Ebay has pledged up to $100 million to help small businesses across North America start selling online.
At the peak of the current Coronavirus pandemic, brick and mortar stores have been forced to close, and economic data quoted by eBay shows that half have only enough cash to survive 27 days without money coming in.
Ecommerce is the obvious answer, but it can be expensive, complex and time-consuming to get started in normal times.
Which is where eBay steps in with its Up & Running scheme , an accelerator program designed to help retailers without an e-commerce presence transition to selling online.
“For the last 25 years, eBay has helped launch and grow hundreds of thousands of small businesses, and now we’ve created Up & Running to accelerate the start-up time frame for retailers opening online stores during these unprecedented times,” says Jordan Sweetnam, SVP eBay North America. “eBay was built on the simple premise that connecting buyers and sellers around the world creates economic opportunity, and this is exactly what we need to be doing – now more than ever.”
Retailers on the scheme will be given a free basic eBay store for three months capable of reaching over 180 million consumers across the world.
They can sell up to 500 items for free, and will be given guidance and resources on how to make the most of the opportunity.
There will be advice on marketing and merchandising tools, customization features to build a brand and discounted shipping within the package.
Josh Holder and MaKenzie Godso, who run the Time Warp Boutique together, say that working with eBay has kept the business afloat.
“Running our eBay business has provided a much-needed sense of normalcy during this very uncertain time. We strive to inspire creativity and personal expression through fashion. Since we’ve had to temporarily close our physical shop, our eBay Store has been an absolute lifeline for maintaining that important connection with our customers,” they say.