Two Months In: A Snapshot of How Our Retail Revival Sellers in Baton Rouge are Flourishing
A look at how our latest Retail Revival cohort of sellers are making strides in their local community and beyond.
We believe one of the most meaningful ways we can make an impact is by empowering small businesses. We are driven to help local retailers use the power of technology and the global marketplace to keep their doors open, hire from their communities, live where they work, and continue to enliven their local economy.
Our innovative Retail Revival program helps train local business owners to sell their unique inventory in a global marketplace, while strengthening ties within their local business community.
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eBay never competes with sellers—we support them. We are successful when they are successful. We developed Retail Revival to equip small businesses with the skills they need to thrive in the global economy.
Through this 12-month program, participating sellers receive comprehensive training, individualized coaching, and ongoing promotional support to help them start and succeed on eBay.
These retailers gain access to 183 million active buyers in 190 markets on the eBay platform, while deepening their roots and relationships in their local business communities.
Here is just a sampling of the program’s impact to date:
From handmade stationery and home furnishings, to products made from locally sourced materials, and clothing that reflects regional trends and culture—shoppers can find unique offerings online while supporting the revitalization of communities around the world.
Sellers in each Retail Revival city bring their own local flavors, styles, and offerings to the platform, helping us deliver the most dynamic, diverse marketplace possible and one-of-a-kind shopping experience.
Here are some of the original finds available from Retail Revival businesses:
Shop Retail Revival
Cities need their local businesses to grow, create jobs, and expand their footprint in the community.
We partner with city leaders to empower their local retailers to take full advantage of the digital marketplace and access new customers around the world. This work is done in tandem with existing efforts to foster entrepreneurship and stimulate economic growth. There is no cost to the host cities or retailers to participate in the Retail Revival program.
With active support from each of the partner cities, eBay recruits, vets, and selects local applicants who are best poised for success on the platform. The 60-80 accepted businesses are then provided onboarding support, training, education, and coaching from a dedicated eBay team.
Throughout the program year, eBay shines a spotlight on each Retail Revival partner city through ongoing marketing and media outreach. Eager to support their successes both on and off the platform, we also work with relevant local organizations to provide “wrap around” services to the participants.
These partnerships can also create additional opportunities between eBay and our host cities. For example, where we can, we hire local program managers and vendors to help execute the Retail Revival program on the ground. In 2018, after the successful launch of Retail Revival in Akron, Ohio, eBay selected Akron as the first US location of our formal work-from-home program,?eBay@Home, which brought nearly 300 full-time jobs with benefits to the city.
Small to medium businesses, like those participating in the Retail Revival program, are essential to economic prosperity beyond their communities.
According to a survey among eBay’s six million commercial and full-time US sellers, small businesses on eBay employ more than 690,000 people in the US, and more than a third of these sellers come from small towns and rural areas.
Online commerce enables businesses of any size and location to open new avenues for revenue and growth beyond their immediate geography. The vast majority of sellers we surveyed—80 percent—say that selling on eBay enabled them to start their ecommerce business, and a third also operate a local brick-and-mortar store along with their online business.
eBay empowers these businesses to reach customers worldwide (which 63 percent say they do) while keeping jobs close to home.
“People can live where they work,” said Grace Kontur, founder of Kontur Wood Works, one of the businesses participating in Retail Revival in Akron. “People can enjoy their community?and also make money?while being part of a global community and economy that’s never been possible before.”
eBay works with local city leaders, universities, and others in regions across the world to develop innovative small business programs to address specific retail challenges—always with the mission to scale solutions to benefit retailers in other communities.
From Yaroslavl city on the Volga River to the endless forests of Novgorod and the lakes of the Udmurtia region, Russia is home to historical industries and developed trade centers. For centuries local craftsmen have created and produced a variety of goods well-known for their outstanding quality.
Today, entrepreneurs from three regions in Russia—Yaroslavl, Novgorod, and Udmurtia—are working to make their unique offerings better known on a global stage. Together with the local Centers of Entrepreneurship Support, eBay is helping small-to-medium business owners in these regions learn to sell online.
Through a program called Export Revival, more than 50 businesses across Russia are receiving mentoring from eBay, plus additional coaching from the Russian Export Center and PayPal, to gain the skills to grow their businesses internationally. These entrepreneurs already listed more than 600 goods in nearly every category on eBay from fashion, tableware, and toys, to gadgets, portable seabikes, and autoparts.
