Wolverhampton signs up with eBay to boost local economy
West Midlands city signs partnership with auction site in bid to help local SMEs grow their business by selling online
Credit: Elliott Brown/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0 – This work has been edited
The City Of Wolverhampton Council has announced a year-long partnership with eBay to help local SMEs establish or grow their online retail presence.
The alliance, dubbed Retail Revival, will see the online giant provide small retailers in the West Midlands city with one-on-one support in establishing an eBay shop. Wolverhampton’s businesses and entrepreneurs will also be offered training in how to maximise sales through the online auction platform, as well as a free one-year Premium subscription, which includes perks such as free listings and supplies needed for shipping goods. A landing page on eBay.co.uk and a dedicated customer services team will also be offered to SMEs via the partnership.
City of Wolverhampton council leader Roger Lawrence claimed that the initiative is “the first of its kind in the UK”.
“eBay will provide valuable support to city retailers in the wake of a challenging national retail climate affected by changes in consumer behaviour and the economy,” he said. “It is an exciting programme that will help businesses with their digital marketing and sales skills, giving them a solid platform for sustainable growth.”
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Councillor Lawrence added: "In an increasingly digital world, such skills are ever more important to business success and survival, complementing and boosting in-store, over-the-counter sales. We announced in July we will establish a city centre commission to further develop our strategic vision for the city centre. This programme will help shape our thinking and make the most of the £1bn of investment currently on site or planned in the city centre."
One of the local firms taking part in Retail Revival is Goodstart Jones, which makes custom luggage and other bags. Company owner Paul Jones said that, in common with many SMEs, his firm spend “90% of our time” focused on the quality of the products it sells.
“This means it can be hard to find the time to reach customers at scale, which is why we are so thrilled to be a part of this project,” he said. “We're a proud Wolverhampton business and we want to use the internet to show the world what we can do. We're excited to learn how to expand our business online, export to international markets, and do our bit to boost the local economy. We're also excited to meet other local entrepreneurs at the training events, so we hope lots of local businesses will sign up.”
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