Two challenges that have recently plagued online sellers are trying to increase market share against major competitors and optimize the quality and cost- efficiency of shipping operations. Retailers have faced a wide range of obstacles pertaining to transportation companies and distribution channels.
For example, in an effort to move away from using carriers such as FedEx and UPS, Amazon revealed that it would be opening a distribution center and started to deploy its own delivery trucks with the brand's logo.
And it seems that e-commerce giant eBay Inc. is taking a page out of its competitor's book. This week, the company announced that it will soon be opening a shipping supplies store with branded boxes and packaging materials.
eBay gives sellers access to more affordable shipping supplies
Among the initial products offered to the organization's sellers will be high-quality tape, airjacket and polyjacket mailers and 10 size options for boxes, which will made be from 100 percent recyclable material.
In the press release, eBay explained that many of its sellers have requested the option of placing online orders for shipping supplies that are branded. Furthermore, taking into account the importance of pricing and convenience, the organization said its quality products will be priced fairly and easily accessible.
"We're not only excited to introduce eBay branded shipping supplies to our customers, but to do so in a cost-effective, eco-friendly and convenient manner that satisfies the needs of our sellers," said eBay's Head of North America Shipping Business Manish Joneja.
The announcement also revealed that the new supply facility will be run by a third-party business that specializes in fulfillment.
Amazon and eBay strategies begin to merge
VentureBeat pointed out that, although the two originally started out with different business models, this recent move made by eBay makes it even more similar to Amazon Inc.; both organizations now allow third parties to sell just about anything through their stores and, now, they have branded supplies stores in common, as well.
The difference, the source noted, is that the Amazon-branded packages that customers receive at their door steps are generally sent directly from the e-commerce company, whereas the eBay boxes can be purchased by anyone for their own shipping purposes. The increased access to branded packages will likely work in eBay's favor. Not only will the option of using shipping products that are not only more affordable but higher in quality give people an incentive to sell through eBay, but the branded items will also lead to more brand exposure.