Q&A with Cas Paton, Managing Director of OnBuy
We recently caught up with Cas Paton, Managing Director of new British online marketplace OnBuy. Cas has huge passion for his business with some highly ambitious plans for its development.
Firstly, tell us about OnBuy…
OnBuy is a British online marketplace and shopping website, allowing customers to browse a large number of products across hundreds of categories, from thousands of professional sellers.
What is OnBuy’s unique selling point?
OnBuy charges its sellers some of the lowest commission rates in the market, with the idea that sellers can then pass these savings on to their customers. OnBuy is British and works with registered businesses rather than individual sellers, to offer the best deals and product range to the British public.
What gave you the idea for the site?
Having worked with hundreds of eCommerce websites, I realised that there was a gap in the market for a fairer marketplace to operate, one that would help sellers and customers to save money.
Where does your entrepreneurial spirit come from?
I’ve been entrepreneurial since a very young age, always wanting to create, build and commercialise ideas, and have huge global aspirations that I plan to realise!
What’s been the biggest challenge for the business?
OnBuy is a tough concept because it’s competing directly against some huge well-funded US giants. The challenge is to get noticed, but each month we’re getting noticed more and our visitor numbers and sales are increasing accordingly. We have a huge journey ahead of us yet, and OnBuy is a marketplace that must prove itself over time, to both sellers and customers.
How has the marketplace landscape evolved, and how do you see it changing in the future?
In the UK there are many marketplaces coming to market, typically with niche products or a niche market at the core of the concept. OnBuy is a broad-category marketplace and this has larger challenges but a stronger long-term marketshare-led plan. The offerings of our marketplace, such as fulfilment services and seller protection is the obvious evolution that we have to undertake, as well as branding out towards Europe and further afield, which we have started!.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
I see me heading a global company and I see OnBuy more logistics-led, offering our sellers ways to sell internationally and deliver products at a low cost. 5 years is a long time and at the speed that our ideas are flowing and evolving, anything is possible.
What are your fees for selling and how do they compare vs your competitors?
OnBuy charges between 5-9% (depending on the item) per sale of a product, plus PayPal fees. Amazon charge 7-45%, with a typical fee of 15% for most items.
In a market that demands fast and free delivery, what are your plans to take that?
We are working closely with retailers to make this possible and we are also working to launch our own fulfilment solution that will help to keep costs down to merchants, offering shipping rates that they could not achieve by themselves.
As the marketplace is starting to evolve into international sales, how are you ensuring that you have a global presence?
We are working with international marketing agencies in our target territories that will help to introduce OnBuy to a large audience. We are also working closely with Google directly to target localised customers to OnBuy.
Outside of work, what are you most proud of?
My son. He’s my proudest work. I work for him and my family, to give them everything I can, in terms of time, security and quality of life.
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