Two-thirds of etailers “confident” about future, says eBay survey

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funky graphsOnline businesses are meeting their sales targets and are confident about the year ahead, despite concerns about lack of consumer demand and the high cost of supply. So says the latest edition of eBay UK’s latest round of their Online Business Index, which measures the state of online retail by following the fortunes of 700 merchants who take an average of 61% of their turnover on the site.

54% of those surveyed expected their sales to increase over the next year: with 70% expecting profit margins to increase or stay the same, the mood is generally very bullish.

But eBay’s findings do suggest that merchants are working harder to achieve the targets they’ve set themselves. Only 10% (down from 12% last year) said they had “considerably” failed to achieve the requisite number of sales, but only 31% (down from 45%) said they had achieved them “easily”: most (38%, up from 27%) had reached targets “with difficulty”.

The cost of supplies and consumer demand remained the two biggest barriers to growth cited, though sterling’s recovery meant that problems with exchange rates were mentioned by only 38% (down from 52%) of merchants. The number of people citing access to credit or finance as a problem also fell substantially, suggesting that credit is starting to be available again.

Happily, only 9% of those surveyed described themselves as pessimistic about the future, down from 15% this time last year. 65% of those surveyed said they were “confident” about the outlook for their businesses. Check out the full survey in eBay’s PDF.

Do you agree with the merchants who talked to eBay? Are you expecting your sales and prices to increase this year? What’s the biggest barrier to growth in your business? And are you feeling confident, or pessimistic? Leave us a comment.

18 Responses

  1. What’s the biggest barrier to growth in your business?

    Lack of stability.

    Every time ebay change the rules I have to spend unnecessary time and effort changing listings or a selling strategy.
    The farce concerning post and packing charges resulted in the manual alteration of over 1000 listings, all of which had a Powerseller icon image within the listing. Guess what I now have to remove that icon from over 1000 listing because the rules changed.

    I have 100+ new lines to list and more on order, but because I’m constantly changing old listing I haven’t got the time to list them.

    So what’s my biggest barrier to growth in your business – ebay

  2. Credit is as hard to get as ever – most people have given up with the banks and just aren’t tryng to get credit anymore.

    I was repeatedly refused credit for my B&M shop as there was ONE other competitor in my town so the banks felt this was too big a risk. I now struggle on without any credit – so if asked in a survey – I would say lack of available credit wasn’t a problem as I am not tryinbg to get any!

  3. our biggest barrier is the time wasted buggering around with ebays hurdles,

  4. My biggest barrier is Turbo Lister. Its slow, bugged and crashes typically in the middle of a 1 hour varient listing 🙁

  5. My biggest barrier is eBay removing my customer base from their site and increasing their fees which reduces their willingness to pay for my services.

  6. EZ way to deal with ebay policies, don’t bother reading them. they are so big at this point they don’t have the time to enforce them!!



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