|Tue May 1 2012 14:42:35|
eBay Officially Sells Ads to Retailers in Sellers' Paid Listings
By: Ina Steiner
eBay spokesperson Johnna Hoff said eBay will begin placing third-party ads from brands in a rectangular box on the right side of the View Item page, starting today. eBay has been running a "house ad" for eBay mobile in the same spot, and EcommerceBytes has reported on the ad formats eBay has been testing since late last year (and on the AuctionBytes Blog).
Hoff did not volunteer information about how much eBay is charging advertisers for the ads (we're awaiting her response to some follow-up questions), but a company that's been advertising on eBay said it charges on a CPM, not CPC basis. The cost varies by category, but on average is $5-$6 CPM for View Item pages.
Above: eBay UK ad advertises Acer tablets for sale on various eBay competitors' sites - including Amazon.
Sellers pay eBay anywhere from 10 cents to $2 per listing whether or not the item sells and are sensitive to anything on the page that would distract shoppers from viewing their items for sale. (eBay gives up to 50 free auction listings to casual sellers and charges different prices to sellers with Store subscriptions, and all sellers pay commission fees on items that sell, see eBay for details on seller fees.)
Hoff said eBay has been testing ways to add more value to buyers on the View Item pages by updating the page layout to more prominently showcase important listing details, and by including information on contextually relevant brands. She said eBay's tests have shown that better formats/layouts and increased brand consideration give customers the information they need to make more informed purchases.
"It's important to note that these ads will be almost exclusively in the realm of brand advertising they will not be from other sellers on eBay with competing listings. They are meant to increase awareness of popular, reputable brands and cement in buyers' minds that eBay is a trusted shopping destination."
eBay has been running ads on eBay UK since last year - and while the ads don't direct shoppers to other eBay sellers' listings, they don't just advertise "brands" - they direct shoppers to other retail websites, including Fab, Hayneedle, Best Buy, Staples, Walmart - and even Amazon:
A listing for a Silver Vase With Pink/Purple Flowers displayed an ad for Fab, a daily deals site where shoppers can find "daily design inspirations and sales at up to 70% off retail."
A listing for Lego Lunch Storage Mini Boxes contained an ad for Acer tablets, allowing shoppers to go to the Acer website or to go directly to retail sites Best Buy, Staples, Amazon or Walmart.
Other companies we've seen advertising on eBay UK listing pages include Epicor, Visa, Vistaprint and Vertical Response.
Above: eBay UK places ad for daily deals site Fab.com on seller's listing page.
Hoff said eBay has taken a "thoughtful, strategic approach to this roll-out to ensure a non-disruptive experience on eBay, and our tests so far have shown positive results for eBay sellers' listings the majority of the time."
I asked Johnna about eBay's rationale in profiting from an ad on a page with user-generated content for which the user has paid eBay, and asked if eBay would be lowering insertion fees or consider sharing the ad revenue with sellers - I'll update this post as we learn more.
Let us know what you think and what kinds of ads appear in your listings - and do you think these ads will make shoppers view eBay as a more trusted shopping destination?
UPDATE 5/2/12: eBay spokesperson Johnna Hoff provided an additional statement, see today's Newsflash story.