By Catherine Morin
E-commerce giant eBay has launched a program to help small businesses and physical retailers keep their operations running during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The $100 million initiative, called Up & Running, aims to help bricks-and-mortar sellers across North America move some of their business online.
The confinement measures put in place to contain the spread of the coronavirus have forced many physical stores to close for an indefinite period. Half of them have only enough resources to survive for 27 days without new profits coming in, according to a recent report by JPMorgan Chase.
To help retailers without an online presence transition to e-commerce, eBay will waive seller fees for new members until June 30.
The company will also give these businesses a free basic eBay store for three months. This subscription plan offers access to over 180 million buyers around the world, according to eBay.
“We’ve created Up & Running to accelerate the start-up time frame for retailers opening online stores during these unprecedented times,” declared Jordan Sweetnam, SVP eBay North America, in a recent press release. “eBay was built on the premise that connecting buyers and sellers around the world creates economic opportunity, and this is what we need to be doing – now more than ever.”
The company will, however, only cover the costs for the first 500 items sold between April 2 and June 30. Retailers will bear the costs for all additional items sold during this period.
The program will also offer access to educational webinars, individual support, and a community of experienced retailers willing to mentor those who are new to e-commerce.
Additionally, eBay intends to highlight small business sellers on its homepage over the coming weeks to give them more visibility.
Up & Running is designed exclusively for new sellers, which means that companies with existing accounts as of April 1st are not eligible for the offer.
The initiative follows the Retail Revival program created by eBay in 2018 to help stores reach a broader audience online.