eBay is open for business: A conversation with Scott Kelliher

There’s no denying the rapid growth in the eCommerce space. With the proliferation of eCommerce specific agencies, a deeper understanding of shopper behavior, and an explosion of new opportunities, an eCommerce strategy is top-of-mind for many marketers today. And at such a transformative time, we’re excited to welcome Scott Kelliher to the eBay team as our new Head of Brand Advertising & Partnerships. Prior to eBay, Scott held Sales & Marketing leadership positions with several digital media companies, including Time Inc., Yahoo, and AOL.

We sat down with Scott to get his take on the state of eCommerce, what gets him excited about his new gig, and how working for eBay is turning him into a sneakerhead. 

Scott, we’re so happy you joined the team. Can you let us know a little bit more about how you landed at eBay?

Most recently, I worked with premium content at Time Inc., helping transform their globally recognized brands for the digital and programmatic space. When I had a chance to sit back and reflect on what I wanted to do next, I realized what was missing and what I wanted to go back to was data – and truly unique data at that. 

This is what really moved me to join eBay – the enormous logged-in user base and the massive amounts of shopper data eBay sits on. eBay knows what customers are buying, how they like to buy, and what triggers them to buy.

How do you see eBay adding value to brands? 

Once a brand understands what data signals allow them to really understand how their customers buy, they can truly be effective. And because our users are consistently logged-in, these signals are always firing. We can provide our partners with a quantifiable understanding of how people shop. And knowing how to leverage that data to inform campaign strategy is a massive game changer. 

Innovation means different things to different people. What does it mean to eBay Advertising? 

For me, the word innovation in media is one of those terms that leads to a lot of products and tools that don’t necessarily move an advertisers’ needle. People may invest in the new and better widget or mouse trap but that often comes at a great cost. eBay’s ability to get a true understanding of the heart and soul of people and how they work is what is truly innovative. It’s also really cool for a data geek like me.

What would you say differentiates eBay from other eCommerce marketplaces? 

eBay is a true marketplace – we don’t own any inventory and never compete with our sellers. We also have a massive range of products on the platform – everything from cars to home decor. And we know how users shop for these items. We know how long users are researching and how many items and brands they’re considering. We know if they’re impulse shopping or making a considered purchase. All of these data points are key for advertisers looking to understand the purchase journey of their individual customers, and the consumers that are most likely to purchase their products for the first time. 

Knowing the behavioral patterns that lead to this first purchase is what gets me all fired up. There’s a huge range of products on eBay, from Teslas to Yeezy sneakers to Cartier diamonds. The purchase cycle for a car is extremely different than the purchase cycle of a pair of sneakers.  Think about the last time you bought a car. You might have had a few makes and models in mind, but you probably spent time doing your homework on safety, the newest in infotainment systems, and whether or not you wanted to go electric. You probably wouldn’t spend as much time researching shoes as you would a car. Although some might beg to differ with me. Being able to understand that difference and how shoppers evolve throughout their journey on eBay is extremely valuable.  

What are your top priorities for the back half of 2019? 

Our main priority is to spend more time with our brand and agency partners. I think people really underestimate the wealth of shopper data we have, our scale, and what it means for their brands.  We have unique assets that no one else can offer. We need to understand our clients’ needs and better communicate and customize the solutions that will drive their success. eBay is open for business and we are excited to build solutions that help our partners meet their goals. 

eBay continues to be a pioneer, innovating and personalizing the shopper experience. What do you think has contributed to eBay’s success?

Devin Wenig said it best. He said, “eBay empowers people and creates economic opportunity. We play a positive role in people’s lives.” That is why eBay continues to be one of the most powerful brands in the world. It’s an open, diverse, and unbiased marketplace; we don’t tip the scales in any way. And on top of that, you can find anything on eBay and usually for less money than other marketplaces. No matter what side you are on, buyer, seller or brand, we bring value to everyone.

Now for the fun stuff.  Tell us about your latest eBay shopping experience. 

I bought these sneakers the other day and love them. But more than anything, I loved my shopping experience. The sneakers are brand new, and I got them for less than they’re available at the manufacturer’s website, and with free shipping and returns.

A big thanks to Scott for his time and perspective on our business. It really is an exciting time to be in eCommerce and at eBay! 

eBay’s massive audience of highly-engaged shoppers is the perfect combination of scale and precision for advertisers. Scott and his team are ready to listen and learn about your business needs. To connect with Scott and the eBay Advertising team click here. 

