eBay’s ad business thrives

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eBay’s ad business is showing no signs of slowing down after reporting steady growth during last week’s earnings. In 2017, eBay announced a shift in its advertising strategy, from a reliance solely on third-party advertisements to a healthy mix of first-party and third-party ads from complementary brands.

And the timing couldn’t be better. According to eMarketer, 2019 marks the first year digital ad spending in the U.S. will exceed traditional. At the same time, marketers are beginning to shift ad dollars from search engines and social networks to ecommerce platforms, viewing online retailers as a promising new channel to reach relevant and attractive consumers with active purchasing intent.

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First-party ads, including promoted listings, give sellers and brands another way to attract more buyers to their best items. This non-cannibalistic form of advertising drives more traffic to specific listings or special events chosen by the seller or brand, while keeping the buyer on the eBay platform. eBay’s promoted listings offering is unique in the industry in that it operates on a Cost Per Sale model – meaning the seller only pays for the ad when it results in a sale.

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Promoted listings on eBay’s platform have been highly successful to date. Based on a recent analysis, promoted listings provide sellers an average boost in visibility of 36 percent. Today, eBay has over 800,000 sellers promoting over 200 million listings, which has led to year-over-year revenue growth of 110 percent.

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