Online auction house eBay has taken a leaf out of Amazon’s playbook by prioritising its own in-house advertising business for the first time, beginning the process of banning product ads linking to third party sites and bringing its own ad sales in-house.
eBay is in process of recruiting for its own advertising sales team to bring in the changes to assist brands in making sales directly from eBay.
The online retailer's hand has been swayed by increasingly aggressive moves by sector leader Amazon to lure in big brands by offering them a tantalizing sweep of customised products to oil their businesses, particularly in the arenas of e-commerce and digital advertising.
Outlining the new focus Bridget Davies, vice president and general manager for eBay Advertising North America remarked: “eBay always knew that we had massive scale, but [advertising] wasn’t our core focus. But it’s actually not an adjacent business; it’s a tool kit for brands and requires investing into it.”
Previously, eBay channeled all its energies into its core commercial operations but with just $313m in marketing services revenue in the fourth quarter, a 4% drop on the year before, the penny has finally dropped that it must do more.
Despite taking its eye off the advertising ball, eBay posted a 3.1% jump in holiday revenue as it continues to drain custom from traditional bricks and mortar retailers.