Starting an ecommerce business is easy. There are numerous marketplaces and platforms that allow mom and pop retailers to quickly set up an online store. But once the store is launched, there’s not a lot of comprehensive reviews to keep that business going. Enter eBay’s program called Retail Revival. Back in spring of 2018, eBay launched the Retail Revival program in hopes to provide the assistance small businesses need to successfully launch an online retail business.
What Is Retail Revival?
The Retail Revival program offered by eBay aims to help small businesses grow, strengthening their local economies, and fostering the growth of those communities. It does this by partnering with cities within the U.S. and other countries to bring small businesses to the global marketplace, while fostering local economies through retail sales. Retail Revival is really a movement designed to help mom and pop stores stay local and sell global.
The History of eBay’s Retail Revival Program
The Retail Revival program launched March 2018 in Akron, Ohio. Since then, the Retail Revival program has expanded to other U.S. cities, including Lansing, Michigan; Greensboro, North Carolina; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and most recently, Austin, Texas. Besides the U.S., the program has also been launched in six other countries worldwide (Canada, Russia, Ireland, England, Germany, and Israel), and there are no plans to slow down in 2020.
So far, the Retail Revival program has helped more than 450 eBay sellers, who’ve sold almost 600,000 unique products to more than 370,000 buyers in 163 different countries.
How Does eBay’s Retail Revival Work?
eBay’s Retail Revival program selects communities around the globe to support and then opens up the application process to businesses in those locations. The selected businesses receive valuable support from eBay to help their retail businesses grow, including 12 months of comprehensive ecommerce training, promotional support, and dedicated coaching – for free.
The Retail Revival program has been called a digital bootcamp. The company provides participating retailers with a group of classes and resources during the year-long program. Classes include subjects like eBay-selling basics, strategies to get the most out of using eBay’s platform, tools that will help retailers boost their business, properly listing and titling items, and many more.
Every retailer participating in the program also receives a break on seller fees and direct access to eBay customer-service reps.
The support that eBay provides to Retail Revival participants also benefits the communities they come from. By training and promoting local businesses, eBay can work toward strengthening the communities by bolstering the retail sector, creating new jobs, and growing the economy.
Progress of eBay’s Retail Revival Program
In its first year, the eBay retail Revival program reported there had been more than 200,000 transactions by the approximately 300 participating retailers. However, since the program is still in its infancy, it’s hard to give a truly accurate evaluation of the program overall.
Retail Revival was launched less than two years ago, so retailers from only a few communities have completed the year-long program. But from those who have, there is a lot of encouraging feedback. Chris Librie, head of Global Impact and Giving at eBay, said that in Akron, “Many of the sellers have been able to expand their businesses and that either means hiring people or opening brick-and-mortar [stores] where they didn’t have one before, or adding product lines and new services to their businesses.”
In addition, the first year of the Retail Revival program had the following meaningful results:
- In just the first two communities to participate in the program, Akron and Lansing, Retail Revival businesses sold more than 30,000 items to more than 17,000 buyers located in all 50 states and more than 100 countries.
- The Retail Revival participants in Wolverhampton, U.K. collectively hit the $2 million mark in revenue within just five months.
In recognition of the success of the Retail Revival program so far, eBay was added to Fortune’s 2019 Change the World list.
eBay’s Retail Revival program is off to a great start. The company plans to continue the program in 2020, investing in more businesses and communities around the globe. If you have a retail business and are interested in participating in the Retail Revival program, keep your eyes on eBay’s latest news about the program. The applications are only available for a short time when announced in each city (check out Austin’s page to see how it looks). While there is often local advertising in the cities that the marketplace selects to participate, it’s also announced on the main Retail Revival page linked above.
If you would like to support this program, you can see the retailers who’ve participated in Retail Revival and shop their products on eBay’s website.