Thousands—perhaps millions—of shoppers are browsing, buying and reviewing branded products on eBay, often through interactions with independent sellers. Yet, shoppers expect a consistent brand experience regardless of who they are buying from.
Like many aspects of e-commerce, the democratization of retail can leave marketers worried about brand experience and brand safety. How can brands assert more control over reputation without shutting down a valuable sales channel?
Enter Leilani Carrara, eBay’s Head of Account Management. Leilani and her team are responsible for creating innovative brand solutions for some of the world’s leading companies, ranging from T-Mobile to ASPCA.
“Many marketers are surprised to learn how prevalent branded searches are on eBay. In some categories, more than 50 percent of activity is driven by brand loyalist audiences. Having every single detail tied into the brand experience, from your standard ad units all the way through shipping your goods, is crucial to developing a strong brand presence,” says Carrara.
Marketers can take control of their brand experience on eBay in a few ways—by ensuring a brand-safe experience, engaging consumers during crucial moments in their shopper journey and leveraging data to build deeper connections with their buyers.
The rise of programmatic media buying has increased concerns about brand safety and ensuring that your brand appears alongside quality content. In the world of e-commerce, brands should also work to ensure that shoppers purchase products from reputable sellers for an experience consistent with brand standards at each stage of the shopper journey.
Per Carrara, “Two ways we can ensure a quality experience are to direct buyers towards authorized sellers or to branded storefronts that create immersive experiences.”
“Advertisers can see how we capture consumer attention on the homepage through dynamic examples promoting branded storefronts.”
Distinguishing your Brand in the Shopper Journey
Carrara says many potential buyers visit eBay’s homepage first. From there, brands have a limited amount of time to connect with a shopper before they move on.
“You get maybe two seconds for your ad to catch an eye, send out a message and make someone want to engage,” says Carrara. “How are you going to communicate with the consumer who typically performs no more than two activities on the homepage?”
eBay offers brands a premium, multi-screen experience in a variety of formats to help reach your audience at key stages in their path to purchase.
During each critical moment, Carrara’s team is considering how to provide shoppers with a consistent sense of brand values, persona and benefits, with branded storefronts again proving a stellar solution.
“This is a great opportunity for a brand to say, ‘We know you were already looking for something else, but we have something you might also consider. We’ve got something you should know about.’”
Using eBay Audience Targeting for a Better Brand Experience
Advertisers on eBay gain unique insights from shop-alike audience data to pinpoint active users most likely to engage with a campaign.
“For every brand, there are audiences on eBay with shop-alike models and behavioral targeting segments,” Carrara explained. “We can meld this with what marketers know about their consumers to find new audiences.”
Carrara observes that eBay advertisers constantly discover more about their target audiences. The site’s 175 million active buyers fit within hundreds of shopper personas developed from over 280 million hours of shopping activity data collected each month. These personas reveal shopping adjacencies across a brand’s ideal target audience and opportunities to expand campaign reach customized to a wide range of user behaviors.
Targeting personas provides “an opportunity to send a message that resonates,” Carrara explained. “Deeper connection is possible with some creativity, customization and audience awareness.”
“We make sure the message is not only targeted, but also that it really makes sense to the consumer,” she added. “My team takes a lot of pride in the final product that’s shown to consumers. We understand the fact that you’re trying to convey something special and unique, and we have the shopper insights to bring it to life.”