eBay Expands Promoted Display Ads For Stores Beta Test

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


Comments

UPDATE 8-31-23

Some sellers report they also now have access to place Promoted Display Ads in a spot above search results.

eBay Expands Placement For Advanced CPC & Promoted Display Ads
eBay once again expands placements for CPC Promoted ads as they look to monetize every pixel on the site for ad revenue.

eBay is expanding the beta test for Promoted Display Ads for Stores to more sellers as pressure to increase ad revenue growth continues.

We've been tracking Promoted Display ads for Stores since they were first seen in the wild in November 2022.

New eBay Promoted Display Ads For Stores Seen In The Wild
Is eBay testing Promoted Display ads that will promote competing stores in prominent listing page placement?

These ads appear in high level placement on the View Item page, just under the seller information on the right-hand side.

Some sellers have criticized eBay for the ad placement and call to action verbiage, expressing concerns that it may cause confusion for buyers who don't realize they are click through to a competitor's store or that the call to action may imply a "relationship" between stores that does not exist.


While eBay has not officially released public information about this new ad product yet, here's what we know so far about Promoted Display Ads for Stores:

Promoted Display Ads are a cost per click model and just like Promoted Listings Advanced, sellers can set their ad bids as well as a daily budget. Watch those suggested ad rates though - $1.52 per click will add up fast!

These ads are designed to drive traffic to specific categories with the seller's Store. You select the category, then eBay automatically chooses thumbnail images from items in that category and creates call to action text for the ads.

More info from the FAQ on the Promoted Display campaign creation page:

How Promoted Display Works
With Promoted Display you can drive buyers to your eBay store with ads that highlight your inventory across eBay.

Promoted Display is different from Promted Listings Standard and Promoted Listings Advanced because you don't need to choose individual listings to promote. Simply choose a category in your store to promote, set your bid, and eBay will optimize the ad on your behalf.

The goal of these ads is to increase the number of buyers who visit your store to help grow your eBay business.

Category
In the dropdown menu, you will see a list of all the eBay categories that correspond to items in your store. Choose any category that you would like to promote.

When buyers click your ad, they will land on a page within your store that showcases all the items you sell within the selected category. In this way, we increase visibility of your inventory among relevant eBay buyers.

Where will my ads appear to buyers?
Ads will appear on listing pages of similar items in the category you choose to promote.

Sample ads

With Promoted Display, launching high quality display ads is easy and convenient.

Once you select a category within your store to promote, we will generate samples of the ads that we will show to buyers to increase your store's visibility. The images in the ads will be sourced directly from your listings. We will then add text to the ads to encourage buyers to visit your store. Actual ads may vary from those displayed here.

To save you time and effort, eBay will continuously optimize the content of the ads on your behalf to improve the performance of your campaign.

Bids

Your bid is an important factor in determining if your ad will appear to buyers. The more competitive the bid, the more likely your ad will get visibility.
Suggested bids

To help optimize your campaign, we provide you with a suggested bid. Using these bid suggestions can help increase the likelihood of your bid winning the auction. For a given category, suggested bids are derived from a variety of factors, including historical bid averages for the target category.
Second price auction

The cost for each click is based on a second price auction, which means the fee charged will be determined by factors like historical performance on eBay, your bid amount, competition from other sellers, and a reserve price (the minimum amount we've determined a click is worth, taking item quality, competition, seasonality, and marketplace thresholds into consideration).

For example, if Seller A had the highest bid at $1.00 and Seller B had the second-highest bid at $0.50, and both sellers have equal performance on eBay, Seller A wins the auction. The amount that Seller A will pay per click will be between $0.50 and $1.00, but will never be more than $1.00.

Top tip

Use suggested bids to take the guesswork out of benchmarking!

Note: Suggested bids can fluctuate depending on marketplace dynamics. Please be sure to regularly monitor your performance so you can continue to optimize your campaigns.

Stores allow sellers to either create their own categories or use eBay's existing category structure and it's not exactly clear from this limited description how or if eBay maps seller created categories to eBay categories for the purposes of creating Promoted Display ads.

Currently there is no way to select which items within the category are featured at any given time - eBay supposedly optimizes the ads on the fly and will display whatever they believe to be most relevant to the buyer when the ad is live.

In my testing, clicking on the call to action link ("shop now" in this example) or name takes the buyer to the appropriate category page within the seller's Store.

Clicking on any of the thumbnails takes the buyer to the specific listing pictured in that thumbnail.

This functionality may present some challenges for sellers, especially in auto parts or other categories were specific fitment or compatibility may be important.

If a buyer clicks on the call to action and gets dropped into a category page with 5,000 brake rotors, are they going to scroll through that to try to find one to fit their exact vehicle?

Hopefully in that case they might use the search within the store, so the seller may still get something for their click money, but it's likely at that point the buyer would either hit the back button or the full site search to try to find what they need - in which case the seller will be paying for a click that is not very likely to convert.

The same can be said for the individual thumbnail listings. If eBay suggests parts that are similar to the listing the buyer is on, but that don't fit the buyer's vehicle, they may click through to view it and then immediately leave once they realize it isn't compatible.

Sellers may want to be cautious about using Promoted Display Ads for categories that have items enrolled in Promoted Listings Standard campaigns as well.

eBay has not explicitly stated how ad attribution is going to work in conjunction with other ad products, but based on how they've recently expanded the definition of ad clicks to include "halo" items, it would not surprise me if sellers may end up paying both a per click Promoted Display ad fee and a per sale Promoted Listing Standard fee in some scenarios.

It's also not entirely clear how eBay is balancing 1st party (seller) ads in this space with 3rd party ads.

While 1st party ad display is increasing as more sellers opt in to the beta test, the Display Ad slot is still occupied by 3rd party ads a majority of the time.

That raises the question, are sellers only competing against other sellers when setting their bids for Promoted Display Ads or are they also up against huge brands with massive marketing budgets like Capital One and Geico?

Maybe that explains the high per click bids eBay is suggesting to sellers.

If so, eBay may find themselves in a tough spot as they rollout Promoted Display to more sellers - 3rd party ads are likely bringing in higher average per click fees at this time, but eBay has set certain expectations with investors for 1st party on platform ad growth and is feeling the pressure to deliver on those expectations.

Hopefully eBay will release more detailed information about Promoted Display Ads soon - in the meantime, let us know in the comments below if you have been invited to join the beta test!

eBayAdsTools

Liz Morton Twitter Facebook LinkedIn

Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of online marketplace sales experience, providing commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify & more at Value Added Resource!