 

Buzz-worthy Moments Lead to Massive Reach on eBay

July has become the new November thanks to commerce-fueled can’t miss deals on the hottest items of the season.  From daily, weekly to month-long sales, consumers are lining up in high-demand to take advantage.  For brands, this means accessing the widest possible shopping audience in one place. Benefit from increased site traffic, massive shopper engagement, and buzz-worthy moments on eBay.  Thinking about taking advantage of all the excitement?  Align with these key search categories and purchases to engage consumers at scale and drive intent.

 

Be part of the new November with high impact advertising placements and shopper data-driven marketing on eBay.   Contact our ad sales team today to learn more.

 

eBay: Consumers Powered by Passion

Many online marketplaces have simply become a place to buy essentials. But where’s the fun in that? While we need easy access to toilet paper and passionfruit La Croix, consumers also shop based on their passions. Take for instance, Star Wars Day, May the 4th. What began as a pun has evolved into an opportunity for fans of the franchise to connect with a larger Star Wars community. On eBay alone, there are 355K daily visits to the Star Wars page with six Star Wars purchases every minute 1. When it comes to what defines us, our interests play a strong part in how our world view is formed. Brands are taking note and are seeking more interest-based targeting opportunities in their campaigns.

Essentials are important, but passions drive engagement

Even if you’re not one of eBay’s 180 million active buyers 2, you may have found yourself on the platform looking for that special something you couldn’t find elsewhere. That something likely represented a personal passion point. Though a movie like Star Wars may seem uninteresting to some, many people have a visceral love of the franchise. The same can be said for a series like Game of Thrones (GOT). On eBay, searches for a GOT by MAC makeup pallette are currently trending as the show is in its final season. Equally, sports conjures the same level of fandom as popular media, if not more. Since Tiger Woods’ triumphant comeback at this year’s Masters, his go-to Newport 2 putters made by Scotty Cameron, have maintained a trending spot on eBay.

Improving your brand’s relationship with consumers

Like any relationship, surface level connections aren’t the best foundation for success. While age and household income are important data points, it helps to know what the person you’re trying to reach is interested in. eBay deeply understands what interests their users. They know that the same person shopping for Star Wars memorabilia is a parent who may share this bit of nostalgia with their children.

This deep level of interest based data captured from both contextual and behavioral insights coupled with demographics, allows advertisers to take a more personalized and humanistic approach to advertising. As other platforms attempt to roll out interest based advertising 3, eBay is proud to be one of the first to implement the approach.

Ready to lean into our users’ interests? Connect with our ad sales team.

 

Post Tax Season Travel is on eBay

Punxsutawney Phil couldn’t find his shadow. As legend has it, that means spring will arrive early this year. But with blooming tulips also comes tax day.

Your Refund Status

Lower than anticipated tax refunds have been reported so far this year1. Nevertheless, US taxpayers are still receiving a bit of relief from Uncle Sam. While most Americans plan to save the extra cash or use it to pay down debt, some plan to use the money for travel. Of the 65 percent of taxpayers with refunds in 2018, 12 percent used the money for a vacation 2.

That’s close to 11 million Americans looking to shell out some cash for a well deserved getaway.

 

Travel Enthusiasts are on eBay

Someone once said, “travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer.” It is something that requires passion, an attribute that you will find in many of eBay’s customers. The digital travel industry is expected to increase four percent in 2019 for a total of $208.44 billion spent 3. Digital travel includes flight purchases, car rentals, cruise bookings, hotel reservations, other accommodations and transportation. If your brand represents any one of those categories, advertising on eBay will expand your reach to a highly engaged audience.

Overall, eBay connects with 19M travel shoppers 4 who are in the transactional mindset. Everyone from the family vacationer to the luxury adventurer, comes to eBay to find the latest and greatest products and experiences.

In market travelers who booked online in the last 6 months on eBay included the following vacation types:

Booking in March for Summer

eBay recently conducted a survey to better understand their customers’ travel habits. In the last six months, eBay shoppers have booked a hotel (48%) and/or booked a flight (41%). Customers use the platform to outfit their next vacation, searching for everything to meet their travel needs from bathing suits to camping gear and luggage.

In line with tax season, March is the peak time travelers purchase items 5. And because 62% of eBay shoppers plan to travel in the next 3-6 months 6, brands should be launching campaigns now. If you don’t have your creative and media strategies ready to go, but still want to capitalize on the unique qualities of the eBay travel shopper, don’t fret. With advanced data tools and white glove assistance, eBay’s advertising team is here to guide you through your next travel campaign.

