Steve meets Ian Moore, Managing Director at TymeOnline, an official eBay Partner
As part of my series of interviews with key figures within the Home and Garden Industry, this week I’m meeting with Ian Moore Co-founder and Managing Director of TymeOnline, an official eBay partner.
TymeOnline, offers a range of services that allow companies to successfully outsource their online expansion. They offer a complete managed solution to give your products, brands and company a presence on the web via multiple online marketplaces, without the need to invest in additional internal resource or skills.
You can connect with Ian here.
Tell me more about the TymeOnline business and your relationship with the marketplaces?
We offer a range of services that allow companies to successfully outsource their online expansion. Specialising in Marketplaces, we partner with the likes of eBay, Amazon & OnBuy, our solution provides a complete managed service in which we create, design and manage your online sales growth / strategy.
What’s the background to your business, how did it all start?
Having been part of a successful start-up internet business previously, I felt that growth opportunities around marketplaces would be significant in the future. I met my co-founders at Lancaster University and we rapidly built a good relationship. They had successfully built a technology company from scratch and were interested in participating in the TymeOnline project which brought a great deal of experience in starting, managing and growing TymeOnline in the B2B area.
You provide a really valuable service that many Home and Garden businesses are currently struggling with, can you please outline your key services?
Marketplace selling is sometimes seen as a dark art. Many businesses have their own ecommerce teams and have tried selling via marketplaces often unsuccessfully. This can be due to a lack of knowledge, time, resource or infrastructure. TymeOnline removes this hurdle and has the ability to provide a professional managed service to businesses that wish to address these challenges and have a long term, successful strategy with marketplaces.
What’s your view on the opportunity for retailers and manufacturers within the Home Improvement and Garden industries?
Covid-19 proved to be a very challenging time for businesses, it was a strange scenario within the Home improvement and Garden sector. The consumer demand within the sector increased dramatically but the impact of closures on high street retail had huge impact on product availability. Many businesses were caught-out and for many, long overdue plans to expand distribution, particularly direct to consumers, suddenly became top priority. This has fast tracked the multi-channel commerce sector by at least 5 years as a way to protect their business and brand. For many it’s completely changed the mindset from ‘we need to look at multi-platform selling’ to put simply ‘the priority is to make our products available where consumers want and choose to buy them’.
Is eBay your most important channel and do you work with other marketplaces?
eBay is a hugely important channel, especially within the Home and Garden sector; for many consumers it is now their default go to. We’ve got to remember the loyal, captive audience they have and the ease of which consumers can buy whilst feeling protected. That said consumers are creatures of habit and like to use the platform that they feel most comfortable with. Therefore, as a business we need to look at as many channels as possible to maximise product exposure and consumer reach. We partner and work very closely with all major marketplaces including Amazon, OnBuy, Shopify, Etsy and Not On The High Street.
Who do you currently represent within the non-food sector?
TymeOnline customers range from high street retailers such as HMV and TJ Hughes through to brands like Hamleys of London and Einhell. We also manage the marketplace strategy for existing eCommerce sellers such as The Hut Group. TymeOnline work with major retailers, large brands and manufacturers and we can customise a solution to fast-track your revenue growth.
In which ways have you had to invest and change your business to meet the needs of marketplaces and your clients?
Our services are constantly adapting to meet the ever-developing world of the sales channels and consumer needs. Our key investments internally have been into capable resources and increasing the skillset of our team. We act as a partner to our clients and work with them on any challenges that may occur from fulfilment to customer services to promotional activity.
I’m particularly interested in your on-going account management services, can you tell me more about these?
This really makes our service unique, we create accounts, design branded stores, optimise data, run promotions, integrate systems and work on strategy. Rather than replicate existing data, we manually optimise the data to meet the relevant best practices for each marketplace. Each client is allocated an account manager and their role is to understand the customer, their brand, product range, competitors, values and use this information to drive exposure and revenue.
How do you see market-places developing over the next 3-5 years?
The shift we’ve seen over the last few years is larger, established retailers, brands and manufacturers moving to a direct to consumer strategy via marketplaces. This provides greater control over their brand image, range, pricing and ultimately the purchase experience. The days of marketplaces being known as auction houses is long gone and businesses now use these platforms to offer current products with full price, quick fulfilment and customer service backup. Social commerce is also a rapidly developing area and will be an area to monitor over the coming years.
What would you say is currently the single biggest opportunity for Tymeonline?
We predominantly work on a revenue share basis so our solution is not a hard decision to make for businesses. The opportunity for us is raising awareness of our business and the services we offer to the brands, retailers and manufacturers who are currently considering a marketplace strategy.
What message would you send to retailers and manufacturers who are not currently selling through market-places?
It is no longer a case of if they should be on marketplaces it’s a case of when and how they can begin selling through marketplaces. Being an omni-channel business is not an option for any business who wants to sell it’s products to consumers.
And finally if any company is interested in finding out more, what’s the best way to contact you?
Reach out to our team for a chat on how we may be able to help their marketplace growth. Call us on 01254 841770 or email firstname.lastname@example.org