The program aligns with the Russian government’s priority focus to grow small- to medium-sized businesses, create new jobs, and increase export potential of small enterprises and companies.
Learn more about the participating Yaroslavl, Novgorod, and Udmurtia businesses in the?Made in Russia?eBay store.
Ireland is home to our first national retail revitalization program, Retail Expansion. Like Retail Revival, the Retail Expansion program helps local small- and medium-sized businesses reach new domestic and global customers through specialized ecommerce training and support.
Launched in March 2019, in partnership with Enterprise Ireland and the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCOI), the program aims to help up to 50 small- to medium-size Irish companies increase their sales through eBay.
“This is the first time that eBay has launched a national program, but given the success of similar schemes in cities such as Wolverhampton, UK, and Akron, Ohio, we are confident that this is going to open up a global window of new and extensive opportunities for small and medium enterprises right across the country,” said Derek Allgood, eBay vice president of global customer experience.
“We anticipate that the economic impact from this program will be significant and a positive contributor to the companies involved, as well as the Irish economy.”
Retail Revival evolved from a successful pilot program started in the city of M?nchengladbach, Germany.
In 2015, the city management in M?nchengladbach approached eBay Germany asking for help teaching local shop owners how to sell online. The city recognized the opportunity for local businesses to expand their customer base globally, while keeping a physical presence in the community.
Working in collaboration with the city of M?nchengladbach and the Hochschule Niederrhein,?University of Applied Sciences, eBay launched the first eBay City pilot program:?M?nchengladbach by eBay.
Through the two-year pilot program, eBay worked hand-in-hand with local business owners to help them build and expand their online business on eBay.?In the first 18 months, merchants participating in the program had sold to 84 countries, and active eBay sellers in M?nchengladbach were averaging €90,000 per year.
Building on the success of this first pilot, the eBay City program expanded to Diepholz, Germany,?L’Aquila, Italy, and the famous international antique market Les Puces de Paris, Saint Ouen. It also became the genesis for the first Retail Revival pilot program in Akron, Ohio.
The eBay City program continues to support retailers in Germany, most recently supporting small cities within the Weserbergland region of Germany in May 2019.
In March 2019, we launched the Retail Revival program in Israel, in cooperation with the Joint-Link program and the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, to promote social and employment integration by creating an eCommerce community.
The program is designed for manufacturers, business owners, and suppliers in the Galilee with a focus on the settlements of Yarka and Sakhnin, including manufacturers and suppliers in the fields of handicrafts, jewelry, clothing, and others.
"eBay offers a unique opportunity for small business owners in the Galilee, with its vast purchasing power of more than 180 million active buyers from around the world,” said Anna Pelkin, Head of Business Development for Israel and Eastern Europe. “This is a business lever for business owners in the Galilee and a great example for business owners all over the country to create new opportunities in the field of eCommerce."
Fifty-five business owners selected for the project are benefitting from a comprehensive five-session training course that provides local business owners with tools for setting up an online store on eBay, as well as a personal coaching program by eBay experts, enrichment lectures, and special benefits for participants, such as exposure and promotion.
Content meetings are delivered in two tracks tailored to merchants familiar with the contents of the online trade and merchants without prior knowledge. The program also provides training for business management, including product photography, inventory raising, marketing, and more.
Retail Revival is one of a series of investments made by eBay in Israel to promote the small business community and encourage exports and innovation.
Find unique, inspired items and support local economic development in cities around the world by shopping Retail Revival businesses.
No matter the time, day, or distance, shoppers can always find great deals and unique inventory at local retailers worldwide. Customers simply scan a QR code on the store window of participating sellers or visit?Always Open on eBay?to explore the store’s inventory.
Are you a brick and mortar shop with an eBay store??Sign up here?to join Always Open on eBay.
Rosie’s Recycles?and?Secondhand Rosa?owner Heather Wood has built a thriving e-commerce career, and she’s passionate about helping other women do the same. She regularly shares tips, inspiring thoughts, and personal learnings with her thousands of social media followers. With a focus on selling retail overstock and customer return merchandise, Heather and her customers are helping to keep clothes in circulation and out of landfills.