Long before Cori O’Steen, founder and chief financial officer of South Carolina-based online retailer UpakNShip, became a $10 million business leader and this year’s grand prize winner at the Shine Awards for Small Business, she was selling her children’s clothes on eBay to make ends meet. It wasn’t until she was running short on clothing, but still had plenty of packing material, that she realized she had another product to sell—decorative packaging.

Over the next fifteen years, Cori would plant her entrepreneurial roots in eBay’s seller platform and develop a lucrative business boasting 7,000 monthly shipments—all from the comfort of her home.

This year, the Shine Awards recognized Cori for the grit, ingenuity and resolve she demonstrated while building her small business on eBay. Since its founding in 2016, the Shine Awards has celebrated the small and medium-sized businesses  (SMBs) who comprise eBay’s vibrant community of sellers. Winners receive funds to fuel their business and a one-year Anchor Store subscription, among other accolades.

Cori not only embodies many qualities shared by the world’s hard-working small business owners, but she has also experienced many of the challenges they face turning passion into profit. These entrepreneurs still use eBay for the same purpose it was founded on nearly 25 years ago: to bring together buyers and sellers in an honest and open marketplace. SMBs on eBay can instantly reach a global community of buyers who delivered nearly $90 billion in merchandise sales last year.

SMBs trust eBay for its entrepreneurial space and reputation. A survey conducted earlier this year found 80% of sellers say eBay allowed them to start their online business, leading to the creation of more than 690,000 jobs. Other data show considerable growth for eBay sellers operating in central regions of the United States. These businesses are growing at the same rates as commercial sellers along coastlines, though other centrally-based retailers still lag behind.

eBay has proven to be a platform small businesses rely on to boost sales and reach new audiences. And the benefits work both ways—advertisers engaging with eBay’s one-of-a-kind SMB sellers may discover insights to reach reliable new buyers.

Whether they’re boosting site engagement through store sales or making eBay purchases themselves, SMBs belong to their own subset of heavily active users who also interact with other highly active buyers.

Advertisers connecting with eBay’s small business community can turn meaningful transactions into an opportunity to learn more about SMB sellers and shoppers who engage with them. SMBs remain at the heart of the platform’s marketplace—and advertisers who understand why can leverage the entrepreneurial spirit of eBay’s most active communities.

Reaching SMB Enthusiasts and Sellers on eBay

Not only are SMBs active on the site, but consumers also rely on eBay for access to online small businesses. Users who prefer buying from SMBs, or SMB enthusiasts, engage consistently and often with their preferred brands, purchasing 20% more frequently  than the average eBay consumer. Even after making a purchase, data suggests these users are over 1000% more likely  to remain active on the site year-round, making SMB enthusiasts some of eBay’s most consistent shoppers.

eBay’s audience targeting solutions use cross-shopping data to pinpoint which categories shoppers purchase from the most, allowing marketers to reach them at critical moments. eBay has found that SMB enthusiasts purchase items from the Business & Industrial category nearly 3x more than other eBay shoppers . Other categories like Home & Garden, Consumer Electronics, eBay Motors and Pet Supplies  also see a higher volume of SMB enthusiast traffic.

Cross-shopping insights also help marketers find dedicated shoppers among SMB seller communities. Small business owners know eBay well and trust it with their business—and that trust translates into buying behavior. On eBay, SMB sellers make 540% more purchases  than average users. Diving into SMB shopping habits reveals behaviors that align with their business needs. For example, small business owners purchase 1.6x more stamps  than the average user, reflecting modern businesses’ shipping frequency.

eBay’s has created a vibrant community of buyers and sellers that lends itself to a stimulating environment for small business owners. They know they can trust their brand with us—and because of this, they support the platform supporting them. Advertisers who understand how SMBs fit into eBay’s active shopping groups can develop collaborative relationships and earn their place within the community.

To learn more about eBay’s advertising solutions, including ways to reach these small business owners, contact our ad sales team today