enabling purchases to appear on carrier bills, he noted PayPal's acquisition of mobile payments firm Zong, which enables carrier billing, and said that he believes that digital goods make sense for carriers to have appear on their bills but with physical goods, it's quite a bit more risky. "The world of payments is hardcore risk management and extension of credit, and that's a world operators don't want to get into. That's PayPal's world."

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