eBay Ramps Up Advertising, Moves To Product Ads, Pages

eBay is building out an in-house advertising team and cutting ties with an outside ad firm, Triad Retail Media, to move sales in-house after working together since 2010. The company also plans to eliminate some types of advertising units that take consumers off its marketplace and direct them to another site.

eBay, for example, will retire product listing ads from its offering in the second quarter of 2017, says Josh Wetzel, eBay senior director of sales and marketing. He expects future growth will come from building partnerships with manufacturers that sell products on the marketplace.

The marketplace will indeed still have third-party display ads that will direct customers off of eBay in some instances such as complementary services, such as a car insurance company. If someone is shopping on eBay for a car part or car, a car insurance company may have a display ad which would direct a customer off site for more info. The new ad products are in addition to what eBay already offers.

The shift prepares eBay to introduce what Wetzel refers to as a product page with advertising units that company executives expect will help brands drive sales across the marketplace. 

More than 30 ad sales specialists will support the eBay advertising team, but there are dozens of job openings related to advertising at eBay, which require expertise in areas ranging from programmatic to audience science.

Wetzel said eBay began making operational changes in the past few months after receiving feedback from advertisers.

In the coming months, eBay plans to release a product page with sponsored ad units that link to brand-specific pages. New offerings in native, search and sponsored placements will be integrated with tools to analyze the consumers' path to purchase and the brand's market share. eBay attracts about 167 million active buyers and about 200 million hours of unique shopping monthly.

The data collected across the eBay marketplace allows brands to analyze consumer behavior and search and buying histories to determine how close the buyer is to making a purchase decision.

eBay generated $313 million in marketing services revenue on its marketplace in the fourth quarter of 2016, down 4% compared with the year-ago quarter.

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