eBay and Amazon see opportunity in rural America and are calling for better resources to “unlock the digital potential” of rural sellers. There are 37 million working-age adults in the rural US who account for close to 15% of the adult population, but annual revenues of rural businesses represent only 3.7% of total gross revenues in the US economy, according to Amazon.
eBay published a post written by one of its sellers who called for economic development to help him and sellers like him compete in the modern, global economy.
Bill Ingersoll sells Motocross and ATV equipment on eBay. “Unfortunately, the national discussion has focused on how to “save” rural America,” he said. “Well, I grew up in rural upstate New York. Specifically, Sloansville, which is about 20 miles outside Schenectady. And we don’t need saving. We’re not asking for, and we wouldn’t accept, a handout. We’re entrepreneurial. All we want is the chance to compete in the modern, global economy.”
In his post, he cited three areas that were crucial for sellers like himself to succeed, which we’ve identified as follows:
1) Affordable, accessible USPS shipping
“Eighty percent of what I ship goes through the USPS. If prices go up substantially, or if I stop being able to rely on USPS service altogether, my business would suffer. And I simply can’t rely on private shippers, who charge large surcharges for pickup and delivery to rural areas.”
2) Broadband access to the Internet (buyers and sellers)
“Rural America needs broadband access. My business exists because eBay exists, and almost all of my revenue comes through selling on the platform.”
3) Access to global markets
“Finally, a lot of people think globalization hurt rural America. I don’t know if that’s true, but if my business is any sign, the global economy can also be a real benefit to places like Sloansville. Increasingly, I’m selling parts overseas, to countries like the United Kingdom and Canada. It doesn’t take a PhD to see that the global economy gives me access to hundreds of millions of potential customers, and that’s where my business is going to grow.” And, he said, “Red tape in international trade is a guaranteed way to put rural America at a competitive disadvantage.”
Read it all at the source: eBay and Amazon See Opportunity in Rural America – EcommerceBytes