eBay is launching a "local services advertising business" that is already available in the UK and will expand to other markets soon, according to CEO Devin Wenig.
eBay sellers already have the option to advertise their products through the Promoted Listing program, and now local businesses will be able to advertise their services in display ads on the site, such as wedding photographers and interior designers.
It's a self-service program - businesses set up an account, create their ads, set a budget and schedule their ads, and define who and which products they wish to target. "For example," eBay explains, "if you own a handyman business, you may want to target the Home & Garden category with a sub-category of DIY tools."
The ad platform is powered by DanAds, an ad tech company based in Sweden that allows publishers to offer self-service advertising.
UK businesses can advertise on the eBay.co.uk homepage, search results pages, listing pages, and My eBay pages. The minimum ad budget is £10.
eBay says the ads are more effective than social networking sites or general interest sites because they're reaching shoppers who are in a buying mindset, thus more likely to be receptive to advertising.
eBay had depended on third-party merchants to advertise their goods on its site through its Product Listing Ads, but that meant sending shoppers off of eBay. For example, PLA ads on eBay might have sent shoppers to retail websites NiemanMarcus.com or Nordstrom.com when viewing clothing.
eBay reduced its reliance on those ads last year, hoping ads from its sellers would make up the difference. It continues to accept ads from large brands for non-competitive offerings, such as insurance companies.
eBay is hoping the new easy-to-use platform will prompt local businesses to advertise services, from car repair to plumbing. You can check it out here
(available in UK), and let us know what you think: good or bad for sellers.