It's been almost a month since eBay announced Promoted Listings would be eligible to be advertised externally on Google and Bing in addition to on site placement across the eBay network.
One big question I've seen pop up is - aren't my listings already on Google for free?
Unlike on some other platforms, eBay sellers pay nothing extra to appear in Google Shopping. It’s included in your eBay fees, and fixed priced listings are automatically eligible to get pulled into Google Shopping results.
Every week, eBay millions of site visits from paid-search marketing, including Google Shopping. Getting listings to show up in Google Shopping isn’t free, but like we said before, our sellers pay nothing extra for this exposure. It’s an investment eBay makes in our sellers, and one we know is worth it.
Presumably paid External Promoted Listings will be eligible to be shown across other Google ad spaces and/or receive higher placement in search and Google Shopping results, but eBay so far has not made it very clear what exactly the benefit would be to pay extra for external promotion compared to the existing promotion eBay is already doing.
Is this just a way for eBay to subtly start charging for a feature sellers have been getting for free or is there really a significant advantage to using the paid External Promoted Listings over the current promoting eBay does at no additional cost to the seller?
Even the eBay Ads blog doesn't give a lot of details.
As part of eBay’s advertising efforts, our marketing team invests in external product listing ads to drive shoppers to our site. That means that eBay listings appear on search platforms and partner sites. We’re happy to share that moving forward, Promoted Listings will be featured in these external ads, expanding the reach of sellers’ Promoted Listings campaigns and providing incremental listing visibility across the internet.
eBay needs to be much more transparent about this and give sellers a breakdown of what exactly they are getting for their ad spend vs the current free option to see if External Promoted Listings may "add value" for their businesses.
In addition to the future enhancements I suggested in my initial post, eBay also needs to update the graphs shown in Seller Hub to reflect the addition of External Promoted Listings.
Sellers can view data about the performance of their listings in Seller Hub under Performance>Traffic.
Of the three graphs on this page, only the Impressions graph shows External data. Splitting that graph between Organic Views, External Site Views, and Promoted Listings Views made sense when Promoted Listings could only be shown internally across eBay. Now that they may also be shown externally, that leaves a question - how does eBay handle an External Promoted Listing on this graph? Would it be counted as an External Site View or a Promoted Listings Views?
eBay announced External Promoted Listings on July 26th. This account started seeing an uptick in External Views starting August 1st, but it's not clear if those are External Promoted Listing views or not.
Here are screenshots of the pop ups explaining what each section of this page represents.
Page Views and Avg Sales Conversion Rate are the only ones that explicitly state they include external views according to these pop ups, making it appear some of these sections still consider Promoted Listings and External Site Views to be mutually exclusive.
The Traffic page does also offer a downloadable CSV file Active Listings Traffic report, which breaks down on site vs promoted listings in several different columns.
eBay needs to adapt the data from this file to display in the statistics and graphs shown on the main Traffic page. The graphs should separate out Impressions, Views, and Sales for Organic, On Site Promoted Listings, and External Promoted Listings so sellers can have the data they need to make decisions about whether allowing External Promoted Listings is the right choice for their business.
What do you think about External Promoted Listings? Are there any features or enhancements you'd like to see in the future? Let me know in the comments below!