eBay.com launches US Online Business Index

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eBay UK launched the Online Business Index in 2008 as a barometer of small-business sentiment across a range of business topics. Since then it has grown to include the Online Business Forum on LinkedIn and has grown beyond eBay sellers to include a cross section of online businesses, some of which aren’t even retailers but include everyone from Estate Agents to Accountants and Consultancy businesses.

The Online Business Index has since expanded to Germany, France, Australia and now the eBay.com has published it’s first US Online Business Index. For the first US Index eBay surveyed more than 400 sellers on topics ranging from holiday sales to mobile commerce prospects and proposed US Internet sales taxes.

Somewhat unsurprisingly 72% of the sellers surveyed expect their online sales to increase between October and December – the busiest time of the year. 60% said they are considerably optimistic about the future of their online businesses in the 2010 holiday shopping season. 73% of respondents say it is important to them that shoppers have the ability to browse and buy items on eBay using mobile devices with 60% willing to adjust their eBay listings to make them mobile friendly.

On the subject of an Internet Sales tax almost all sellers believed it would impact the number of transactions, impact profitability, reduce out of state sales and have a negative impact on the entire US economy.

With the three topics addressed it would be somewhat surprising if the results were anything different, however with the current state of the economy it’s pretty clear that the introduction of new Internet taxes would either slow down online purchases or reduce profits for online retailers. It will be no surprise to see eBay step up lobbying against the introduction of any Internet sales tax and to press for small-business tax exemptions if it came into effect.



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