OnBuy: ‘Not selling anything is part of our success’

OnBuy: ‘Not selling anything is part of our success’

OnBuy, dubbed by The Financial Times as the ‘fastest growing ecommerce company in Europe’, owes its success to its independent position towards the retailers in its marketplace.

That is what Cas Paton, the CEO and founder of the UK company, says in an interview with Internet Retailing. OnBuy does not sell its own products or stock but rather facilitates the trading of its partners’ products.

‘Every pound through OnBuy is a pound turnover for our retailers.’

This approach sets it apart from a lot of other marketplace owners, who often compete against the retailers they host on their platforms. “Every pound that goes through OnBuy is a pound turnover for one of our retailers”, Paton states. “That is something we are immensely proud of.”

Marketplace conundrum

OnBuy, which launched in 2016, was a ‘difficult task’ from the get-go, Paton claims. “When launching on day one, you have got nothing to sell. No customers want to come to you because you have no stock and you end up in the, what I call the marketplace conundrum.”

OnBuy’s revenue grew 3,402% in three years

Paton explains that overcoming this challenge was crucial to OnBuy’s success. It was the number 25 overall on the FT 1000 list published in March, and the highest ranked ecommerce company, growing 3,402 percent in three years. Last year OnBuy launched an international seller drive for further growth.

Whole breadth of choice and range

“We were born out of the idea of being better than others on online marketplaces”, Paton states in terms of competition with industry giants like Amazon and eBay. “What we do is focus on giving customers the whole breadth of choice and range. We can work with any supplier whereas, some businesses don’t retail with the ecommerce giant because they see it as conflict”, he adds.

The company has already exceeded its growth targets.

Looking ahead, OnBuy aims to continue its impressive growth trajectory. The company has already exceeded its growth targets, with a 35 percent increase in revenues and sales compared to the previous month.



Arjan van Oosterhout has been contributing to Ecommerce News Europe since the spring of 2023. He writes news articles for the website on a freelance basis.

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