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Ecommerce News Roundup: Creepy eBay Ads, Inventory Buildup, and More

People complain that online ads are getting creepy in that they follow them around or seem to know a lot about them. eBay has rolled out a tool for advertisers that could add to the “creepiness” factor of the ads people see.

That’s just one of the story in today’s news roundup – see how inventory that is piling up at retail chains may impact holiday discounts, learn which presidential candidate the Postal Workers Union is endorsing, and see which line of business PayPal is getting into thanks to an acquisition completed this week.

eBay Lets Brands Identify Parents Based on Shopping Habits 
eBay Advertising in the UK has unveiled a predictive targeting tool that lets brands target parents. The tool lets advertisers target five distinct parent groups – such as expectant parents, those with newborns, etc. – using the behavioral patterns of its shoppers, according to the Drum.

“eBay claims that one high street pharmacist brand saw a “two-fold increase in ad effectiveness” while participating in an earlier trial of the product.”

Alessandra Di Lorenzo, commercial director, eBay Advertising UK was quoted: “eBay’s ability to identify shopper segments dynamically means that our targeting is always up-to-date. We know that next year there will be a new set of new parents – and of course, once we have identified a “new mum,” we can continue to serve her relevant ads throughout the years.”

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Source: TheDrum.com

Inventory Buildup at Retail Chains
Inventory levels are growing faster than sales at many chains, according to the Wall Street Journal. “The gap isn’t as wide as in 2013, when retailers loaded up on goods they were unable to sell and wound up discounting heavily to clear their shelves. Still, any buildup is worrying to analysts, who say it sets retailers up for a difficult start to the year-end selling season.”

It quotes Robert Drbul, a Nomura Securities Co. analyst: “Consumers are not spending a lot of money on apparel right now. They are buying electronics, cars and items for the home.”

Source: Wall Street Journal

Postal Workers Union Endorses Bernie Sanders for President
The APWU National Executive Board voted on Nov. 5 to endorse Bernie Sanders for president. “Politics as usual has not worked,” said President Mark Dimondstein. “He is a fierce advocate of postal reform to address the cause of the USPS financial crisis and an outspoken opponent of USPS policy that degrades mail service. He fought the closure of post offices and spearheaded the effort to pass a “sense of the Senate” resolution to restore service standards, which was approved by a vote of 85-11.”

“Sen. Sanders was a champion of workers’ rights long before he became a candidate for president,” said Secretary-Treasurer Liz Powell. “Like the APWU, he is a firm believer in social and economic justice for all.”

Source: APWU.org

PayPal Completes Acquisition of Xoom
PayPal has completed its previously announced acquisition of Xoom. In accordance with the terms of the acquisition agreement announced on July 1, 2015, PayPal acquired all of the outstanding shares of Xoom for $25 per share in cash.

Xoom will operate as a separate service within PayPal under the continued leadership of John Kunze, who has joined PayPal’s executive staff and will report to PayPal CEO Dan Schulman.

Xoom is a secure, fast and affordable way to send money to, and pay bills for, family and friends around the world, using a mobile phone, tablet or computer, the company says.

Source: PayPal blog

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.