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How eBay Shows Auction Ads to Shoppers

How eBay Shows Auction Ads to Shoppers

eBay techies opened up about what goes into displaying auction ads to shoppers using “multi-objective ranking.” eBay sellers have been able to promote their fixed-price listings through Promoted Listings, and last year, eBay introduced a way for sellers to also promote their auction format listings, through a service called Promoted Listings Express. (They are still limited to appearing on listing pages for similar items.) But how does eBay determine which auction ads to place on which listing pages?

According to the engineers who posted on the eBay Tech Blog this week, “determining which promoted auction items to display in a merchandising placement is a multi-sided customer challenge that presents opportunities to both surface amazing auction inventory to buyers and help sellers boost visibility on their auction listings.”

eBay currently displays Promoted Listings Express ads on a number of fixed slots in the Similar Sponsored Item recommendations, they explained, “which are similar items with respect to the main item on the eBay View Item page.”

The team said it used ranking techniques that assigned a score to the listings on the basis of multiple relevance and revenue parameters. The discussion then turned technical (take a look), but they said eBay is using Machine Learning and is continuing to develop its methodology as the inventory of promoted auction items expands.

eBay first introduced eBay Promoted Listings Express in September 2021 on the eBay mobile app and expanded it to desktop in December. In a blog post of February of this year, eBay said it built Promoted Listings Express to help auctions stand out among the billions of listings across the eBay marketplace. (See “eBay Commits to Ad Solution for Auction Sellers.”)

“Auction sellers can now leverage the benefits of Promoted Listings to boost visibility of their listings and help drive views, bids and sales,” it said in its February post. As far as we know, eBay has not shared the adoption rates of any of its promoted listings ad formats – feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

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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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.