Online shopping has, for many of us, become a way of life.  Perhaps it should be no surprise then that eBay just had its best year yet in earnings.  Holiday shopping gave the company a big fourth-quarter earnings boost, and pushed it to a level of success above and beyond the earnings projections made by analysts.

 

However, holiday shopping isn’t the only explanation for eBay’s rising success.  Smartphones and tablet computers have revolutionized consumer transactions.  Shoppers can, with mobile device in hand, supplement their shopping experience by looking for online deals even as they shop in brick and mortar stores.  eBay has capitalized on this growing mobile market by making their applications even more accessible for the user.  In fact, their mobile applications have been downloaded on more than 120 million devices.

In fact, the CEO of eBay, John Donahoe, has even gone so far as to call mobile applications “the new normal.”  He also predicted that in the current year, PayPal and eBay’s marketplaces division will each process over 20 billion in mobile transactions.  In order to continue to attract users, improvements have been made to the way that eBay and PayPal works with mobile devices.

Purchased long ago by eBay, PayPal continues its longstanding track record of success, accounting for the largest portion of last year’s growth.  Revenue from their fourth quarter represented a 24 percent increase from revenue from the prior year.  Aside from expanding their services provided through mobile devices, eBay is also working to increase offline accessibility.  They have reached agreements with 23 retailers to accept PayPal in their stores.  Now when you shop at stores like Barnes & Noble, Home Depot, or Abercrombie & Fitch, just to name a few, you will be able to use PayPal for payment.  Also, as early as this spring, retailers that accept the Discover card for payment will also accept PayPal.  Through improving mobile and offline expansions like these, eBay and PayPal continue to increase revenue even beyond expectation.

[Image via wikipedia]