Online auction giant eBay is extending its customer-centric approach to help SMEs in Wolverhampton revive the struggling high street.

Ebay
The eBay Retail Revival project in Wolverhampton.

In the UK, more than 25 million people browse, buy or sell on eBay each year, with participation growing by around 7.5% every 12 months. Indeed, the auction site has a 60% penetration rate among UK shoppers who buy online.

The company has had customer-centricity at its heart since it was formed by Pierre Omidyar in 1995 as a place where people could interact and bid for items.

“Despite being technology-based, eBay has always been a human ecosystem,” explains CMO Gareth Jones. “Today, we are a managed marketplace where tech is simply an enabler to help people connect.”

This year eBay extended its customer-centric approach with an initiative aimed at helping SMEs sell more on its platform. The auction site has partnered with the City of Wolverhampton on a pilot scheme designed to help revive the high street.

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EBay is working with local high street business owners and managers to show them how using the site more often and more effectively can boost their sales. More than 60 Wolverhampton businesses have taken part and between them they have generated sales of more than £1m and seen an average sales increase of 41% after using the platform for three months.

Since the Retail Revival initiative first launched in the US last year 182 sellers have taken part globally, generating 76,000 sales.

“We know our retail customers want to work with us to evolve their businesses in the 21st century, so they can combine the user experience in their physical shops with the convenience of selling online,” says Jones.

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