The head of eBay’s affiliate marketing program summarized changes the company made to the program in 2020 in a message to members. Michael Lill, Director of eBay Partner Network (ePN), said despite the challenges of the pandemic, ePN had a busy and successful year.
“We made great improvements to our program that built upon the launch of our new platform in 2019,” Lill said, listing some of the 2020 improvements as follows:
- Faster reporting, reducing the time lag for partner earnings reports from 48 hours to 5 – 10 hours;
- A new, simplified global rate card;
- A new, modern Data Feeds platform with programmatic access, faster downloads, larger feeds files, and new fields such as Shipping Details and Global Trade Item Numbers;
- An improved Link Generator with URL shortener and QR code options;
- A new and improved Sales & Events widget, to help you easily find the most relevant sales and deals events;
- A new Deal API, allowing you to search for and retrieve details about eBay deals and events.
However, eBay made some changes that were unpopular with some affiliates.
- In May, eBay cut loyalty affiliate rates to zero commissions.
- At the end of May, it announced another change that affiliates interpreted as placing limits on certain payouts.
- In June, it announced it was killing the ePN Dynamic Feed Generator, a popular tool that did not require the use of APIs, in effect disabling RSS feeds, sellers reported.
Another change in 2020: eBay gave sellers an incentive for enrolling in the program – as of June 15, sellers enrolled in ePN receive commission-free sales when buyers purchase through the sellers’ affiliate link.
eBay described the benefits in a nutshell: “For US sellers signed up with the eBay Partner Network, you can earn a 100% final value fee credit when you bring a customer to eBay who buys one of your listings within 24 hours. You can even earn a commission when a customer you bring in makes a qualifying purchase from a different seller in that same timeframe.”
It’s a bit surprising not to see eBay promoting the ePN affiliate program to sellers more – we’d enjoy hearing from sellers about their experiences.
In his post, ePN’s director Lill thanked members for being part of the program and wished them a new year, and wrote, “Our team is only just getting started. We have many more exciting improvements planned for 2021, so stay tuned!”