Small and medium businesses yet to take advantage of marketplace benefits

 Survey finds retailers are not fully exploiting the potential of marketplaces like eBay and Amazon, and lag behind in mobile

London, UK –28 October 2013 – ChannelAdvisor (NYSE:ECOM), a leading provider of cloud-based e-commerce solutions that enable retailers and manufacturers to increase global sales, today announced the results of a market survey indicating that many small and medium businesses are missing out on the revenue opportunities of selling across marketplaces.

According to a survey of 192 retailers conducted at eCommerce Expo 2013, only 48 per cent of small- and medium-sized businesses respondents are currently selling through eBay, while only 43 per cent list on Amazon. Meanwhile, 25 per cent of retailers currently sell using Google Shopping, 6 per cent use Rakuten’s and 2 per cent use Tesco. The findings show that 77 per cent manually list products through their own e-commerce website, which was found to be the most commonly used channel for small and medium businesses.

The survey results suggest that retailers are missing out on increased sales by overlooking the opportunity presented by marketplace.

The research also highlights misconceptions in relation to using marketplaces internationally – only 30 per cent felt that eBay allowed them to enhance their ability to sell abroad, compared with 28 per cent for Amazon and 10 per cent for Google Shopping. Similarly, only 47 per cent felt eBay offered them a large pool of customers, while just 46 per cent believed Amazon was a recognised channel among consumers.

Despite the potential reach and visibility afforded by marketplaces, small and medium businesses appear to view the addition of further channels as too complex. Only 34 per cent believe eBay listings provided ease of use, compared with just 31 per cent for Amazon, 15 per cent for Google Shopping, 8 per cent for Rakuten’s and 7 per cent for Tesco.

“We tried to list through eBay and Amazon previously but the marketplaces were not integrated into our own e-commerce website correctly so we had to manage our inventory manually. This was a big drain on resources and led to issues of overselling, particularly with eBay,” comments Steven Berke, e-commerce director, Xtras Accessories. “We have since implemented ChannelAdvisor to automate our marketplace selling and have reaped the revenue rewards.

“These findings suggest something of a misconception around the benefits that marketplaces can bring to an e-commerce strategy,” comments Zoe Ripley, marketing director, EMEA, ChannelAdvisor. Their reach is unparalleled to any other single sales channel, and the association with a trusted brand can bring a real sense of credibility that can’t be gained by going alone.”

The research also suggests that mobile commerce continues to be seen as an ‘added extra’ rather than a core part of respondent’s strategies. Only 53 per cent of respondents currently feature a mobile offering to consumers, despite mobile commerce accounting for 23 per cent of all online retail sales in the second quarter of 2013 according to the IMRG-Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index[4].

Other findings from the research include:

  • 92 per cent of respondents currently sell and ship products to the UK, 64 per cent to Europe, 27 per cent to Asia, 37 per cent to North America, 24 per cent to Africa, 45 per cent to Australasia and 26 per cent to South America

The research was conducted amongst 192 retailers at eCommerce Expo.

About ChannelAdvisor

ChannelAdvisor (NYSE: ECOM) is a leading provider of cloud-based e-commerce solutions that enable retailers and manufacturers to integrate, manage and optimise their merchandise sales across hundreds of online channels including Amazon, Google, eBay, Facebook and more. Through automation, analytics and optimisation, ChannelAdvisor customers can leverage a single inventory feed to more efficiently list and advertise products online, and connect with shoppers to increase sales. Billions of dollars in merchandise value are driven through ChannelAdvisor’s platform every year, and thousands of customers use ChannelAdvisor’s solutions to help grow their businesses. For more information, visit


Laura Lane


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