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RetailCraft – How a pandemic focused retailer’s minds on eBay

By Chris Dawson August 18, 2020 - 9:00 am

Interest in marketplaces on the RetailCraft podcast piqued as research showed continued growth in marketplaces as a retail destination. RetailX research over the summer has shown that of 53% of all consumers visits start on a marketplace.

The RetailCraft podcast focusses on multichannel retail, ecommerce and digital business – interviews, analysis and discussion with Ian Jindal of InternetRetailing who coshosted this episode with Jamie Merrick of Salesforce. This month, they chatted with Murray Lambell from marketplace giant eBay, discussing how these marketplaces can be used by major retailers and brands and how they can access eBay’s 27 million buyers in the UK.

Murray talks about how the conversation has changed with retailers and brands over the past decade from being a pariah to an essential component in their ecommerce strategy. He cited Joules who work with eBay to decide which inventory will work well on eBay and how to market these products alongside their other distribution channels. Murray talked a lot about partnership – working with brand and retailers who already work with eBay.

An interesting question was what is the secret of keeping the 27 million buyers buying and Murray explained it’s the selection on eBay. By having it in one place they can shop a plethora of goods with niche interests alongside 10s of millions of products which keep customers coming back. But there are still tons of goods which maybe aren’t suitable for taking up valuable retail space and eBay offer a way to get these products in front of customers.

Since the lock down there has been an acceleration of brands and retailers picking up their conversations with eBay with both new and existing retailers increasing their activity. One particular fashion retailer that eBay have been speaking to for five years have now decided that it’s time to sell on eBay! When you’re in an emergency situation it focuses the minds right up to board level on what channels they can unlock and its moved from “oh god there’s another email from eBay” to, “that’s interesting” three years ago, to “oh my god we need to do something today”. 60,000 new businesses have registered to sell on eBay in the last 90 days alone!

Work at eBay on helping brands and retailers is always focused around where there’s demand on the marketplace and their contacts with vendors is “We can see genuine brand on the eBay platform for your products and services”.

eBay also have partners they work with to assist brands and retailers get selling on the marketplace if they don’t want to manage the marketplace themselves. There’s a network beyond the internal eBay business of high quality partners who are ready and able to assist. (We recently wrote about one such partner).

Launching successfully and getting the inventory well displayed with really high quality exposure of the product is the key thing to getting started on eBay according to Murray. There are a surprising number of basics such as service standards which eBay work with larger brands and retailers on as they need to meet these standards from day one. Smaller businesses are nailing it and large brands and retailers need to match these expectations.

To sum up, Murray’s biggest wish at the moment is getting out to meet brands and retailers face to face again – there’s nothing like seeing their operations in real life to understand the challenges they face and help them translate to success on eBay.

Also in this podcast is a wide ranging interview with Mark Wright, Group Operations Director at Fat Face. The interview with Murray Lambell starts 30 minutes in:

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