The Catalog and Mail Order house industry, which features the world's top online retailers, has started the New Year off with a bang, as strong holiday sales figures in the U.S. and abroad have begun to be reported. eBay Inc.(1) (NASDAQ:EBAY) is scheduled at release its earnings today after the market closes.
eBay has been a strong performer in the last 12 months backed by growing interest for online buying, especially as its mobile app continues to be popular reaching the 100th million download in September 2012. But what has also changed is consumers' faith in internet security as they start to use online payment methods which bode well for eBay on two fronts. Firstly, its PayPal service garnered a household status and eBay being an online retailer sees its primary business gaining success as a reason of PayPal's popularity.
The proliferation of smartphones and tablets, also bodes well for the industry, and with more people feeling secure about shopping online, companies could see record sales figures in 2013. According to the National Retail Federation, total holiday spending jumped by 3% in 2012, and non-store holiday sales increased by an impressive 11.1%. In an attempt to reach a greater number of potential customers, several companies, such as Amazon.com Inc.(2) (NASDAQ: AMZN), have come out with new apps for gaming consoles as well as smartphones and tablets. Amazon's Instant Video app which is available for Wii console owners provides the options to buy, rent and stream a large pool of movies and TV series from Amazon's Instant Vide Store.
A growing number of internet users in China augur well for companies with operations in the area, though competition there remains intense. It is easy to understand why, as last year alone the number of internet users in China increased by some 51 million to around 564 million users.