Did you spot the OnBuy TV advert that just played at around 7.30pm this evening on ITV? The £1 million campaign is now running across all main ITV channels, including ITV1, ITV2, ITV3, ITVBe and on demand with ITVHub, until the 7th of December, promoting your products if you’ve already signed up as a merchant to sell on OnBuy.
The advertising campaign, which will be seen by more than 44 million people, appeals to the audience to “Shop smart, shop at OnBuy”. The ad highlights the site’s range of an impressive 30 million products from consumers’ favourite brands, along with demonstrating robust levels of consumer trust in the brand via its impressive 4.6/5 review score on Trustpilot.
Featuring an adorable blue fluffy character, a range of popular products from the marketplace’s vast catalogue are shown, including headphones, board games, smart watches, toys, hoverboards, furniture and perfume.
To celebrate the advert launch, OnBuy is running a competition to name the cute character across its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages with an incredible prize of £1,000 to spend at OnBuy.
The as yet unnamed cute character features with several different funny endings to the OnBuy TV advert, with the hook of a rocket, time machine and a unicorn!
OnBuy TV Advert – Rocket Ship
OnBuy TV Advert – Time Machine
OnBuy TV Advert – Unicorn
“We invested in this wide-scale TV campaign to increase consumer awareness and support the retailers that sell through our marketplace. We’ve seen a record surge in the number of businesses joining us since COVID-19 hit and we know that this year has been difficult, especially for small to medium retailers. We planned to launch our TV campaign in 2021, but we brought it forward to give our retailers an extra boost for the festive season.
We’re encouraging the British public to support independent retailers this Black Friday and beyond through an ecommerce platform that truly has the seller’s best interests at heart.
We don’t, and never will, hold our own stock, so we’ll never compete with those trusting us to help their business succeed. We’re on a mission to revolutionise the eCommerce sector by providing a fair, transparent and ethical marketplace. That means consistently championing the independent businesses that sell with us, resulting in a huge amount of choice for customers.”
Consumers are choosing to shop with fair and moral brands more and more, so now is the time to bring OnBuy to the front of every shopper’s mind.”
– Cas Paton, founder and CEO, OnBuy
The launch of OnBuy’s TV campaign comes as the marketplace saw a record-breaking week in November, increasing sales by over 800% compared to the same period the year before. These figures are hot on the heels of the company’s announcement of a major expansion plan, seeing it opening its second UK office in Manchester early next year.
OnBuy’s globalisation plans are well underway with new country-specific websites launching in 42 countries by the end of this year. OnBuy plans to be fully operational in over 140 countries by 2023, allowing businesses to sell to a targeted global audience.
It’s great to see you marching forward but I have some suggestions I’ll be honest about which I hope can help and don’t mean to sound offensive about.
I’d also like to say I’d love offer my services if wanted.
I see problems:
1. Generally, OnBuy is too similar to the competition. I worry that this market for marketplaces, especially once the Chinese sellers completely take over (or Alibaba etc have a major UK launch), is now overcrowded and too similar.
2. A brief look at OnBuy over the last few months failed to excite me as a buyer (when I was searching for a product). It just feels like eBay again, like a slightly earlier eBay. Prices weren’t competitive, the site was cluttered, search was bringing up too many promoted or irrelevant products. Interface was exhausting.
3. I think, now that Amazon is becoming borderline unusable with its sponsored/Chinese junk taking up search results and proliferation of crap, bad reviews mess with ratings only etc, there is a gap in the market for…
4. A “less is more”/“quality over quantity” marketplace which has fewer but better search results, a cleaner, clearer, less cluttered interface. A search that is exact and brings up what’s asked for and only that.
A bit like how The Times and its paywall enabled a head-clearing simple site with the pertinent information only vs the ad-heavy information overload mess that is local newspaper websites.
In today’s time vampire society, simplicity and getting directly what you want is the future, not a load of marketplace sellers hammering on at you in the background.
