On Multichannel and Getting OnBoard with OnBuy - Volo

On Multichannel and Getting OnBoard with OnBuy

Thursday August 27, 2020 | Posted at 5:00 pm | By Paul Dicken
August 27, 2020 @ 5:00 pm

This post explores the idea of OnBuy as an integral part of your multichannel ecommerce strategy.

We’ve been going on about the benefits of multichannel ecommerce for a long time. After all, we provide a reporting platform, a trading platform and high touch services to scale your multichannel growth. ‘Hang on,’ you might say, ‘that’s pretty self-serving. Why should I care?’

Good question, which demands a decent answer. We didn’t develop our offering and then try to find a market for it. We developed our offering in response to a growing group of ecommerce sellers in the mid-noughties who came to us because they found that the addition of a second online channel – a second marketplace, or a website to capitalise on marketplace success, or vice versa – caused unimaginable headaches and workloads that they couldn’t manage manually. Adding a second channel doubled the work and the things to manage. There weren’t enough hours in the day.

Having one platform to manage your multichannel activities, with an emphasis on streamlining processes and automating the flow of data where possible, makes the additional sales controllable, profitable, and most importantly, sustainable. It turns out, though, that there are other benefits to being multichannel.


For traditional brand retailers the insurance of being online afforded them resilience against reversals in their bricks and mortar outlets that carried high fixed and operational costs. Just ask retailers without an ecommerce presence in March of 2020. What’s more, for online sellers, being spread across multiple online channels – marketplaces and webstore platforms – spreads the risk of being unceremoniously suspended from your main marketplace and losing that income overnight.


When you’re already fully active on these channels, and you’ve learned how they operate and how you can excel on them, you’re able to act much more quickly if you get into difficulties on one channel. Even without something catastrophic happening, you can still adjust your multichannel strategy much more efficiently to capitalise on the trends you’re seeing.


Each marketplace has its own cohort of consumers, and you can say the same for your webstore following.  Being present on multiple channels means that you’re scaling your growth across these different consumer segments and also penetrating other regions and countries where there’s even more opportunity to expand.



If you’re centrally managing your channels you’ve got the control, and if you have good reporting capability then you have one window on your multichannel activities. You can do the compare and contrast analysis to take good things from one channel and replicate them to others.

Why OnBuy

Which talk of multichannel brings us onto OnBuy. The new kid on the block. The world’s fastest growing marketplace and the UK’s fastest growing ecommerce company (at least for sites with more than 250,000 monthly visitors). And it’s a UK company too with UK-based resources.

So why should you care about OnBuy, apart from the multichannel arguments we presented above? Why OnBuy specifically? Perhaps one of the most compelling reasons is a cultural one, one that’s focused on sellers. OnBuy was set up to “…level the playing field and bring sellers a better marketplace to sell through.” That’s according to Cas Paton, the founder and CEO.

OnBuy may still be growing super fast but it’s still relatively small, which means it’s laser focused on getting you on board. It’s already strong in Electronics & Technology, Health & Beauty, Home, Garden & Pets and Toys & Games, and is on the journey with Cars & Automotive, to use its own category nomenclature.

It operates a catalogue system like Amazon does, with multiple listings for one product. It’s B2C not C2C, and doesn’t do auctions. It’s focused on professional sellers and its selling fees fall between 5% and 9%, which you’ll probably agree is pretty competitive.

These factors alone prompt further exploring you might think, and we think so too. We’ll be talking about OnBuy in more detail in future posts.

To get on board with OnBuy, to ask us if it’s right for your business, or to talk with us about managing multichannel ecommerce growth, please get in touch.

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