Live Blogging from 2014 Catalyst Europe: eBay

April 10, 2014

Marketplaces ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

Welcome to the live blog of ChannelAdvisor’s Catalyst Europe 2014. We’ll be live blogging some of our keynote  sessions to make sure that Catalyst attendees don’t miss anything. Also, make sure you’re following hashtag #EUCatalyst and @ChannelAdvisor on Twitter for all the latest updates.

Murray Lambell, eBay’s Director of Cross-Border trade takes to the stage to speak about the CBT opportunity the marketplace presents. Murray starts by saying UK retailers are at the forefront of expanding thier businesses internationally. In the past, most retailers were domestic focused, but e-commerce had shaken that up, with retailers of all sizes discussing what a global expansion plan looks like.

International commerce is set to grown sevenfold to £28billion, growing 12%. Further, with 64% of EU buyers will be outside of UK and Germany in 2016, retailers are looking to new regions to drive their growth. This identifies that retailers should be looking to new regions to promote their growth.

Murray highlighted a few of the many benefits retailers experience when expanding internationally:

  • New buyers – Maybe an obvious one, but it’s clear that there are millions of buyers that might have never seen your products or had a chance to purchase them before, right at your fingertips through eBay’s strong global presence.
  • Higher profit margins– Your products might sell for more in different markets and sellers could therefore have higher profit margins
  • Diversification: This could mean selling out of season stock in countries with different seasons to yours, being less reliant on the economy of one country or other diversification benefits.
  • Testing: If you’ve ever expanded in to a new country with your own website or physical store then you know how costly, time consuming and risky this can be.  Leveraging marketplaces enables you to quickly and easily test the demand for your products in numerous countries around the world, giving you great insight in to any future expansion plans
  • Competitive positioning: You can always be sure of one thing- your competition is looking to grow their business internationally. With the increased sales volume and therefore scale that international growth offers, you’ll increasingly face more competitive situations if you don’t embrace this new dynamic.

While China and Russia have been a focus of the morning’s keynotes, Murray urges attendees to also look to Europe for some high-growth regions. He said that the European e-commerce opportunity is huge and growing fast, with 12% growth in France, 19% in Spain, 13% in Germany and 18% Italy.

Murray offers details on some of the key regions.


  • eBay has 50% reach in this market, which is the second largest in Europe.
  • Germany has a 13% online retail growth forecast.
  • There are 18 million active accounts on and a product is sold on the mobile app every 1.3 seconds. This is a 50% market reach.
  • A home furnished product is sold every 2 seconds.


  • eBay has a 20% reach of France’s 66 million population
  • 42% of the population own a smartphone
  • There’s a market of 4.5 active accounts
  • After USA, France is the most popular international search destination for UK


  • 60 items sold every minute in 2013
  • 53% smartphone ownership in this region
  • An electronic item is sold every second
  • eBay reaches 26% of the population


  • One third of customers have already bought an item online
  • UK retailers are most popular destination, especially Electronics and Fashion
  • Every 18 seconds an electronical item is sold
  • Spain represents an important market for CBT with 33 million users

Murray disclosed that the biggest reasons consumers look across borders is the value, price and product choice offered. Language, logistics and payments are the greatest barriers to purchasing a product internationally, so these are the areas that retailers should be addressing.

If you’re only starting out acting like a local helps maximise international sales with translated listings, various delivery options and competitive shipping fees

Murray advises to make sure you specify postage costs, charge reasonable postage rates, choose a delivery option for countries you post to and try and include a tracking number where possible. Also remember to localise any regional sizes or measurements and work to provide high quality images to ensure a real customer experience.

All in all a great lesson from eBay on tips to expand internationally!

Reminder for the Catalyst Europe’s social presence:
• Follow @ChannelAdvisor on Twitter as we’ll be tweeting out updates, reminders about sessions, networking events and more.
• Tag your social posts, Instagram pics with our show hashtag: #EUCatalyst tabs on discussions, networking opportunities and more on the Catalyst app.
• Keep an eye on the ChannelAdvisor blogs where we’ll be live blogging the keynotes and main sessions at Catalyst.