Ready to hit the road with eBay travelers? Contact our ad sales team.

March Madness is Happening on eBay.

Back in this post, we said you could expect an exciting Super Bowl. We were wrong. If you were one of the 100.7 million people tuning in, you were probably left wanting more. You maybe even changed the channel. In fact, this year’s Super Bowl fell to the lowest ratings since 2008 1 . Thankfully, we won’t have to wait long for thrilling sports. Along with much awaited spring weather, March Madness is right around the corner.

The Making of a College Basketball Fan

March Madness presents the rare opportunity where US television viewers can tune in over a period of three weeks to see their favorite athletes compete. Unlike the Super Bowl, the NCAA tournament fosters a strong communal feeling because there are more than two teams involved.

When it comes to March Madness, most people have a college they went to, or a coach they follow, or a regional conference, or it could be there is a college team just down the road. Everyone has a rooting interest. – Joe Lunardi, Resident Bracketologist, ESPN

Even if you’re not a fan of college basketball, you may be trying your luck with an office bracket. “Nearly 24 million people, which is approximately 10 percent of the American adult population, participated in college basketball pools in 2017, accounting for nearly $3 billion in wagering.”2. The office bracket keeps us tuned in, as unexpected losses and wins determine who will go home with the pool. Every game ultimately matters and every team has a story that fans can connect with.

NCAA Viewers Are on eBay

The passion and community fostered by March Madness can also be found on eBay. Last September, ESPN and eBay announced a partnership making eBay’s sports equipment, fashion apparel, memorabilia, and collectibles more discoverable on ESPN.com web and mobile web. With eBay reaching 53.4% of all sports enthusiasts online3, the ESPN/eBay collaboration was a no brainer.

There are few things people are more passionate about than sports, and the apparel, memorabilia and collectibles associated with our favorite athletes and teams have become an important part of sports fandom. – Suzy Deering, Chief Marketing Officer of eBay Americas

Sports enthusiasts spend an average of 33 minutes 4looking through over 1.2 billion active listings 5 during the March Madness timeframe. Many of them are searching for sports related products. Brands like Nike and Callaway garner much of the spend 6.  NCAA basketball related items also do well during March Madness, purchased at a rate of every 15 seconds 7. With eBay’s expansive reach, brands attempting to connect with both the dedicated and casual sports fan, will reach them on eBay.  

Ready to connect with our highly engaged sports audience? Contact our Ad Sales team.

Harnessing Your Data With eBay

This year many brands may be thinking about hiring more data experts. But before spending some serious cash to grow internal data teams, brands should consider how to harness the data capabilities of their media partners. 

Improved Internal Data Resources

In 2018, Salesforce and Deloitte produced the Consumer Experience in the Retail Renaissance report. According to the study, more than 550 traditional retail, pure play, consumer goods, and branded manufacturing leaders plan to employ nearly 50% more data scientists over the next three years1. Anticipating increased data regulation, brands want to use experts to ensure that they are using their data wisely. 

Actionable consumer data insights are no doubt powerful. They enable companies to provide highly relevant messages to shoppers, thereby lessening ad clutter. However, many organizations are underperforming when it comes to managing their data. According to the Salesforce/Deloitte report, 63% of respondents felt they could be doing a better job of responding to consumer demands and insights in an agile manner2. While expanding data teams will help, brands must also focus on how to engage their outside resources. They must be highly selective and only work with media partners who have a strong grasp of data access and actionability.

Improved Data Partners

The task of refining data points into meaningful findings can be overwhelming. By solely relying on internal teams, advertisers may find themselves stretched too thin. This lends to data oversight, where unique data points are often overlooked. 

We recently spoke with Parker Burgess, eBay’s Client Insights Manager. Solutions architects at eBay are there to help brands optimize their campaigns. With added technology, eBay is improving how client data and eBay customer data can join forces. 

For instance, if the client has CRM data, we have the ability to create shop-alike audiences using eBay 1st party data. Using their target audience as a base, eBay can create scoring using various data attributes generating look alike modeling for reaching additional users with high probability to behave like the clients target user group. – Parker Burgess, Client Insights Manager

Another advantage of partnering with eBay is the ability to use customer tools to build target personas. With a DMP that is real-time, signals can be collected through shopper tools like eBay Garage.  Tools like eBay Garage collect powerful 1st party data like make, model, and year of a shopper’s vehicle. Automotive and insurance brands can employ this data through highly targeted campaigns.  “For example, our unique data collected on eBay Garage allows insurance advertisers to target high value users with more specific messaging geared towards the specific vehicle make, model and year of their vehicles,” says Parker.

