eBay Advertising eyes video formats and unveils “untapped” shopper segments

eBay is considering extending its advertising format offering to include video while stepping up plans to unlock further, valuable shopper data for advertisers.

The company is in talks about whether video should be incorporated into its product offering, which could lead to it experimenting with different video formats as a result.

eBay’s head of advertising Phuong Nguyen told The Drum that there are “lots of ideas” around the potential use of video, adding “in future I see us experimenting more with video formats which is a key subject.”

His comments come as eBay unveils an “untapped” shopper segment revealed in its Advertising Barometer, a monthly report launched to help unlock additional insight around real-time shopper behavioural patterns to advertisers.

eBay.co.uk, which generated over 79 million unique visits between 24 and 31 December in 2012, has reported a shift in consumer behaviour during the Christmas period, from typical bargain hunters to high-end purchases, the latter classed as “selfish shoppers” by eBay.

On Christmas day the site saw 6.9 million unique users, which made over 2 million searches and 525,589 purchases, including 392 cars and 64 cameras worth over £500.

Previously brands have prioritised their ad spend towards the first two weeks of December having considered that the most active period for shoppers, according to Nguyen.

However, the continued proliferation of mobile devices has led to a shift in behaviour, with thousands now making high-end purchases right through the Christmas period.

The Barometer is aimed at providing further insight into the real-time consumer shopping patterns which can help advertisers understand where they should allocate spend.

“Brands that take the traditional approach of weighting their ad spend in the first two weeks of December risk missing out on this significant share of wallet,” said Nguyen.

Meanwhile January 2012 also saw a trend toward more high-end purchases, with 63,100 searches for “luxury” items and nearly half a million searches for “designer” goods, which resulted in 3,024 sales of handbags priced over £150 and 5,346 sales of watched priced over £300. eBay is expecting this to also be reflected in this January’s data.

The release of the Barometer is in line with how comfortable the industry is becoming with data, according to Nguyen. “eBay is sitting on a huge repository of data and we want to share that insight with advertisers. Given the pace of change in this industry and how technology influences everything we must ensure we find ways to keep abreast of it so we can understand changing consumer trends,” he said.

The Barometer does not yet extend to mobile devices, but it is likely to be incorporated in future. eBay is working hard to understand the consumer journey across devices, but it remains a challenging area, according to Nguyen. The company’s apps have notched up 100 million downloads globally and its mobile traffic is significant, yet Nguyen believes the potential of mobile apps is superior to mobile browsers.

“The technical ability for what you can do in an app outstrips what you can do with a browser – our data makes that clear,” he said.

Personalisation is also a key part of eBay’s strategy, according to Nguyen. The company has launched The Feed in beta on its US site, which is designed to behave as a personalised news feed, listing the latest products available from brands and categories a customer likes.

eBay is yet to announce a UK version but Nguyen expects it to start looking at trials in the UK later this year. “Given the myriad of stuff you can buy online consumers are looking for curated, inspirational shopping experiences…it’s all about using our data to optimise our algorithms and ensure we can provide a personliased content and ad experience,” he said.

The insight from the monthly Barometer could also be applied to eBay’s private ad exchange, according to Ngyuen. Currently the most premium inventory goes through the marketplace so is not available to buy via real-time-bidding (RTB), yet there could be opportunities to extend to RTB in future.

“As we become more sophisticated at mining our data there may be more RTB opportunities opened up but there is more work to be done there to understand, isolate and commercialise the data,” said Nguyen.

eBay previously told The Drum the exchange has attracted 100 advertisers since its launch last September.

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis

Join us, it’s free.

Want to read this article and others just like it? All you need to do is become a member of The Drum. Basic membership is quick, free and you will be able to receive daily news updates.