eBay will expand its advertising offerings to support full-funnel ad strategies this year.
In the coming months, the company will launch new ad units, move products from beta into general availability, and further help brands connect consumers from search engines to their sites on the marketplace.
Elisabeth Rommel, general manager of ads at eBay, leads the strategy. She has extensive experience in advertising, with about 17 years spent at Amazon and nearly two years at Google.
eBay will launch an ad unit -- code-named Promoted Display, based on a cost-per-click (CPC) pricing model. The company will test it in September, with the goal to roll out the ad unit in a closed beta during the second half of 2022.
The ads will serve up on eBay’s “View Items” page, where merchants highlight their products.
“We have a test and learn culture and always think of a placement with high visibility above the fold,” Rommel said. “It will be targeted at a higher level above search. We learn and make changes before rolling it out more broadly.”
This Promoted Display ad unit will target repeat customers -- the type of consumer who knows, for example, that Adidas sells shoes and sportswear.
Today, most of eBay’s ad display options are either an IAB ad unit format or an integrated advertising unit limited to some brands.
The majority of the items sold on eBay are new, and mostly sold for a fixed price, rather than through the auction model
Rommel said eBay also wants to help sellers drive search traffic from engines like Google and Bing to eBay. It would mean piggybacking on eBay’s quality score and brands in the market. This would be helpful for sellers who do not have a recognizable name or a website in which to send traffic.
Rather than just accept the traffic that comes from eBay’s advertising efficiency goals, the seller can fund advertising on Google that moves directly to their products on eBay.
Pilots -- which began during the latter half of 2021 -- have been successful in driving more efficient rates of return. About 100 sellers have participated. eBay hopes to fully launch the feature in the third quarter of 2022.
Ad revenue for eBay exceeded $1 billion in 2021, according to its latest Security & Exchange Commissions filing, and the amount is projected to double between 2025 and 2026.
eBay has massive reach. As of first-quarter 2022, the company supported 142 million active global buyers in more than 190 markets. The first quarter brought in $2.5 billion in revenue.
There were 1.6 billion listings in Q1 2022, but the gross merchandise volume (GMV) fell 17% to $19.4 billion year-over-year and revenue fell 5%, compared with the year-ago quarter.
eBay continues to expand its advertising roadmap. While the cost-per-sale advertising model launched about seven years ago to give sellers a low-risk entry into advertising, during the past year the company continues to push support advertising off and on its site.
For example, it now supports ways to help buyers discover products off eBay in search engines and other media sites.
Across its retail media network, ads from Nespresso, Puma, and Dyson might link to offerings on the eBay marketplace.
eBay originally offered Promoted Listings Standard, but last year the company introduced Promoted Listings Advanced, a cost per click pricing model; External PL, which expands the Promoted Listing offering off the site to drive buyers to listing on eBay; and Promoted Listings Express, which helps boost the ad auction for a flat fee.
The Promoted Listings Advanced Product also will move from beta to general availability.