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OnBuy launches Boost to increase seller exposure

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Online marketplace OnBuy has launched a new service called Boost, which it says is designed to help sellers gain more exposure and improve the visibility, rank and placement of their listings.

Cas Paton, founder and managing director of the popular online marketplace, said: “Our Boost service will bring a wealth of benefits to our sellers. Boosted listings will be placed in prominent positions across OnBuy’s product and category pages and in search results, helping increase the visibility of listings so they sell and thus earn greater rank on OnBuy. What’s most exciting is that sellers keep the rank they’ve earned – even if they end Boost.”

The Boost fee is only applicable when a sale is made directly through a sponsored listing, with no additional costs for non-sponsored sales.

Paton added: “Boost enables sellers to achieve greater visibility beyond OnBuy as well. The entire Boost fee is used to market their products even harder – this is a significant benefit as listings will gain more visibility in paid marketing channels. For sellers looking to drive more sales and increase visibility (all at fixed costs), Boost is definitely worth using.”

OnBuy says initial data shows its sales are up 37.6% since the launch of Boost earlier this month, as it seeks to establish its position as a serious contender against the major names in the space.

One of OnBuy’s USPs is that it does not compete with sellers by selling its own stock – it connects buyers with thousands of professional business sellers directly.

5 Minutes With… Cas Paton, OnBuy

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In the latest instalment of our eCommerce executive interview series, we sat down with OnBuy Managing Director Cas Paton to talk about his company, industry trends, career advice and Peaky Blinders…

Tell us about your company, products and services.

OnBuy is one of the fastest-growing marketplaces in the world. With our fair, transparent approach, we can offer a better deal to buyers and sellers. 

Sellers can sell through a marketplace that has their best interests at heart: we offer competitive fees, don’t compete against them, and support them in growing their business. Buyers can use a marketplace that offers a seamless shopping experience with over 17 million products, competitive prices, PayPal protection and more.

Already one of the world’s fastest-growing marketplaces, OnBuy has plans to expand worldwide and become the world’s first truly global marketplace. Watch this space!

What have been the biggest challenges the E-Commerce industry has faced over the past 12 months?

While the e-commerce industry is rapidly growing, the question of trustworthiness is still an issue online, and I think it will be for some time yet. People can be understandably wary of trusting online shops – areas like data protection and security (including site and payment security), fraudulent transactions, and fake/paid-for reviews can add to their concerns. Thankfully, there are ways in which retailers can tackle this – if they prioritise these areas, they can earn consumer trust.

And what have been the biggest opportunities?

For me, the cross-border opportunities identified have been the biggest. For online retailers, cross-border expansion is a seamless way to obtain global product visibility and as a marketplace planning to go global, we’re perfectly positioned to help online sellers make the transition without the challenges that usually accompany such expansion.

OnBuy’s UK marketplace model has proven successful, so we’re planning to expand OnBuy into 140 new countries. This is one of the biggest growth opportunities available to sellers at the moment – we’re going to launch into more countries than any other marketplace and become the world’s first truly global marketplace. We’ll handle everything for our sellers; we have the technology to help with translation and currency ready to go.

What is the biggest priority for E-commerce in 2020?

I can think of two: trade agreements to make duties simple for exporting and solving Brexit quickly so we know what we’re dealing with!

What are the main trends you are expecting to see in the market in 2020?

I expect we’ll see more cross-border expansion, more high value orders, and more subscription services to replace what was previously a single large purchase – especially in gaming. 

What technology is going to have the biggest impact on the market this year?

5G networks have the potential to make a huge impact. As 5G offers faster connectivity than wired networks, it could have a transformative effect on business by helping people buy, sell, pay and communicate faster.

In 2022 we’ll all be talking about…?

AI. In addition to streamlining internal processes like managing inventory, AI can help enhance the customer experience. An AI assistant or chatbot can mimic the personal interaction we’re used to in physical shops and having it fulfil all your customer service needs – like helping customers with purchases, recommending products, assisting with complaints – can save you valuable time and resources.

Which person in, or associated with, the industry would you most like to meet?

Richard Branson. As a driven entrepreneur myself, I’d love to meet him and hear any insights he could offer about his decades in the industry.

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt about the E-commerce sector?

Out of the past 12 years in e-commerce, it was learning that Amazon isn’t actually perceived as good for small to medium businesses in the way that many once thought it was. In 2010-2012, Amazon was an opportunity for online retailers and continued to be for several years thereafter – but the feedback we receive now is that Amazon is a hurdle in the way of growth and an ever-growing competitor.

This growing discontentment helped pave the way for OnBuy to enter the market which I’m naturally thrilled about, but it was still surprising to hear that something with such strong positive potential has actually affected many sellers negatively.

You go to the bar at the E-Commerce Summit – what’s your tipple of choice?

A good white wine or a beer. 

What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

Driving something that I’m extremely passionate about. I love hunting for new ways to evolve OnBuy and working with my team to put them into action and take OnBuy to the next level. Plus, no two days are the same which keeps me on my toes!

And what’s the most challenging?

As the business evolves, new challenges are always being presented but I must say I love a challenge, so I welcome them. We’ve cleared the initial hurdles of setting up a marketplace – attracting sellers with no buyers and vice versa – and we’re now focused on the best ways to seamlessly roll OnBuy out worldwide. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Get off the hamster wheel, stop spinning, and look back at what you’re doing. It’s all too easy to get swept up in the day-to-day but taking time to step outside of the business and reflect is absolutely crucial.

Peaky Blinders or Stranger Things?

Peaky Blinders all the way! No question.

OnBuy.com to focus on refurbish electronics

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Online marketplace OnBuy.com is to provide more choice for its customers with the introduction of a dedicated department for refurbished electronics for the first time.

The company says the move is as a result of consumers increasingly realising the advantages of buying refurbished products, with both sustainability and cost being key drivers.

This initiative to drive sales for sellers and further enhance the buyer experience comes as part of OnBuy’s recent announcement that they are seeking a second round of investment funding, topping up their previous funding round of £2.7m. 

OnBuy’s Refurbished Electronics will be supported by an integrated marketing campaign to ensure large consumer reach alongside a substantial retailer drive to onboard additional refurbished products.

The company says products will be in full working order with a warranty and will span everything from refurbished electronics including headphones, laptops and TVs, to household appliances such as vacuum cleaners and toasters, to toys including drones and scooters. It says all sellers have been carefully handpicked and vetted by OnBuy, and five refurbished grades are available.

Cas Paton, entrepreneur and founder of OnBuy, said: “This additional focus on refurbished products is part of our ongoing evolution and underpins our commitment to creating a fairer, more transparent marketplace that puts its buyers and sellers first. We recognised that our sellers have hidden gems and will be offering refurbished products from top brands for incredible prices. This will benefit both our sellers and buyers and further fuel the exponential growth which has seen us become one of the fastest-growing marketplaces in the world.”

Image by Markus Spiske from Pixabay