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eBay lets brands identify parents based on their shopping habits

Ebay Advertising has unveiled a predictive targeting tool that lets brands target parents, as the online retailer's marketing services unit begins the rollout of advanced targeting tools which allow marketers to engage with shoppers at key life-stages.

The newly launched tool lets advertisers target five distinct parent groups – such as expectant parents, those with newborns, etc – with Ebay Advertising using the behavioural patterns of its 18 million monthly users to segment its audience into the distinct groupings.

Advertisers using the service will be able to use the targeting capabilities offered by Ebay Advanced Targeting, plus overlay them with any additional targeting criteria, such as demographic, location, and affluence levels, and then serve relevant users with display ads on the e-commerce site.

Ebay claims that one high street pharmacist brand saw a "two-fold increase in ad effectiveness" while participating in an earlier trial of the product. The tool also opens the door to predictive targeting on – allowing marketers to pre-empt what different parent groups might be receptive to in the future.

The advanced targeting tool will be offered in conjunction with media buys, whether these are via a direct IO (insertion order) or PMP (private marketplaces) according to Alessandra Di Lorenzo, commercial director, eBay Advertising UK.

She said: "Ebay’s ability to identify shopper segments dynamically means that our targeting is always up-to-date. We know that next year there will be a new set of new parents – and of course, once we have identified a 'new mum', we can continue to serve her relevant ads throughout the years."

Answering The Drum's queries on its audience's tolerance towards such granular levels of ad targeting on the e-commerce site, Di Lorenzo said the 'value exchange' with shoppers was that they would be presented with more relevant advertising, and that it would run "strong promotional" activity on its website to promote the benefits to consumers.

The parent targeting service is now widely available to advertisers using Ebay Advertising, which plans to roll out similar services to brands looking to engage with shoppers going through similarly significant life-stages, such as moving home, etc.

Di Lorenzo added: "Over the next year, it’s our ambition to roll out 100 advanced targeting tools to help brands segment shopper groups more accurately and open the door to predictive targeting. These will be tied to specific life-stages, seasonal events and shopper milestones – such as ‘premium’ and ‘sales’ Christmas shoppers, ‘home-movers’ and ‘new car buyers’."

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