I think that’s where OnBuy misses the point. Instead of copying the competition it should be the opposite.
A kind of down to earth, better, better value, clearer Not on the High Street.
Now, the ad:
It’s not working for me. The image it gives off is generic and slightly downmarket. It doesn’t really say anything to me. I’m not affluent but I don’t want to feel like I’m buying some cheap tat either. I want value but quality too.
The slogan’s generic, the Trustpilot thing looks tacky and it generally could be a lot more original.
A better slogan off the top of my head: OnBuy – Get Your Buy On
I also have ideas for an ad, if interested.
I think you need to be doing the opposite of the competition rather than an also-ran.
Hey Sebastian. Thanks for your comment! At OnBuy, we appreciate any feedback we receive. Although OnBuy may be seen as a similar platform to Amazon, our model does differ. We don’t sell our own products or hold our own stock, which means we don’t (and never will) directly compete with our sellers. We offer a secure platform to connect sellers with buyers, so our efforts are directed to supporting retailers of all sizes to enhance their sales and increase their brand awareness.
Consumer trust is also incredibly important to us, and we’re happy to have such a great Trustpilot rating of 4.6/5. Since we’re at the start of our journey, we think it’s useful for potential buyers to be able to read honest reviews from other buyers. Trustpilot ratings and our PayPal partnership are emphasised in our campaign to highlight to viewers that we’re a trusted marketplace and their transactions are secure.
We just celebrated our 4th anniversary, so as a growing start-up, we’re always enhancing OnBuy. We’ve got an incredibly exciting future ahead of us – with a massive scale-up underway, with launching 42 country-specific sites by the end of 2020, and will continue to develop OnBuy alongside our growth.
It is hard to be really different… the existing big players are big players for a reason. One thing i do like on Onbuy is the distinct lack of chinese listings taking up the first 20 pages of search. However, the promotions etc are starting to build up and that also distorts the ‘search’. I’m guess it is all about revenue?
My experience as a ebay seller or 12 plus years and 2 on Onbuy, is that most buyers do buy on price. Just look at ebay… look at some of the dirt cheap sellers feedback. Masses of negs and stories of no c.s, poor product quality, late deliveries etc etc… yet people by pass all that becasue it is cheap and then complain when it is crap!
If you want good c.s and back up, good products and decent delivery then it is hard to do when you are being put in same basket as the cheap and not cheerful sellers. All these things cost money and margins are often slim just by trying to compete on price, let along back up and quality too.
I must admit the ad did little for me, but then ads rarely do unless they are really spot on.
I think that Onbuy are trying to tread a very fine line, between being a popular format that is familar to the masses, but alos beinga niche market that offers buyers a different experience. That is one hell of a line to try and follow and im sure it will fall on either side from time to time.
One thing i will flag up quickly… I often fine that when listing a branded item that is already listed, that many of the companies that import their listings from other sites en masse, never check them afterwards. The amount i see with random special characters etc or confusing descriptions is serious annouying and result sin me creatinga nother listing.. this involves using another barcode for wheich we have to pay! I would like to see a reporting function on the listing that is quick and easy to use, i don’t have time to keep creating requests in other parts of the system.
Oh and i know of this one company that lists everything as it’s own brand so you can’t tag the listing…. yet it is the bardcode etc off the product, so again, another barcode needed. All very time consuming… And they do it on other market places too!
However, putting all this aside, I like OnBuy. As a seller it is a bit of a breath of fresh air. We get less ‘demanding and rude buyers’, we don’t have the chinese selling stuff for less than we can post it for, we see less spam listings… It is good.
So long as they keep looking at things from ‘solutions’ basis, then they should avoid the downs of some other market places that only see random changes and fee hikes as the answer to all the stuff that they should be doing.
I used to be an eBay (started up shop in 2006) and Amazon seller (early 2010s, both on Marketplace and supplying directly to them).
