eBay UK general manager Murray Lambell spoke to Chris Dawson of InternetRetailing sister title ChannelX (formerly Tamebay) about how the effect the economy is having on small businesses and how shopper habits are changing.
Lambell is a keynote speaker at the first ChannelX World, a conference with a focus on new channels from marketplaces to social media, which is to be held in London on October 13. In the keynote session he’ll be looking at how retail – and customer buying habits – have changed.
Register to attend ChannelX World to book your seat at the keynote session, which also features Priyanka Wadhawan of Amazon UK and Patrick Nommensen of TikTok.
Chris Dawson, ChannelX: The economy is in turmoil, how is it impacting small businesses?
eBay UK general manager Murray Lambell: Consumer sentiment is the lowest it’s been since records began, we’ve seen that in various formats and it’s really clear. I think we’re at a slight hiatus in the summer where consumers are out there spending but they are spending more in leisure more so than they are on consuming goods.
The way that we’re thinking about is is that demand is still there, people are still wanting to buy things but they are very thoughtful about how do I trade differently, so this is the what alternative can you give me from a mainstream products that I might get.
Supermarkets talking about trading down from luxury ranges to more middle ranges to economy ranges. I think in the eBay environment it might be trading down from buying a new phone to buying a refurbished phone or looking at Outlet or looking at PreLoved, and that mix of C2C – so new and used together – is going to become increasingly important to customers.
The last bit I’ve heard talked about is businesess thoughtful of “Do I pass my costs through…?” Is this a temporary cost increase or is it a permanent cost increase? So it’s a different proposition. Consumers understand that costs are rising and they will expect costs are coming through at some stage and it’s just being thoughtful of which of those costs you might pass through to your buyers.
CD: How has the partnership with Love Island impacted fashion buying on eBay?
ML: The reason for getting involved with Love Island was partly about fashion but it was more to address in the market this elephant in the room that no one’s talking about – People are very thoughtful about sustainability and thoughtful about the ways to they need to do it.
Love Island was a brilliant place where no one expected eBay to show up. It created tons of talkability. What we found was starting to really address the problem up front – so consumers are very interested in how do I do this sustainable thing in a thoughtful way and we’ve had tons of businesses that have approached us subsequently to think about “How do I get involved because I’ve got inventory that fits this profile and how do I build it?”.
So it’s about fashion, but it’s also about home and garden and it’s also about other categories. It’s the first of several things you’re going to see us doing in this space.
CD: You are presenting at ChannelX World in October, what can retailers expect to learn?
ML: I’ll be very thoughtful of paying a lot of attention to where consumer sentiment is at and how they are changing their behaviour. When we meet in October, we’ll be on the verge of Peak trading, so over the next couple of months me and the team are very focused with our business selling community to get you ready for that Peak trading.
We know it’s going to feel very different this year for our buyers – for your buyers, our buyers – and it’s going feel very different the way that eBay’s going to show up this year. So we’ll talk a little bit about that, and I want to be thoughtful about where’s government and support and how do we think about planning for the year ahead.
Register to attend ChannelX World to book your seat at Murray Lambell’s keynote session – and much more.