€1M in Sales and Counting!

1st August 2019

Posted In: FYI

eBay has announced that €1 million in sales has been generated by Irish businesses taking part in its Retail Expansion Programme, an initiative launched to support Irish SMEs.

The programme, which commenced in March, was developed by eBay in partnership with Enterprise Ireland  to support local Irish businesses reach new audiences in Ireland and around the world. More than 50 businesses in Ireland joined the pilot programme with many reporting an uplift in overall sales of between five and 20 per cent. eBay’s Retail Expansion Programme sees experts from eBay provide support to SME’s around the country who wanted to start up or expand their online presence. Participants receive one-to-one support and take part in training programmes that cover eBay selling basics, digital upskilling, marketing and Search Engine Optimisation.

UK and US biggest market for Retail Expansion Programme sellers

Such has been the success of the programme that one item has been sold on eBay every six minutes by sellers taking part in the scheme.  The items span all categories on eBay including homeware, fashion, beauty, food and even pet accessories.

Significantly, 54% of Retail Expansion sellers had never exported their products to overseas markets prior to joining the Retail Expansion Programme.  And now, 80% of sellers are exporting to up to eleven different markets across the world.  The UK is currently the largest market for sellers on the Retail Expansion Programme, followed by the US  and Germany.

Boosting the economy

eBay Ireland’s site lead, Hazel Mitchell, said: “The Retail Expansion Programme has given Irish businesses the chance to reach a whole new customer base not just in Ireland, but globally.

“Bricks and mortar businesses across Ireland are facing rising business costs due to inflation in commercial rates and insurance. It’s a tough market out there, but those taking part in the Retail Expansion Programme can attest to the fact that having a presence online can really boost sales and complement retail stores.

“It’s fantastic to see the progress that those taking part in the programme have made in just four months, reaching the €1 million milestone so quickly. Not only does this impact their own businesses, but also provides a boost to the wider economy.  Many of the sellers have indicated that they will need to increase staffing levels as a result of the programme, which is great for communities across Ireland.”

Irish sellers confirm uplift in sales

One business that has benefitted from the eBay Retail Expansion Programme is K9Connectables, an Irish company specialising in unique interactive dog toys that stimulate the mind.

Founder, James McIlvenna, said: “Since joining eBay’s Retail Expansion Programme we have noticed significantly more online interest and activity for our K9Connectables dog toy range, particularly from international markets.  In just four months there has been an unbelievable 20% uplift in sales as a direct result of the programme and the support and direction we are receiving from the team at eBay.

“The increase in sales is going to contribute to the overall long-term growth of our business and we are already looking at increasing production capacity and expanding our premises and warehouse space in Dublin. We are also anticipating having to employ more staff because of the huge demand from all over the world for our dog products; this has been such a positive move for K9Connectables and we are amazed by the results.”

Another Irish business that has seen a positive impact from taking part in the programme is Machado Men’s Grooming, a grooming company based in Co Laois.

Founder and CEO, Síle Headen, said: “eBay’s Retail Expansion Programme has opened up a whole new world and customer base for Machado Men’s Grooming. As a start-up company in rural Laois, we are delighted with the results in such a short space of time.

“The support and direction we have received from the team at eBay over the past four months have been phenomenal and we are already planning our next business move, with expansion plans for eBay’s US market. The Retail Expansion Programme has helped future-proof our business and has contributed to the overall long-term growth of Machado Men’s Grooming.”

Pictured: Síle Headen of Machado Men’s Grooming & Hazel Mitchell of eBay with rescue dogs Henry and Betty and their K9 Connectable toy; K9Connectable has increased sales by 20% since joining the eBay programme .