The eBay Retail Revival scheme is set to launch in s second US city later this year. After reporting success in Akron, Ohio it has been announced that the next stop will be Lansing in Michigan. To find out more about making an application or what’s on offer, visit this page.
The idea behind Retail Revival is to encourage a local area to embrace the eBay marketplace as an introduction to ecommerce and provide a local economic boost. The company offers general training, one-on-one coaching, direct access to a dedicated eBay concierge customer support team and an eBay shop/store subscription. The package is free to the selected participants.
In both cases, the communities have been chosen by eBay because there have been serious economic problems locally but a vibrant enough business scene that could benefit from help. In Akron the 70 most active businesses have reportedly collectively made over 6,000 sales to customers in all 50 US states and 51 countries.
Our Retail Revival pilot program in Akron, Ohio, has shown the impact online marketplaces and a little bit of training can have in supporting local businesses to grow and thrive in the current retail environment. We knew we found an ideal partner in Lansing after seeing first-hand its strong community of small businesses, and we’re looking forward to working with these businesses to bring their products to our 175 million buyers around the world.
– Scott Cutler, Senior Vice President, Americas, eBay
It must surely be time that something similar was launched outside the eBay core market of the United States, and particularly into the UK. It’s percent right now, in particular, as the British government appears to be considering a tax on online sales. Whilst, on one level, that announcement is a bit of fairly transparent “Amazon bashing” it is also being heralded as a measure that can be used to give the ailing High Street a boost. It’s the perfect moment to remind government that there is an army of small business merchants in the UK selling online who are indeed paying their fair share of tax.
And it’s not just about positive press coverage, government lobbying and getting new merchants started on the eBay marketplace. It’s also a great opportunity to tune into the seller community and help some existing merchants develop. That could be in a less prosperous area of the nation in need of a jobs and retail boost or maybe there could be a focus on a trading vertical or sector that needs a leg-up.
It’s many years since eBay UK staff went on the road and met with hundreds of merchants and wannabe sellers in the educational eBay University programme. (In fact, that specific programme hasn’t been seen in more than a decade!) But the principle was a sound one: bringing eBay staff face to face to teach and learn was valuable all round. A reprise of something similar is overdue.