eBay ads

eBay Ads: Advertising Types and Strategies for Success

May 10, 2023

With so many advertising options to choose from on eBay, it can be difficult to know which one is best for you and your advertising needs. While all types of advertising and marketing will involve some degree of trial and error, understanding your options and making informed decisions about your advertising methods and strategies can save you time and money, and provide you with a better return on every advertising dollar you spend. This guide will go over the main types of eBay advertising methods, and help you make sense of each one of your options when it comes to eBay Ads. Keep reading for an overview of eBay Ads, a breakdown of the types of eBay advertising, a complete explanation of eBay's Promoted Listings Standard and Promoted Listings Advanced programs, and a general guide for creating a successful and effective eBay ad campaign.

eBay advertising

An Overview of eBay Ads

Like many ecommerce platforms, eBay offers its sellers and other advertisers the ability to purchase ads on their website. Recently, eBay has come out with a new CPC ad model, and sellers and advertisers alike are scrambling to understand what this means for them. What makes eBay Ads so exciting is eBay's wealth of consumer data, and as a well-established ecommerce platform that boasts millions of visits each month, eBay has no shortage of it. This section will go over what eBay ads are, explain the benefits of advertising on eBay, and give you a general overview of the types of items that are ideal for promoting with eBay advertising.  

What Are eBay Ads?

The term eBay Ads encompasses the different types of advertising programs that eBay offers, but is also sometimes used to refer to eBay's classified ads listings and eBay's other promotional tools. This guide will focus on the former, but will also cover the latter. The main types of eBay Ads for sellers on the platform are commission-based ads, known on the as eBay Promoted Listings Standard, and cost-per-click-based ads, known as Promoted Listings Advanced. Additionally, eBay sells ad space via its own retail media network, which outranked the competition and came in first in the Retail Media Networks Perception Benchmark report just last year.  

Benefits of Advertising on eBay

As a well-established ecommerce platform, eBay has a wealth of the most valuable advertising commodity – consumer data. Advertising on eBay gives you a chance to harness this data to create your own highly-targeted ad campaigns, helping you get the most out of every advertising dollar you spend. eBay makes creating professional-level ad campaigns accessible at every level: self-service advertising in the form of eBay Promoted Listings Standard and eBay Promoted Listings Advanced, which you can set up in minutes through your Seller Hub; direct advertising solutions that brings your team together with a dedicated eBay Ads team to find the best advertising solutions for you; and programmatic solutions for professional advertisers. No matter what your advertising needs and experience are, eBay has a solution for every type of advertising goal, expertise, and budget.

Types of Products to Promote with eBay Advertising

While every type of product you sell is sure to benefit from at least one of eBay's advertising options, some types of products generally yield better results than others. In general, advertising products that are in high-demand will always yield better results, but keep in mind that an item's demand may be seasonal. On the other end of the spectrum, highly-specialized items that are rare or one-offs, such as vintage items or collectibles, are great for promoting with eBay's highly-targeted advertising options. Barring high-demand, seasonal-relevance, and rarity, promoting items from household name brands is always a safe bet, as well as spending ad dollars getting the word out about a sale or promotion you're running.

Types of eBay Advertising

Making sense of the different types of eBay ads can seem daunting, but we're here to help you do just that. eBay offers a variety of ad options for sellers on its platform, as well as opportunities for publishers to purchase targeted ad space via eBay's retail media network. eBay's advertising options include native ads, promoted listings, display ads, and even classified ads, as well as a wealth of promotional tools for its sellers, making it an attractive choice for all types of advertisers and all kinds of marketing goals. This section will go over the different types of eBay ads and promotional tools, and provide a brief explanation of each one to help you better understand how they work.

Display Ads

Display ads are a type of ad format that you most likely imagine when someone mentions the word "ad" – banner ads or sidebar ads. On eBay, display ads are ads that appear in various locations across the site, like banner ads and sidebar ads. These ads can use both contextual targeting as well as audience targeting, or combine both methods to reach the right audience with your message. Pricing for these ads typically uses a CPM model – cost per one-thousand impressions (cost per mille).

eBay display ads

Native Display Ads

Native ads are a type of advertising that is designed to match the form and function of the platform or website where they are displayed. They blend in with the surrounding content and appear as a natural part of the user's experience, rather than a separate advertisement. On eBay, these can take the form of anything from ads as smartphone notifications to sponsored results at the top of the page in a given search (top of search display), targeted marketing emails to advertising at the top of the eBay homepage. Native ads are highly effective, and are available on eBay via direct IO, a type of programmatic advertising.  

Promoted Products

Sellers on eBay have three separate promotion tools for promoting their listings on the platform:

  • eBay Promoted Listings Standard: A commission-based advertising program that gives sellers an increase of up to 25% in clicks on their promoted listings.  
  • eBay Promoted Listings Advanced: A CPC-based advertising program that gives sellers an increase of up to 40% in sales.
  • eBay Promoted Listings Express: A flat-fee based advertising program intended for promoting auction-style listings on eBay.

