Integrating Amazon and eBay into your multi-channel retail operations could offer significant benefits and increased revenues.

Ecommerce is growing rapidly, and in the UK, for example, is predicted to represent 11.5% of total retail sales this year, compared with 10.2% in 2012. You don’t need me to tell you that Ebay and Amazon are a pair of ecommerce titans. But have you realised that smaller online retailers can take advantage of their success?


Online retailers should be using eBay and Amazon…

Many retailers regard eBay as a platform for consumer-to-consumer sales, generally of second-hand goods. Similarly, Amazon is often thought of as a closed-shop,  crushing competitors both on- and offline. However both eBay and Amazon are open to third parties. Small ecommerce companies should be exploiting their popularity to boost their own sales.

…and heres’s why:

  1. Established user bases

Both Amazon and eBay have vast existing user bases. eBay reports 112 million active users (traders) and 233 million buyers worldwide. Amazon maintains 10 localised websites serving the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Retailers using eBay Stores and the Amazon Marketplace gain access to an international customer base. Rather than having to develop localised websites for multiple international markets, ecommerce retailers can use the existing framework of eBay or Amazon to get up and running quickly.

Development, running costs and time to market are dramatically reduced.

“30% of online shoppers research Amazon before buying” – Forrester Research

  1. Mobile integration as standard

Iphone in useSmartphones and tablets are becoming vital for online retailers as customers choose to shop whenever, wherever. Mobile shopping is expected to account for 24.4% of all online revenue by 2017, and retailers not connecting with customers by mobile will lose out.

Both eBay and Amazon have well-established apps for both Android and iOS, allowing access to goods from most smartphones and tablets. eBay proudly boast 120 million app downloads, representing a large international audience for your goods.

Developing and maintaining a mobile-optimised ecommerce website, or a dedicated app, is relatively expensive. For businesses looking to get into m-commerce quickly and easily, piggybacking off an existing app, with an established user base, may be far more cost effective.

“61% of customers who visit a mobile unfriendly site are likely to go to a competitor’s site” – Karim Temsamani, Head of Asia Pacific Operations, Google.

  1. Payment gateway integration as standard

Paying onlinePayment gateways present a perennial problem for multi-channel retailers, particularly when expanding into international marketplaces. Currency conversions, PCI-DSS compliance and security concerns all make choosing and implementing a payment gateway problematic.

The tight integration between eBay and PayPal, or Amazon’s own payment gateway, makes use of either platform easy for retailers and consumers alike. Again, use of an existing platform makes deployment quicker and cheaper, shortening the time to profit.

Succeeding as an online retailer

Should businesses make the final move away from ‘bricks and mortar’ to focus exclusively on internet trading? Ecommerce was once considered a new thing that would never take off; now it’s something we don’t give a second thought to.

Small Retailers Who Became Online Success Stories looks at how three former small fry retailers went on to become giants online, while also updating their high street presence for the digital age. And one of them is none other than Apple.