Online shoppers can be your biggest advocates – it’s only a matter of finding your superfans.
Despite reports of its impending death, brand loyalty can be found in some of the most unlikely places – like eBay, where we see that shoppers, even when faced with dozens of choices, will return to their preferred brand for a second purchase. And a third. And countless more.
Branded searches on eBay reveal a wide range of brand-centric shopper behavior, which can vary from repeat purchases of everyday household goods to communities of brand obsessives hunting for new releases or rare vintage editions.
Brand Loyalists on eBay
According to eBay shopper data, many brands enjoy a huge following on the platform. For example, in the Clothing, Shoes & Accessories category, 57% of shoppers are “brand loyalists,” which we define as those who purchase at least two items of the same brand and often continue browsing for more. In just one hour, recurring buyers can collectively make up to 4,344 purchases within top 100 selling brands in eBay’s Clothing, Shoes & Accessories category.
Because of their devotion, brand loyalists on eBay make their choices quickly and spend, on average, less than 15 minutes per session. While they make fast decisions, these users come back and buy often. For example, brand loyalists will browse the Clothing, Shoes & Accessories category 44 times each month and repurchase from the same brand eight times on average throughout the course of a year.
The size of the opportunity in converting brand enthusiasts to true-blue brand loyalists is vast. Between June 2017 and May 2018, eBay users specified one top-selling brand name in their searches in the Clothing, Shoes & Accessories category across over 230 million sessions. Products from brands with this type of high search traffic or conversion rate appear as trends across eBay, which increases visibility to first-time customers – who could then turn into new brand loyalists.
Building Brand Loyalists on eBay: A Case Study
We know brand shoppers live on eBay – but retaining their attention can be challenging. In Forbes, marketer Kathleen Kusek writes, “ The standard for brand switching is no longer the failure of a brand to perform but rather its inability to seem like an entirely new and interesting option at every single purchase cycle.” For marketers growing a base of faithful brand buyers, understanding who your buyers are and their shopping behaviors is crucial to intercepting them with the right ad unit at the right time.
Every brand enthusiast starts as a one-time customer, but marketers who understand what makes shoppers loyal to a brand throughout their shopping journey can keep them coming back. eBay gives brands access to proprietary tools and on-platform shopping data to target consumers who fall just below brand loyalist status.
In a recent case study, a top household appliance manufacturer used keyword targeting to find consumers whose shopping behavior on eBay best matched the brand and the advertised product. As a result of the campaign, the brand saw a 300% increase in sales on eBay. Shoppers who were exposed to the campaign were 4x more likely to purchase than those who weren’t.
Nearly 75% of sales came from first-time buyers of the brand, and 10% of those buyers became brand re-purchasers during the length of the campaign. These re-purchasers are potential brand loyalists, increasing the likelihood they will continue engaging with the manufacturer in the future.
Reaching and Converting Brand Shoppers with eBay Targeting Solutions
This campaign illustrates how important it is for brands to identify and target shoppers with the most potential to become future buyers. Additionally, marketers must understand which shoppers within that target audience are most likely to make multiple purchases.
This is possible thanks to eBay’s cross-device user ID. More than 80% of our users are logged in while browsing, allowing us to determine shopping behaviors across channels, browsers, and devices rather than relying on cookie-based probability models. Few marketing channels can offer data with true reach and frequency control across media like eBay. (Check out our audience buying guide to learn more).
Tapping into purchase data enables advertisers to develop precise audience targeting strategies for more impactful campaigns. With their strong influence and reliable engagement patterns, brand loyalists can be a brand’s biggest ally – and it’s up to advertisers to maximize that potential.