For eBay, Mobile-App Glitches Can Be Costly

September 14, 2012 2:15 pm

For many companies, the consequences of glitches with mobile apps are not necessarily costly to the their bottom line. But when you’re eBay and you’re predicting shoppers to purchase $10 billion in goods from your site via mobile devices this year, glitches can be costly, and that’s a lesson eBay learned this week.
eBay had to recall a new version of its mobile app that it released on Wednesday and replace it with version 1.8. Over on Google Play, the “iTunes” for Android phones, users were complaining that the mobile app would not let them log in to their accounts and they were leaving 1-star reviews for the eBay app.
Thanks to the glitches, some buyers were unable to update bids on auctions they had been bidding on. “Cheers for the crap update. Ive now lost out on alot of auctions i was bidding on. Cant even open the damm app! Seriousley pathetic guys” (sic), wrote one mobile shopper.
Wrote another frustrated user, “So your having problems with the new version update and replaced it with another update that doesn’t even work. What’s going on? Plz fix soon.”
Another user, who identified himself as a truck driver, was not as polite, explaining that it was difficult enough to get a connection on the road without dealing with eBay glitches.
eBay attributed $5 billion in GMV to mobile shoppers in 2011 and said in July it would double that figure in 2012. It also said its sellers list almost 2 million items each week on mobile devices.
On the eBay boards, one buyer wrote, “I rely on this app at my jobsite. I would like an option to downgrade the update until these issues are fixed or I will be forced to start using amazon to conduct my business through. From searching the web and the google play store this newest update has broken the app for many users not just myself. Please fix this!”
eBay announced at 4 pm Pacific time on Thursdaythat it had fixed a glitch. “Some members may have experienced difficulties using eBay Mobile applications or making API calls to eBay,” according to the announcement. “These issues have now been resolved. Thanks for your patience while we worked to resolve them.”
eBay also announced an issue impacting users’ ability to log-in to certain parts of its website on Thursday.
“Today we experienced some issues with the sign in process that may have impacted the ability to sign into the community sites and create new posts. This would not have impacted members already signed into the community or guest members just viewing the site. We believe the issues are now fully resolved. Thank you for your patience, and we do apologize for any inconvenience that was experienced.”

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