eBay is a marketplace model who supports the growth of retailers online offering education, support and personalisation. Like Amazon they host a range of products and brands but what makes them uniquely different is that eBay allow retailers to be themselves on their marketplace.
eBay help’s retailers sell more effectively by giving them the freedom to visually represent their brand on their platform. They recognise that each retailer is individual and have their own unique brand values. Many retailers including top retail giants Myer and Harvey Norman now have eBay’s Store’s that are designed similarly (cloned versions) to their websites which helps consumers trust, easily and intuitively navigate and make an informed purchase decision between brands. It also gives start ups the opportunity to build their brand identity and reputation on their marketplace acting as an incubator in the development of their brands as well as providing a platform to grow and sell at volume.
To sell effectively across channels retailers need to work hard to develop their brand identity and consistently market themselves across everything they do. eBay allow retailers to do this by partnering with developers to customise their store designs to reflect their brand story across their marketplace.
eBay can leverage from this as retailers have done the hard work marketing their brand so when a consumer comes to eBay they are ready to make a purchase.
eBay’s policy is to keep all consumer engagement within the eBay marketplace with an aim to keep all sales on their platform. Their concern is that retailers will divert traffic from eBay to their own websites and have taken a few measures to prevent this. The reality is that you can’t control consumer behaviour, people have different needs and styles of shopping. Some prefer to connect and research directly with the retailer (People aren’t dumb and will Google a business name to find out more) as others like the experience, variety, customer support and protection of shopping on a marketplace.
eBay’s fees should be considered a marketing expense and an investment in building your brand online.
Both eBay and Amazon give retailers access to advertising their products across a large global network of consumers. As a retailer it makes sense to go where your customers go, so I encourage retailers to try both marketplaces.
It is an interesting and challenging time for retail with the launch of Amazon in Australia. I believe retailers can be successful across these marketplaces and can compete strongly through selected channels if they practice and communicate: Strong brand values, offer great customer experiences, great products, competitive prices and reasonable delivery times.
Consumers especially millennials are buying and become loyal to brands that have similar values to their own and this this is why it is so important that brands represent their values visually across everything they do.