Data on eCommerce Platforms

As we enter a new era of government intervention in how personal data is managed, advertisers must align with media partners who will meet evolving government requirements. E-commerce platforms often follow a safety-first approach.

Expectations are high that retailers share conversion and sales data with brands, but retailers have found it prudent to protect their shoppers’ data and not fall into the same discussions around privacy violations that Facebook or other third-party retargeters have. – Sucharita Kodali, VP Principal Forrester Analyst 3

Data alone is worthless unless given the ability to make it actionable and solve business problems. While brands will continue building their internal resources, they must also look outward to their partners. 

Want to learn more about eBay’s advanced data tools? Contact our ads sales team.

The eBay Formula for Engaged Shoppers

If we had to define our formula for success over the last 20 years, it would look a little something like this:

Trust + Serendipity = Engaged eBay Customer

The Trust Factor

In 1995, Pierre Omidyar created eBay on a simple premise that most people are basically good. However in order to succeed, eBay had to solve a very old, very human problem: trusting strangers. By asking buyers and sellers to rate one another, eBay “introduced trustworthiness into transactions between people who didn’t know one another.”

For Customers

Since 1995, eBay has added multiple layers to how buyers trust and transact. For instance, eBay’s Money Back Guarantee ensures that buyers are refunded if the item they ordered didn’t arrive, is faulty or damaged, or if it doesn’t match the listing.  eBay Authenticate™ provides customers with a high level of confidence when shopping for luxury items. Through the service, an ‘Authenticity Verified’ label is placed on thousands of watches and handbags from the most sought-after brands.

For Sellers

In 2019, eBay will expand seller protections in recognition of the fact that sellers face fraudulent returns and false claims from buyers.

Recognizing that it is our sellers that power the environment and have felt as though we’ve swung the pendulum too far to only focus on buyers, eBay is doing more to protect sellers.- Scott Cutler, eBay VP of the Americas

eBay continues to mitigate risks by increasing layers of seller protection, ensuring that the marketplace is one that’s trusted by all stakeholders.

For Brands

In today’s reshaped ecommerce environment, advertisers need a true partner who can leverage the most impactful data and insights to build a trustworthy campaign. Advertisers can take stock in their ad performance on eBay. With 80% of users persistently logged in, ads are being seen by real humans, not bots1.

The Serendipity Factor

Curation

eBay’s proprietary data is truly infused by the customer. As a result, eBay understands what’s culturally relevant and what’s trending at any given moment. For instance, searches for Lebron James’ new jersey soared on eBay when he announced he was moving to Los Angeles from Cleveland. It quickly became a fan favorite, with over 12K jerseys purchased on eBay 2 since he signed with the Lakers last July. Launched in May, there are also new features to better tailor the shopping experience based on a user’s passions, hobbies, and style. The result is a more personalized eBay that uses technology to curate the world’s largest selection of inventory.

Discovery

With more than 1.2 billion listings3, eBay is focused on making the entire internet shoppable. Enabled by AI and machine learning, eBay continues to create innovative ways to shop, allowing people to quickly find the things they love. Advanced shopping tools create an environment where consumer interests are recognized. For example, in 2018 eBay Motors’ announced a new Shop by Diagram feature. This tool assists prospective buyers by using schematics of vehicles to determine which parts they need to buy. And it’s tools like these that makes eBay a customer resource for research and discovery, providing high engagement to brands.

Customers can connect with items that spark interest but that they weren’t necessarily looking for. Shoppers can serendipitously happen upon items that are uniquely eBay. Under the ‘Everything Else’ category, customers can search for everything from ‘Weird Stuff’ to ‘Totally Bizarre Stuff.’ We dare you to see what you can discover and maybe fall in love with.

The Engaged eBay Customer

Everyday, tens of millions of people browse, discover, buy, and sell on eBay. Shoppers are leaned in and engaged, spending 34% longer on eBay than on Amazon (9.1 min vs 6.8 min)4. The more engaged the shopper, the more connected he/she feels to a marketplace community and the brands that are integrated into it.

eBay’s reach in ecommerce is unparalleled. Its internal technology combined with the high volume of data driven insights and a dedicated team, makes eBay a true partner and not a service – allowing brands to make the most out of their data and investment.

