In this second post in a series of 2 we share the highlights and takeaways from the eBay UK Business Roadshow tour. This post focuses on eBay Retail Standards for delivery.
Our theme for our customers in 2023 is protecting margins. With sellers squeezed by both buyers and suppliers, competition will intensify and place an even greater emphasis on being able to differentiate either by product or service, otherwise it will become a race to the bottom.
Last month we attended the eBay Business Roadshow in Bristol to find out what eBay is advising its sellers to focus on this year, and we closed the first blog post discussing what the perfect listing looked like. All of those elements related to the delivery side, so that seems like a good starting point for this post.
eBay’s Retail Standards is a set of 4 main delivery criteria (all of which should be supported by tracking which is key to keeping buyers informed, engaged and trusting):
Deliveries that are ‘free within 3 days’ are those that can be fulfilled within 3 working days, and that includes the seller’s handling time. According to Parcel Lab’s Home Delivery Insights 2020, 68% of UK consumers consider 2-3 days an adequate time for standard delivery. Furthermore, 52% of UK consumers expect standard delivery to be free (Metapack’s The Global Ecommerce Delivery Report 2020).
When it comes to next day delivery, being able to provide buyers with a faster option should help you stand out from the competition. The next day options you provide can also be on a paid-for basis so as not to dent your all-important margins. Sendcloud’s 2020-2021 Ecommerce Delivery Compass reported that 42% of UK buyers are prepared to pay additionally for next day delivery, whereas the eCommerce Delivery Benchmark Report for 2021 found that 46% of buyers value fast delivery more than before the pandemic.
Click and Collect gives your buyers more choice and more convenience and had become much more prevalent even before shops started closing for long periods during the pandemic. Delivering to a retail partner also gives you more protection, against packages going astray and from eBay. 59% of consumers are now using a Click and Collect facility, and 46% of UK consumers said they chose one seller over another because they offered more delivery choice (Metapack’s The Global Ecommerce Delivery Report 2020).
Moving to returns, an impressive 92% of sold items on eBay offered a returns option of 30 days or more (this is eBay internal data for 2021, for B2C items). The eCommerce Delivery Benchmark Report for 2021 found that 57% of consumers would be more likely to shop more with a seller who offered an easy returns policy, which seems obvious but is a surprise to us that it’s not a higher percentage.
Tracking, as anyone will know who’s bought items both with and without tracking, gives the buyer peace of mind and builds trust, since when you buy from a seller for the first time it’s a moment of relatively high risk. As you might expect, 69% of buyers say that tracking is one of their top three considerations when buying a product online, as discovered by the eCommerce Delivery Benchmark Report for 2021.
There’s no doubt that from a delivery perspective the UK has had some challenges and a great deal of uncertainty at the end of 2022 and into 2023. eBay has been very high profile in extending its seller protection measures, and it offers the following advice:
If there’s one area that’s struggled post-Brexit, it’s exports. Many Volo sellers saw their cross-border trade (‘CBT’) weaken considerably in the wake of the legislative changes, a situation exacerbated by the perfect storm of a pandemic, a cost of living crisis, and concerns over a rapidly heating planet. There are signs, though, according to the Office for National Statistics, that UK trade overseas has recovered to 2019 levels, so maybe it’s time to revisit in earnest the international lever to your business?
eBay report that CBT sales are forecasted to increase three-fold by 2030, to $1 trillion, at which point ecommerce will be 30% of total global retail, so the macro factors are certainly favourable. eBay identifies 4 steps in the journey from domestic-only selling through basic international selling, to advanced international selling. Each step involves progressively more effort and cost, for more return in terms of CBT sales:
The GSP is a good place for many eBay sellers to start. eBay report an up to 18% uplift when you opt in to the GSP. It’s hassle free, as straightforward as a domestic sale (except you’re sending it to eBay), and has relationships in place with 35 global carriers.
A great place to start your research is the CBT handbook (accessed here). It’s written by eBay domain experts, is designed to be self-serve, and is kept accurate and current. Good luck!
To talk with us about about eBay’s focus for 2023, and your focus for 2023, please send us a note here.