eBay announces crisis initiative to help small Irish businesses during COVID-19 Pandemic

New programme allows Irish businesses to set up online for free, right now  – even if they don’t already have an online sales presence

eBay has launched an initiative that could help thousands of Irish businesses to stay open, even if their doors are closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

Business owners across Ireland have been thrown into survival mode and non-essential businesses have been forced to close. But now they are being offered a lifeline through eBay Ireland’s new Up & Running programme, which is open to all businesses with a product to sell.

Small to medium sized companies (SMEs) now have an opportunity to open their bricks and mortar stores online by using eBay as their ecommerce platform, at no cost.

The programme will help any local Irish business that wants to quick start or increase its online selling capabilities, but doesn’t have the resources, budget or knowhow to do so.

eBay’s Hazel Mitchell confirmed that new business sellers aren’t the only ones getting support during the pandemic. Measures such as free training is also being offered to Irish companies already listed on ebay.ie that might need extra help and support during this time.

From April 17, for a minimum of three months, Irish businesses, with or without an existing ecommerce presence, are being invited to use the ebay.ie marketplace with the following benefits: Free listings on ebay.ie; No Final Value Fees (the commission paid to eBay based on the final value of sales); Free training that will cover eBay selling basics, how to get the most out of the platform, digital skills, search and listing optimisation and marketing.

The training will be delivered through a series of webinars and mentoring programmes from eBay’s dedicated team in Ireland, helping ensure a smooth transition online for those with no or limited experience.

With 180-plus million buyers across the 190 markets in which eBay operates, the Up and Running programme will give Irish retailers the opportunity to reach new customers, both at home and overseas, at a time when consumers are looking to online channels to fulfil many of their shopping needs.

Companies interested in the Up & Running initiative are invited to:

  1. Create a business account on the sign-up page HERE
  2. Complete the eBay Ireland business questionnaire HERE to activate the programme
  3. Email the eBay Ireland team if you have any questions ebayireland@ebay.com

“This is a difficult time for businesses of all sizes, but I hope that the launch of Up and Running initiative will help alleviate some of the challenges that Irish SMEs are facing, and help them to stay open for business,” said Hazel Mitchell, site lead for eBay Ireland.

“The initiative isn’t just a way to help businesses to stay afloat, it is also an opportunity for them to grow and reach new markets. The COVID-19 restrictions have shrunk our physical world but there is still huge potential in ecommerce. At this time, an online marketplace is the only option for companies that have had to shut their doors to sell their products. We want to help businesses quickly and remove any barriers that might otherwise prevent them from transitioning to online, so we invite business owners to contact us today to see how we can help them. This is a practical solution to a critical and immediate problem.”

Tried and tested model – supporting local

The latest initiative follows a similar model to ebay.ie’s successful Retail Expansion Programme, which was launched in 2019 and saw more than 100 Irish SMEs join the ecommerce site and grow their business capabilities online. 

Galway skincare brand RÍ NA MARA joined eBay’s Retail Expansion Programme in March last year and Deirdre Ui Chathmhaoil, Director of the seaweed beauty brand has reported an increase in sales, particularly in recent weeks.  Deirdre says: “There has been a huge rise in our online sales since the government restricted movement in Ireland. We have also noticed a significant surge in consumers seeking out Irish products in a bid to support local SMEs during the pandemic. This has been hugely reassuring.  We don’t know how long this crisis will last, but we are thankful that our customers are still there supporting us during this time.”

Síle Headen, owner of Laois male grooming brand, Machado Men’s Grooming, was one of the first companies to join the Retail Expansion Programme and says that it has really helped her business, particularly given the impact of the current crisis. In recent weeks, the company has reported a 30 per cent increase in sales through ebay.ie. “I have seen a significant jump in online sales through eBay since the start of the Government lockdown. Sales are increasing online daily and having the support of the eBay team behind us has been essential during these challenging and uncertain times,” said Síle Headen.

Current Irish sellers also offered support

eBay’s Hazel Mitchell confirmed that new business sellers aren’t the only ones getting support during the pandemic. Measures such as free training is also being offered to Irish companies already listed on ebay.ie that might need extra help and support during this time.

WCP Staff

WCP Staff Writer

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