I’ve always also been a buyer on there and at Play.com back when it existed, among various other places, so I think I have a good idea of it from all sides.
I think my main issue with OnBuy is it seems to offer nothing unique in terms of a service or product. It’s just like eBay before the Chinese invasion (and how long until the Chinese start up shop there, just as they ruined Etsy USP?).
My main issue is I worry it doesn’t have what it takes to be sustainable. As Amazon turns more and more into Alibaba (they don’t make much effort in their own-stocked products anymore, outside of a few big hit items – who can blame them? Margins must be increasingly squeezed so they just leave it to the Chinese to race to the bottom) and eBay is doing its best to annoy everyone, what is OnBuy really offering?
I don’t think the cluttered interface is unique enough, either.
The problem for me when I stumbled across it as a buyer a few times earlier this year was the sellers are seemingly just the same eBay and Amazon Marketplace ones with the same and sometimes higher prices.
However, all of these items are available from established UK places (eg Wilko, supermarkets, B&M, Home Bargains and independent websites) for less. In most cases the same items or the same item under another guise.
What’s the benefit for the buyer in paying more and who would, other than those that don’t shop around? After all, this is what’s been killing mass/middlemarket clothes shops like Debenhams etc.
I think there needs to be a rethink in reselling mass market products in retail. I don’t believe this model is sustainable.
Better service, less-is-more but better quality and handpicked selection may be a better way to go. A cleaner site with simpler, faster interface, exact search which doesn’t throw up unrelated junk, maybe, to justify a higher (but not too high) price…?
There’s a massive problem thanks to Chinese sellers on eBay and Amazon of dangerous and illegal electrical goods. A site that had third party sellers and guaranteed that it would never sell such illegal rubbish would be a good start too.
I haven’t quite figured out what would work best yet, but I feel like it’s the same as the way streaming services are at the moment (too many vying for attention offering too much of the same thing… only a few can survive).
I wish OnBuy luck, but I haven’t seen anything to tempt or excite me there as a buyer yet, and personally I don’t think the current image and/or business model will be sustainable.
Good comment @Sebastian
I would converse with you on:
1. Amazon do invest a somewhat infinite amount of money on their own products (e.g. Alexa and anything else to keep buyers in their gated garden) not to mention their AWS B2B, technology not yet released combined with their own brands being manufactured/sold albeit not under their orange A-Z logo but other child brands which they own: https://www.vox.com/2018/4/7/17208804/amazon-private-label-brands-list
2. Buyers will always en-mass opt for cheapest price and convenience
3. Online shopping (marketing/re-marketing/resources) is perfect for the big global brands and nationwide brands.
Example: Nike launch a website in 1 months time and do a press release/media marketing then on day one of their website I would bet they would take more money on that one/1st day than most small independent websites would take in a year.
4. The pandemic has accelerated ecommerce but realistically it is the big brands which are benefiting the most and this will only continue.
5. Success (i.e. a top selling item) will always be copied whether it is from the Far Eastern seller or a local seller.
6. Onbuy, IMHO, should stick to their original ETHOS which was (in my opinion) a UK marketplace i.e. NOT like ebay/Amazon who are a global marketplace. I think they should stick to only allowing UK buyers and seller connect and should avoid expanding into other countries and becoming more global as this erodes their standing as a UK marketplace.
7. Due to lockdown restrictions the majority of local High Streets are having/have had a boost but will this continue as our country gets out of all lockdowns and continues to becomes more American? Plus it is human nature to take the easy route such as online shopping/out of town retail parks with free parking/all under one roof etc…
In conclusion we also have not figured out will work best yet in retail but like most people agree you have to continue to adapt accordingly. In addition to your quote of “Better service, less-is-more but better quality and handpicked selection” I would like to see local produce and products for local people but also I am aware that this is probably not sustainable or practical hence the majority of my points above!
Good luck with whatever you are doing in business 🙂
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