Mobile Commerce Insider Featured Article

November 12, 2012

eBay Ready To Launch Huge, Carefully Timed, Mobile Shopping Deals

Thanksgiving is a little over a week and a half away, and a newly-released survey expects that most Americans will finish their Thanksgiving dinner by 5:23 p.m. ET on Thursday. With this information handy, eBay has taken it upon itself to create a variety of mobile-exclusive deals that will launch at exactly 5:23 p.m. Eastern on Thanksgiving Day.

With more mobile devices promptly placed in consumer palms than ever, eBay is looking to step up its mobile offerings in both quantity and quality. It looks like the company has quite a slate planned to coax users out of their turkey comas and into a shopping frenzy.

For instance, eBay brought in seven major designers, boasting big-time names like Billy Reid and Fallon to Ruffian and Steven Alan – all to bring in a variety of different limited-edition items for customers. 40 of them, priced at under $100, are actually ready to order today from eBay's Fashion Vault subsection. Said designers will also be bringing in several other items throughout the season for added appeal.

eBay has also put together a weekly updated gift guide that can be shopped from directly, featuring the input of 25 different tastemakers across several specific subclasses – ranging from food to technology. The gift guide will be available exclusively on the iPhone, so shoppers who favor iOS will get a bit of an advantage.

But it gets better for shoppers; eBay is actually putting together a special deal with bliss spas on Black Friday that will not only allow them to shop from mobile devices, but will allow them to do so at bliss spa locations. Sounds good, until you consider that eBay is throwing in free manicures, pedicures and foot massages while users shop, and then it sounds even better.

Just to top things off, eBay spares a thought for the little ones by opening up the eBay Toy Box, specifically geared to finding the season's hottest toys (always a tall order during this time of the year). But just to make things even better, they'll throw in a way to easily donate toys to Toys for Tots, and users will be able to get a look at the eBay Toy Box in person in the Meatpacking District in New York or via eBay's Give One program for those outside the area.

While on the surface, this looks like a great move for eBay, or rather a series of great moves; the bliss spa deal alone is going to get plenty of interested shoppers and loads of press time talking about how, for some, Black Friday was the most relaxing day of shopping they've ever had, it's also got the potential for some consumer backlash.

The idea of launching shopping deals on Thanksgiving itself met with more than a little controversy when it originally started, but bringing out deals designed to end before the meal does for some may be pushing things a bit – especially for those beyond the Eastern time zone. That might lead some shoppers away from eBay, but in all likelihood, plenty will come back later for the combination of deals and promotions.

It's always a fine line to walk between bringing out the great deals and promotions as rapidly as possible but not so rapidly that the user base is alienated. For eBay, the rewards look to be immense.




Edited by Allison Boccamazzo




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