Tanya Lawler talks eBay and SMEs #smallbizsatuk

Tanya Lawler 2014In advance of Small Business Saturday, Tanya Lawler Vice President eBay in the UK talks about eBay and the importance of small businesses.

It’s a busy month for many of us as the peak Christmas season builds. Last weekend, we saw our busiest online shopping day for sellers on eBay in the UK. We predicted that eBay’s UK sellers would sell over 1,800 items every minute and whilst the final figures aren’t in, it seems that you beat this prediction comfortably. We expect next weekend to be big in the UK and across Europe too.

This weekend certainly won’t be a quiet one but for me it is also a good opportunity to reflect as we celebrate Small Business Day. At our recent ‘PowerON’ seller webinar, I spoke about the importance of small businesses to eBay, and I heard feedback that we need to do more.

We will.

200,000 British businesses rely on eBay. This is an awesome responsibility and one which is top of my mind as we plan for 2015.

For new and less experienced sellers, we’ll be making improvements. We’ll make the process for registering new businesses on eBay simpler. Global Shipping Programme will offer more access to more markets for sellers to take the first step in growing a cross-border business.

For more experienced sellers, we’ll be making improvements. This year we launched a PR programme to highlight the great items available from smaller sellers on eBay. Thanks to all those Tamebay readers who took part – so far we have secured placements of products from 30 different eBay sellers, including Homes and Property in the Evening Standard, The Guardian and The Independent.

Our Deals programme is another way that we help experienced sellers to succeed. The programme is growing each year, and we will look for new ways to provide access to small and medium sized eBay sellers.

You will see more marketing from eBay next year, online and offline. We know that building our brand will help our sellers succeed and we are committed to this investment to help connect with customers. We will also look for new ways to offer you marketing tools that help you grow your business.

And no-one knows your existing customers like you. I don’t serve and interact with them every day in the way that you do. Small sellers remain the lifeblood of eBay in the UK and I know we have to do more to allow you to grow your business in the way that works for you.

But what we do have at eBay, with the benefit of 19 million Brits visiting us each month, is some insight into the direction of the overall market and customer expectations as the e-commerce market becomes even more competitive. We know that customers want easy returns, delivery options such as Click & Collect, and top levels of service and we appreciate the steps you take to offer these services.

Quite simply, when small businesses on eBay succeed, everyone wins – buyers enjoy access to great inventory and value, businesses across the UK gain more sales and eBay continues to grow as a marketplace connecting 200,00 British businesses with their customers. Find out more here.