A new market survey by ChannelAdvisor indicates that many small and medium businesses are missing out on the revenue opportunities of selling across marketplaces.
According to a survey of 192 retailers conducted at eCommerce Expo 2013, only 48% of SMB respondents are currently selling through eBay, while only 43% list on Amazon.
Meanwhile, 25% of retailers currently sell using Google Shopping, 6% use Rakuten's Play.com and 2% use Tesco. The findings show that 77% manually list products through their own e-commerce website, which was found to be the most commonly used channel SMBs.
The survey results suggest that retailers are missing out on increased sales by overlooking the opportunity presented by marketplace. Official statistics show that eBay alone has a global customer base of 116 million, while Amazon had over 173 million active customer accounts in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Only 47% felt eBay offered them a large pool of customers, while 46% believed Amazon was a recognised channel among consumers.
Despite the potential reach and visibility afforded by marketplaces, SMBs appear to view the addition of further channels as too complex. Only 34% believe eBay listings provided ease of use, compared with just 31% for Amazon, 15% for Google Shopping, 8% for Play.com and 7% for Tesco.
"These findings suggest something of a misconception around the benefits that marketplaces can bring to an e-commerce strategy," comments Zoe Ripley, marketing director, EMEA, ChannelAdvisor. Their reach is unparalleled to any other single sales channel, and the association with a trusted brand can bring a real sense of credibility that can't be gained by going alone."
The research also suggests that mobile commerce continues to be seen as an 'added extra' rather than a core part of respondent's strategies. Only 53% of respondents currently feature a mobile offering to consumers, despite mobile commerce accounting for 23% of all online retail sales in the second quarter of 2013 according to the IMRG-Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.
"We tried to list through eBay and Amazon previously but the marketplaces were not integrated into our own e-commerce website correctly so we had to manage our inventory manually. This was a big drain on resources and led to issues of overselling, particularly with eBay," comments Steven Berke, e-commerce director, Xtras Accessories. "We have since implemented ChannelAdvisor to automate our marketplace selling and have reaped the revenue rewards."
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