UK-based Amazon challenger OnBuy has launched into the IT market as it tries to restore the faith of resellers in online marketplaces.
Onbuy provides a platform for sellers similar to Amazon, but does not sell any products itself and therefore does not directly compete with those sellers.
The platform, which claims to offer far lower commission rates than the likes Amazon and eBay, currently has around 350,000 products across a number of markets listed for sale - with the first IT products added to the site last week. OnBuy expects to have around 12 million products listed by the end of the year.
Currently around 85 per cent of sales through OnBuy are to consumers, but MD Paton told CRN that the goal is to improve the B2B side of the business significantly, starting with a push into the IT channel.
"IT resellers are naturally cautious of marketplaces because they've been stung before," he said.
"The pick-up in IT hasn't been as powerful as it has been in other areas but now we're listing products and seeing traction. We're going to be at 50,000 products by [the end of the week].
"It's growing, but now is definitely the time to really build some interesting relationships with some resellers."
OnBuy charges a flat monthly fee of £19 for sellers using its platform, with commission rates ranging between three and six per cent of sales. For electronics and computing the commission is fixed at 3.5 per cent.
Paton could not divulge any of OnBuy's financial figures, but said that most recently revenue was up 178 per cent month on month.
The OnBuy platform is set to be available across Europe later this year, with the website translated into each native language.
While it is just starting out in IT, OnBuy has seen success in other markets, attracting some sellers with global revenues of over $1bn.
Paton said that in some cases it can be cheaper for sellers to use OnBuy's platform rather than maintain their own website.
When asked whether sellers with an already established internet presence would prefer to sell through their own site and not pay commission to a third-party platform, he said that the positives outweigh the negatives.
"OnBuy has an alternative market and is already building loyal customers," he said. "Over the last six months we've already seen that we're getting quite significant repeat orders.
"OnBuy is convenient. When a customer comes to us and sets up their payment method they can come back and buy from anyone with a single transaction in two clicks, so it's really easy to buy on OnBuy once you've placed your first order.
"For the sellers, they've got nothing to lose and everything to gain."
OnBuy doesn't currently handle the products listed on its marketplace, with the sellers themselves fulfilling shipments.
The firm is however trialling a logistics model with one seller, where sellers can send their stock to OnBuy which will then deliver the products.
"A lot of sellers, whether they're too small or too big, might want to sell to consumers but don't have the infrastructure to do it in a large volume way," he said.
"We're going to be introducing OnBuy Logistics and the USP on that is that we will also ship to other marketplaces for the same fee. We're not saying 'ship your goods and they can only be sent to OnBuy'. We're saying 'ship your goods, we'll do all the logistics and we'll ship them to other marketplaces like Amazon and eBay'.
"It makes OnBuy an easy add-on because if we're going to be managing their shipments to Amazon and eBay anyway, they might as well sell on OnBuy as well."
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