Ready to leverage eBay’s formula for success? Contact our ad sales team.

New Year, New Advertising Opportunities

The winter shopping season doesn’t end with Christmas. Nearly half (41%) of Americans report setting New Year’s resolutions—and while most don’t last beyond February, consumers buy with the best intentions as they purchase products that help them achieve their goals. During the New Year season in late December and early January, eBay shoppers make over 2.4 billion searches, equating to over 1,000 searches per second.

Whether it’s committing to a healthier diet, more exercising or mindfulness, health and wellness-related resolutions are by far the most popular, accounting for more than 50 percent of New Year’s resolutions. This trend is mirrored on eBay, where fitness brands like Nike and Adidas are among the top-purchased brands during the New Year season. Users search 60 fitness-related products every second, and Nike items alone are searched 28 times every minute. Other health items, like weights, yoga mats and protein powder, see an uptick in search volume during this period as well.

eBay’s audience insights can provide health and wellness brands a unique opportunity to reach these optimistic shoppers well into the new year. With over 700 pre-defined audience segments, brands can identify which members of their target audience may be interested in health and wellness and reach them when they’re eager to shop.

“If brands want to create a long-term relationship with a buyer audience, understanding that audience’s behavioral patterns is of the utmost importance,” said Harris Yousuf, eBay Advertising’s Head of Client Insights & Analytics (CIA). Yousuf uses eBay’s first-party data to find and understand patterns behind the way shoppers search, view and buy items. By partnering with the CIA team, brands can optimize their efforts at key moments like the New Year season and beyond.

eBay’s advertising platform allows brands to capitalize on the consistent trend of self-improvement around the New Year. Leveraging eBay’s audience insights, brands can reach users interested in the health and wellness space, glean new behavioral insights and boost revenue to jump start the year ahead.

To utilize eBay’s scale and insight to connect with your own key audiences, contact our ad sales team.

Valentine’s Day: An Opportunity to Reach Singles and Couples Alike

Valentine’s Day can be a holiday some love or loathe. However, being single on V-Day is no longer a punchline. As US relationship dynamics evolve, so should brand messaging. Brands solely focusing on reaching couples are missing the mark and missing an opportunity to connect with a wider audience. Valentine’s Day shoppers are ready to share a kind gesture with someone, whether single or romantically involved. 

Valentine’s Day Spend is Increasing

Valentine’s Day is the fourth largest spending time of the year after the winter holidays, back to school, and Mother’s Day, respectively. In 2018, total spending reached $19.6 billion, up from $18.2 billion in 2017.1 Additionally, individual spending also rose in 2018 with 55% of the US population spending an average of $144.2 Shoppers are moving away from novelty and are putting more thought and cash into what they give. 

While we still exchange chocolates, consumers are also looking to luxury brands and gift cards on eBay to complete their holiday shopping lists.

A Rolex and a Nintendo Gift Card 

In 2018, consumers celebrating Valentine’s Day spent $4.7 billion on jewelry, $1.9 billion on clothing/accessories, and $1.5 billion on gift cards/gift certificates.3 On eBay, average daily visitors for Valentine’s gift related categories increase from late January through early February. During this short shopping window, luxury brands like Gucci and Rolex are some of the most searched on the platform.4  

eBay’s advertising solutions present an ideal opportunity for high-end brands to reach consumers looking to wow a loved one or treat themselves.

Above all, shoppers love to give the gift of choice. The top three items purchased on Valentine’s Day on eBay, include gifts cards to Cabela’s, Nintendo, and Overstock.com.5 While a gift card won’t replace a Rolex, the volume of which they are purchased on Valentine’s Day represents how the culture behind the holiday has changed. Gift cards can be for anyone, not just a romantic partner.  

All the Single Ladies & Gentlemen & Teachers & Pets….

Single folks are adopting a friends and family forward approach to Valentine’s Day. 25% of all consumers who spend money on Valentine’s Day identify as being single6  . Some shoppers use the holiday as a way to share a loving gesture with parents, children, teachers, friends, co-workers, and even pets.

Marketing campaigns should strive to be diverse and should not overlook single shoppers, especially as US marriage demographics evolve.

7

With consumer confidence at an all time high as made evident by 2018’s holiday sales, marketers are in a strong position to reach the Valentine’s Day shopper. A mix of inclusive creative and reaching consumers with wallet in hand, will allow for success this Valentine’s Day and who wouldn’t love that?!

Want your brand to feel the love in 2019? Contact our ad sales team.

Sources