eBay appears to be A/B testing the Call To Action verbiage on these ads, leading to even more confusion as seller Less Than Three Records points out - the advertised store is not related to his store and for eBay to suggest otherwise is false advertising.
I'm starting to see this new ad type popping up more with real sellers, not eBay test stores, featured in the ads.
In this example the "check out this top seller" call to action has been replaced with "shop similar items" but the previous observation still stands - I believe this type of advertising is very likely to confuse buyers who will click on that ad expecting to see additional similar items from the same seller only to be directed to a competitor instead.
eBay VP Ads Alex Kazim had said a new ad product for stores was in the works during his presentation at Investor Day back in March, but the ads team has been tight lipped about what exactly that might mean.
Now it appears an eBay community member may have stumbled on it.
This is just a minor rant BUT while I was updating some of my listings today I noticed something on the righthand side of the screen next to my listing I've never seen before. It was a small advertisement to click on another seller's page and check them out!
Now what is alarming is this seller has only sold 5 LISTINGS and yet Ebay wants me to check them out? Why? What do they have that is so much better than what the customer is currently looking at? Do they even have what the customer needs? How much are they being Ebay to be placed in that spot? Are they paying Ebay at all or is Ebay just randomly selecting them to be there? ( It think not on that last question)
So I continued to scroll down just to see if I could find anything else like that in the listing. What I found was disgusting honestly. After two rows of "other seller's listings" a small sliver of page was giving to item details/description area THEN the rest of the page was filled with other listings until you reached the bottom.
Selling on another platform is looking more appealing everyday I log into Ebay. My question is WHY are you overloading the viewer/customer with so many options that only distract from what they are really looking for. Oh wait, I know... TO LINE YOUR POCKETS WITH MORE $$$ YOU DON'T DESERVE. Shameful Ebay.
This is the first time I've ever seen this type of ad specifically pointing to another seller's store page.
That ad spot is where you usually see 3rd party ads that lead off site, so it's interesting to see that eBay is now filling it with what appears to be a 1st party on site ad instead.
If this is a new form of Promoted Listings being tested, it's sure to meet with pushback from sellers.
It's bad enough that eBay is cramming 100+ competitor listings in ads on the listing page, but co-opting this valuable above the fold real estate to direct buyers to a competing store is a whole other level - especially with distracting images and larger font meant to draw attention away from the store owner of the actual listing.
Why are sellers paying ~$20-$3000 a month for store subscriptions just to have eBay direct buyers to other stores?! That is absolutely insane.
An eagle-eyed seller noticed that the store being promoted is a test store - further confirming eBay is testing something new here.
Previously, GM Ad Growth Elisabeth Romel had said eBay would be testing a new ad type called Promoted Display in the second half of the year, which I surmised might be the store ads Kazim had been talking about.
eBay will launch an ad unit -- code-named Promoted Display, based on a cost-per-click (CPC) pricing model. The company will test it in September, with the goal to roll out the ad unit in a closed beta during the second half in 2022.
The ads will serve up on eBay’s “View Items” page, where merchants highlight their products.
“We have a test and learn culture and always think of a placement with high visibility above the fold,” Rommel said. “It will be targeted at a higher level above search. We learn and make changes before rolling it out more broadly.”
This Promoted Display ad unit will target repeat customers, the type of consumer who knows, for example that Adidas sells shoes and sportswear.
It wasn't clear what exactly she meant by "view items page" and many sellers assumed that would mean it would be on the "see other items" page where eBay displays all items a seller currently has listed.
However, it's entirely possible she meant the listing page (where you would view an item) - it wouldn't be the first time an eBay exec wasn't in tune with common lingo or how sellers actually use the site.
Everything about high visibility above the fold placement would absolutely make sense for what we are seeing from the test store.
It would also make sense that a store with listings for jewelry might be shown to a repeat buyer of jewelry (who in this case just happens to also be a seller of jewelry) the same way her example of someone who is a repeat buyer of shoe and sportswear might be shown an ad for Adidas.
For now I'm going to bet this is likely the ad product she was talking about thus is also likely to be a Cost Per Click model.
I've reached out to eBay Ads for comment and will update as soon as I have more information!