M2E Pro announce fee changes to support small businesses

M2E ProToday at Magento Live in France, M2E Pro announced a new monthly allowance limit of £10,000 revenue, allowing over 5,000 businesses to enjoy the solution at no cost at all.

This seemed like a great time to sit down with Alex Podopryhora, M2E Pro’s director to find out more about the business.

M2E Pro History

M2E Pro have a long and interesting history. Everyone seems to assume (myself included) that M2E Pro must be a big business, but in truth Alex is an investment banker by day and M2E Pro at night.

The story begins many years ago when Alex and his brother Pavlo set up a software solutions provider. Business was good until an early investor went bad on them forcing them to re-evaluate the business. Around that time they spotted a gap in the market to produce a tool to assist eBay sellers and M2E Pro was born.

At the same time eBay were also looking at tools to assist their merchants, but they were so taken by the M2E Pro solution that they decided to support it and abandoned their own efforts to build a similar solution. M2E Pro was simply too good and innovated too fast even for eBay to keep up so they did the only sensible thing and funded it for eBay merchants.

Over the years it’s been an interesting journey for Alex and Pavlo. When eBay acquired all of Magento they saw eBay’s X.Commerce come and later go. They’ve had an Amazon solution in beta for many years – although in beta it’s always been a fully functioning Amazon solution but with eBay backing that’s where the focus has been. More recently Rakuten features have been added.

Then we come to this year when Magento was sold as part of the PayPal spin off rationalisation and the funding ended. When the subsidy stopped M2E spent 6 months trying to attract funding from Amazon or VC’s to keep M2E Pro free for all but were left with no option other than to monetise themselves by introducing a fee schedule.

M2E Pro Support for Small Businesses

Even with the fee schedule, Alex and Pavlo want to continue to support their small merchant customers, so for retailers with a monthly turnover of less than £10,000 a month on connected acccounts M2E Pro remains a free solution, as part of M2E Pro’s support of their community. Larger businesses will have to start paying this year or find an alternative solution, but even then M2E Pro remained available to all of their users over the Christmas period to minimise the impact.

 

M2E Pro Community

There is also a network of some 150 systems integrators who roll out M2E Pro installations. M2E Pro work to create fair play multichannel industry by delivering a great tool (M2E Pro) and excellent service (through their partners). If you’re interested in becoming an M2E Pro partner they’d love to hear from you and you can get in touch at partners@m2epro.com.

Alex is passionate about the community that they’ve built up, they’re totally transparent with their code and development roadmap, allowing users to vote for features that they’d like to see introduced in the future. Whilst working nights to manage the developers and respond to tickets (often which involves Magento support, not strictly speaking M2E Pro issues).

M2E Pro Support

M2E Pro HeroEach M2E Pro customer is TRULY unique in terms of business they do and systems they run. Alex explained that at M2E Pro they are supporting thousands of unique systems which have hundreds of modules running along with M2E Pro solution. Many merchants operate highly customised environments and some do not follow Magento API forcing the M2E Pro Team to address inconsistencies to make systems work smoothly.

In 30% of support cases M2E Pro are dealing with general Magento or other non M2E Pro related queries. Phone support very often is not feasible as they do not have physical access to their merchant system and cannot guess what could be wrong.

M2E Pro systems have client server architecture where data processing is taking place outside of Magento and completely invisible to the end users. Many take m2e pro scalability and reliability for granted but it takes much more than just a “connector” to archive this. M2E Pro data synchronisation is limited to eBay/Amazon API and processing neither puts any pressure on Magento core nor can cause the system to crash. importantly, M2E Pro code has been validated by Magento engineers when M2E Pro had their module part validated for the “Magento Go” platform.

M2E Pro Success

M2E Pro is eminently scalable, they recently launched Woodbookshelf, owned and operated by The Co-op Australia with over 800,000 listings!

It’s an inspiring story which will resonate with many marketplace sellers, many Tamebay readers effectively become full time sellers whilst holding down the day job until their online business could support them full time so they’ll know just how much work Alex has put in.

If you’re in the market for an eBay (and Amazon & Rakuten) management tool and especially if you use or are considering Magento, you can install the extension for free today.