Can eBay Help You Make More Sales?
This is a question that many Shopify merchants will be asking themselves with the recent announcement that Shopify and eBay have reached an agreement that will grant them access to eBay’s 171 million customers.
While it’s true that online shopping has opened the way for customers to compare prices quickly, and some do, it is also true that many shoppers stick with the shopping platform that’s most convenient. And for 171 million people, that seems to be eBay.
A 2016 Nielsen report found that for 56 percent of U.S. consumers, convenience is more important than price. In other words, once a customer has already shopped on eBay, they are familiar with the platform, and they may have payment information on file with the company. This makes it much more convenient for those customers to purchase products through the eBay marketplace.
As a result, the Shopify-eBay partnership may help you reach customers previously unavailable to you.
But a larger audience doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right move for your business. So let’s take a closer look at some of the facts.
Are You New to eBay?
Here are some statistics (provided by eBay) you should know about this popular marketplace:
- 80% of all products listed on eBay are new
- 370 million people have downloaded the eBay Mobile Shopping App
- Mobile sales have grown to 9 billion
Statista reports the company revenue to be at 8.99 billion USD. And it’s no wonder because they see over 107 million visits per month.
While it’s true that you can find almost anything for sale on eBay from William Shatner’s kidney stone to a grilled cheese sandwich (see the 20 strangest items ever sold here), most customers are buying new products from traditional categories.
The most popular categories on eBay are:
- Men’s and Women’s Fashion
- Athletic Shoes
- Men’s Coats
- Fine Jewelry (especially rings)
- Women’s Dresses
If you do business in any of those categories, eBay will likely have a ready-made customer base for you.
As Bob Kupbens, eBay VP of Global Trust and Seller Experience, said, “This new integration will bring more great products to eBay buyers while offering Shopify merchants the ability to seamlessly drive their business and brand at scale by tapping into our vibrant marketplace.”
Your product category will be one factor to consider when deciding whether or not to partner with eBay, but there are other pros and cons as well.
Benefits of Doing Business On eBay
Shopify considers three of the most significant perks for its merchants to be:
- Increase Sales from a High-Traffic Channel
- Acquire New Customers
- Many People prefer Shopping Via a Marketplace
Let’s talk about number three for a moment. Big Commerce reports “When shopping online, nearly half (48%) of online purchasers first turn to a mass commerce marketplace.” That’s a significant portion of the population that you may have difficulty reaching without using a sales channel like eBay.
In addition to the three benefits listed by Shopify, there are two more worth considering. The first is eBay’s “What’s Hot on eBay” page. This resource will help you locate trending products with the click of your mouse. The “What’s Hot” page covers three categories: In-Demand Electronics, Fashion Must-Haves, and Hot Items in Collectibles.
Even if you decide not to partner with eBay, this is a resource that you can use to get a pulse on your product trends.
Secondly, eBay’s marketing results in many new and repeat customers visiting the site. Most Shopify store owners don’t have the budget to launch a large-scale ad campaign, but eBay does. Holiday shopping is reported to be a 129 billion dollar business.
And eBay wants to help its sellers tap into that profitable market with their promotional campaigns.
The eBay campaigns include advertisements on video, TV, social media, and display ads. You may have already seen one of their ads for “First Minute Shopping for the First Person on Your List” promotion.
You can watch it here:
Additionally, they are currently running a campaign that asks, “But did you check eBay?”
Ads like these bring customers to the eBay marketplace, without spending any of your own advertising dollars to attract them.
The Drawbacks of Doing Business on eBay
There is also a cost to putting your ecommerce store on eBay–the greatest of which is actual cost.
eBay charges fees per listing (known as insertion fees) to list your items on its platform. For more information and a breakdown of fees associated with selling on eBay, see this eBay Help page.
According to eBay, “sellers can choose the subscription package that’s most profitable for the way they sell. The vast majority of higher-volume sellers who sell more than 50 items per month can get significant savings with dramatically reduced upfront costs compared to eBay standard fees. Plus, get powerful tools to help build, manage, promote, and track your eBay presence for greater selling success.”
One more drawback is that the eBay sales channel is only currently available for U.S. merchants. Because My Ecom Club works with members worldwide, this option will not be available immediately to all of our members. However, according to a Shopify blog post, “While the eBay sales channel is currently only available to U.S. merchants selling in USD, we are continually working with our partners to expand to new countries.”
eBay Options for Everyone
To decide if eBay can help you increase your sales, first consider your products and audience. Next, weigh the associated costs and benefits of partnering with eBay.
An illustrated example of eBay store options can be found here so that you can crunch the numbers for your circumstances.
If you decide to list your products on eBay, there is an easy way to add it as a selling channel. Simply log into Shopify and click the plus (+) sign under Sales Channels to select the marketplace channel you’d like to add. Or click here to follow our link. (Additional details are in the Shopify App Store.)
The Benefits of the eBay and Shopify Partnership
Perhaps what merchants will appreciate the most about adding the eBay sales channel to their Shopify store, will be the smooth integration of the two platforms.
Whenever you add a new product to your Shopify store, you can sync it with your eBay sales channel. This will create a listing there too. So you’ll still be able to manage your entire product catalog in one place, but you’ll be able to reach new customers as well.
And don’t worry about overselling a product. Shopify keeps inventory across all of your sales channels, so you don’t have to worry about double selling an item.
The eBay channel also lets you:
- Create reports
- Set unique prices for your eBay listings
- Send messages to your customers direct from eBay messaging
While it’s true that many Shopify merchants will benefit from the eBay and Shopify arrangement, it may not be the right move for all merchants. There are costs and benefits associated with gaining access to eBay’s customers.
First, ask yourself if eBay is a good fit for your products and your customers. If it is, weigh the other costs and benefits I have laid out in this post.
Then, if you feel eBay can bring you more sales, just follow this link. You’ll find it simple to add and integrate into your existing Shopify store.
Disclosure: We are an educational site that receives compensation from the companies (such as Shopify or Ebay) whose products we review. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.