Last month eBay released their ‘Business Seller News for Autumn 2013’ which consisted of changes to Top-Rated Seller status and Return Policies, most importantly changes made to facilitate Cross Border Trading on eBay marketplaces. Recently in eCommerce there has been a strong emphasis on International Online Retail, especially from our friends at eBay. In order to accommodate this rising trend eBay decided to;
- Change their pricing policies, so that businesses can list on international sites at no additional cost.
- Offer higher visibility for domestic listings that offer international postage to buyers in all countries where eBay does not have a presence.
In addition to this, they recently launched an International Growth Programme, aiding sellers to accelerate their overseas sales by simplifying international selling.
‘Become a local, or at least sell like one…’
If all of the above isn’t enough, eBay have just announced yet another Cross Border Trading Promotion…
From the 2nd September – 1st January 2014, eligible eBay.co.uk sellers will be able to make up to 10’000 listings per month on eBay.fr, eBay.es and eBay.it websites and will not have to pay Insertion and Final Value fees on those listings. The promotional offer is invite only, if eligible you are likely to receive an invite in the form of an email, by telemarketing or by a message in ‘My eBay Messages’.
‘Now’s the time to grow your business in Europe’
With basic international selling, an online seller lists on eBay.co.uk and offers international postage – the inventory is associated with a single listing that gets visibility on multiple sites. With advanced international selling, an online seller will list their products on eBay’s international sites, however the inventory and stock quantity aren't automatically synchronised across listings.
To support this an online retailer can consider Multi-Channel Order Management & Inventory Control tools such as Linnworks.
Instead of only offering to post abroad within your domestic listings, try advanced international selling and benefit from this promotion. By listing on the local eBay site you could:
- Sell to new buyers and target audiences looking for you product.
- Increase the visibility of your listings.
- Maintain optimal control while selling to growing markets from your existing eBay account.
- See a return on investment in new geographical markets.
- Save money with no Insertion or Final Value Fees on eBay.es, eBay.it and eBay.fr until January 2014.
“eBay’s recent sales analysis shows that sellers who list directly on other eBay sites generate up to 8x more revenue per listing compared with simply offering to post abroad from within their domestic listing.”
Now could be the right time for you as an online retailer to internationally expand, online spending is forecast to grow between 2012 and 2017 – in Spain by 18%, in Italy by 15.9% and in France by 11.3%.
‘Working to facilitate your international growth’
eBay have been working hard, pooling their resources and acquiring strategic partners to formulate a plethora of tools tailored to support you in setting up your international business and selling on eBay’s other sites.
In order to be eligible for the Cross Border Trading Promotion, you must list your items directly on the international eBay sites (‘Advanced International Seller’). You don' need to create another selling account - you can sell internationally from your existing eBay.co.uk account. – to assist you with streamlining your inventory and stock quantities across multiple regional marketplaces, Multi-Channel Order Management & Inventory Control Solutions such as Linnworks are designed to support you with these requirements and your international growth.
Although eBay’s promotional ‘No Fees’ offer is only for the French, Spanish & Italian marketplaces – that doesn't mean that you cannot consider other geographical variants. There are International Market Research Services available for your utilisation that can help you decide which countries offer the best growth potential for your business, such as Data Analysis, Marketplace Research and Sourcing Tools – find these tools in eBay’s Solution Directory.
“Translation is the paradigm, the exemplar of all writing” – Harry Mathews
Translation of listings is important when expanding into new international markets, effective translation can minimise the risk of low detailed seller ratings. Logically, listings that contain content that’s potentially difficult for buyers to understand contradicts eBay’s ‘Selling Practices’ policy. There is a possibility that if you do no list in the native language of a site, the eBay Customer Service Team may remove your listing.
If you believe that you do not have the tools within your organisation to create internationally translated listings, you do have some options available.
eBay are currently working to facilitate an online retailers communication with international buyers by providing an on-demand translation tool that will be accessible from within My Messages on eBay.
Translation Tools can assist you with the translation of your listings. It’s important to note that these programmes are machine translated and don’t necessarily deliver high quality translation of content. You can use free translations tools such as Google Translate or Bing Translator. eBay actually allows a user to list to all of its storefronts from a single account. Linnworks along with LinnLive provides the functionality for you to be able to have independent titles and descriptions for each of these eBay websites, facilitating your ability to list to all sites from a single eBay account channel. Linnworks allows for you to get an API key from both of these service so that you can integrate their machine translation service into the software.
Some organisations may prefer to have a translator or multiple translators to optimise your listings. High quality listings help drive your conversions. There are available organisations that can provide assistance with providing a translator;
- Association of Translation Companies
- Institute of Translation & Interpreting
- National Register of Public Service Interpreters
An effective solution to translation issues comes in the form of ‘Outsourced’ or 3rd party providers that have linguistic skills and are familiar with selling on eBay. Some 3rd party providers also offer multi-lingual customer service. Here are some providers who can assist you with extensive translation.
At the beginning of the article I briefly touched on eBay’s International Growth Programme in Partnership with WebInterpret. Sellers trialing the programme have seen their overseas sales by more than 25% in 2 months. By participating in the programme you will get your 100 best selling UK inventory listed on eBay's top international sites for free, in the buyers native language optimised for eBay search. Exclusive benefits include;
- Free insertion fees on all international sites for 2 months.
- Automated listing of your 100 best selling UK listings on the top 6 international eBay sites.
- Free optimised translation of those listings
- Free 2 month subscription to WebInterpret without commitment.
In summary, there is a wealth of opportunity waiting to be exploited, and dedicated specialised support on hand to assist you in growing your international business. We hope this article can be the starting point to your eventual global success.