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PHL, Asean SMEs seen benefiting from eBay’s global export platform

AS the economy gradually recovers its footing from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Philippines and neighboring countries in the region can leverage on eBay’s platform for global export with the launch of its e-commerce accelerator program called “Global 24/7.”

It provides start-up incentives, necessary tools, trainings, and assistance for business owners to tap into eBay’s global marketplace of over 174 million active buyers. Apart from the Philippines, it is extended to markets across Southeast Asia, including Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.

“Global e-commerce has experienced exponential growth due to a shift in consumer behavior following the Covid-19 pandemic. Philippines’s SME exporters on our platform have seen a corresponding increase, especially in health and beauty; jewelry, gems, and watches; computers; business and industrial; and auto-parts categories, where volumes have more than doubled from the same period last year,” said Tam Yong Sheng, head of business development at eBay Southeast Asia.

“This shows that e-commerce is a key driver for SMEs to recover from the economic downturn. Our aspiration with the Global 24/7 program is to empower businesses by helping them move online more quickly and giving them the opportunity to participate in an international marketplace with approximately 1.5 billion live listings at any given time across 190 markets,” he added.

Ongoing until December 31, this initiative offers manifold benefits to new sellers.

To help SMEs reduce the cost to grow their business online, eBay will waive 100 percent of store fees at the basic subscription tier and 50 percent of fees for businesses to use promoted listings to advertise their products. Total incentive for each seller can be up to $1,000.

Webinars will be held bi-weekly for business owners to gain insights on cross market selling opportunities on eBay, best practices to maximize listing ranking and visibility, and tips on developing a traffic generation plan to their virtual storefront. There will be free access to product listing tools worth up to $700. Sellers will have full access to Viewider, enabling easy product information migration from their existing online selling channels. Those in the automotive category will have additional listing assistance to map their items to eBay’s Master Vehicle List, enhancing visibility through its fitment finder.

In collaboration with DHL Express, new businesses can have discounted shipping rates from Southeast Asia, and a dedicated account manager to expedite the account opening process. For those who are keen to store their items in the United States for a better buyer experience, eBay will provide a subsidy (worth $1,200) of 12 months of storage fees in partner warehouses.

Every business with over 100 products on eBay will also have a dedicated account manager for personalized guidance and consultation to optimize the use of their online store. For exporters to have better informed decisions and strategies, eBay will be creating local market intelligence reports for their specific product categories and industries. Recorded webinars and self-help tutorials will be available at the eBay e-commerce Accelerator webpagee.

SMEs with an existing business but sans an eBay store are eligible to apply for this program. Large and small businesses across the value chain—from manufacturers to dealers to retailers—can also join. They will need to apply on eBaySEAforbusiness.com and follow the instructions in the subsequent e-mail. Application are now accepted until September 30.

The United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and Canada are the top 5 export markets for Philippine SMEs on eBay with health and beauty being the leading category of sales globally, followed by jewelry, gems, and watches; computers; business and industrial; and auto-parts. Simultaneously, retail exports by Filipino sellers on the platform continue to grow rapidly in a variety of product categories, hence, indicating the opportunity for SMEs in the global marketplace.

In the first quarter of 2020, women’s clothing category has seen a growth of more than 290 percent in terms of items sold by Philippine sellers to the US market, while men’s apparel has increased by over 190 percent compared with the same period last year.

During the two periods in review, women’s wear has increased by about 160 percent in Australia; digital cameras have recorded a hike of 320 percent as headphones and men’s accessories rose by 120 percent in the UK; sales of handy phones and smartphones have grown by 680 percent in Germany; motorcycle-part sales have expanded by more than 80 percent in France, Italy and Spain.

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