As opposed to the more general advertising methods mentioned earlier, all of these advertising options are available only to eBay sellers who wish to promote their listings on the platform.

eBay Promotions

For eBay sellers who are also eBay Store subscribers, eBay offers a set of promotional tools that can be easily set up via the Seller Hub, completely free of charge. They're known as Seller Hub Promotions, and enable sellers to create attractive deals to entice potential buyers to make a purchase. As mentioned earlier, listings with these promotions are perfect for promoting with eBay advertising. Seller Hub Promotions include:

  • order size discounts, where you offer a discount to buyers when they purchase a certain minimum number of units (i.e. purchase 5 units for a 15% discount).
  • markdown sale events, where you discount whole categories (or other custom inventory groups) by a percentage (i.e. 25% off all wallets).
  • shipping discounts, where you give buyers free or discounted shipping if certain conditions are met (i.e. free US shipping on all orders over $30).
  • coded coupons, where you give buyers a coupon code to receive a discount (i.e. input coupon code FIFTEENOFF at checkout for a 15% discount on your order).
  • volume pricing, where you set up predetermined discounts for purchases of a certain volume (i.e. get 10% off when you buy 4 units, get 15% off when you buy 6 units).
  • offers to buyers, where you can send offers to buyers who have watched your items, and negotiate a price through eBay's offer system.
eBay promotions

Classified Ads

Classified ads on eBay are essentially a type of listing, where you pay a flat fee to publish your ad and negotiate the details of the sale off eBay. These types of ads are great for things that cannot be sold via regular eBay listings, like services, real estate listings, or websites for sale, for example. The listing fee changes based on the category of the item you're selling, and on the duration you choose for the listings (30 or 90 days).

Promoted Listings Standard

eBay Promoted Listings Standard are an eBay Ads program that enables sellers on the platform to promote certain listings within eBay, and on certain websites on the eBay network. Sellers can set up Promoted Listings Standard campaigns on their own via their eBay selling account, and boost their promoted items' visibility by up to 36% when compared to non-promoted items.

eBay promoted listings standard

What Is a Promoted Listing Standard?

Promoted Listings Standard is one method of promoting eBay listings on eBay and on other websites that make up the eBay network. You can launch a Promoted Listings Standard campaign via the Advertising Dashboard in the Seller Hub of your eBay selling account. The listings you choose to promote via Promoted Listings Standard will be placed in various locations across eBay to increase their visibility, and could appear in search results on and off eBay, on eBay product pages, and on eBay network websites.

How Does Promoted Listings Standard Work?

You can select one of three methods to create an eBay Promoted Listings Standard campaign: Simple, Bulk, or Automated. Simple lets you hand select listings for promotion, Bulk enables you to select several listings based on filters, and Automated lets you define parameters to determine which listings will be enrolled in Promoted Listings Standard automatically. When setting up your Promoted Listings Standard, campaign you'll define a certain percentage (or percentage range) of the total transaction amount that you're willing to pay for a sale. The higher your percentage (known as a bid), the more likely your promoted listing will place in more optimal ad locations. You'll only pay once you've made a sale through the Promoted Listings Standard campaign.

Setting up and managing several Promoted Listings Standard campaigns can be overwhelming, especially for sellers with multiple eBay accounts. To help you get the most out of your Promoted Listings Standard campaigns, 3Dsellers enables you to manage and automate your promotions from one place. Enjoy robust automation with far more advanced filters than eBay offers in their automated campaigns, with a wider range of dynamic parameters and filters that enables you to automatically enroll or remove listings from the eBay Promoted Listings Standard program, as well as more precisely manage and optimize each one of your campaigns for maximum effectiveness.

eBay promoted listings standard campaign
eBay promoted listings standard strategy

Eligibility Requirements for Promoted Listings Standard

Enrollment in eBay's Promoted Listings Standard program is open to eBay sellers who have a seller rating of at least Above Standard, and whose eBay accounts have sufficient recent selling activity. Promoted Listings Standard can only be used to promote fixed-price listings, and cannot be used to promote listings in the Vehicles, Everything Else, Real Estate, and some subcategories under the Travel category.

Promoted Listings Advanced

eBay's newest listing promotion program, eBay Promoted Listings Advanced is an eBay Ads program that lets eBay sellers promote their listings through CPC (cost-per-click) advertising. Like the Promoted Listings Standard program, eBay's Promoted Listings Advanced is self-serve, and can be set up through your Seller Hub. The program lets you target specific keywords, and places your promoted listings at the top of search results and in other premium placements across eBay.

eBay promoted listings advanced

What Is a Promoted Listing Advanced?

On eBay, Promoted Listings Advanced is a cost-per-click-based (or CPC) method of promoting eBay listings. The program is self-serve, and can be set up from your Seller Hub provided that you have sufficient account activity and that your eBay seller ranking is at least Above Standard. If you outbid the competition with your bids on the keywords you target, the listings you promote with your Promoted Listings Advanced campaign could appear in up to 4 of the top four slots in search results for the keywords you bid on, as well as up to 3 more premium placements on the respective eBay site on which you're advertising.

How Does Promoted Listings Advanced Work?

Like Promoted Listings Standard, Promoted Listings Advanced campaigns can be launched directly from your Seller Hub. You'll be able to choose from two setup options: Quick Setup and Manual Setup. If you select the former, eBay will sort the listings you select into optimized ad groups, select keywords and match types they think will perform the best, and set your initial bid on those keywords. If you choose Manual Setup, you'll define all these things yourself. Soon, you'll be able to set up your eBay Promoted Listings Advanced campaigns directly through 3Dsellers, with a wealth of automations and optimizations to help you get more out of each Promoted Listings Advanced campaign you run.

eBay promoted listings standard campaign
eBay promoted listings standard options

Eligibility Requirements for Promoted Listings Advanced

Just like eBay Promoted Listings Standard, Promoted Listings Advanced is available to sellers who have sufficient recent account activity, and who's seller rating is Above Standard, Top Rated, or Top Rated Plus. In terms of listing requirements, you'll be able to use Promoted Listings Advanced to promote fixed-price listings in every category except Cars, Motorcycles & Vehicles, Wholesale & Job Lots, Events Tickets, E-Cigarettes, Vapes & Accs Property, and Everything Else categories.

Where Do Promoted Listings Appear on eBay?

Depending on the eBay advertising method you choose, your promoted listings could appear in different places on and off eBay. For starters, if you promote your listing with Promoted Listings Advanced, you give it the chance to show up in the in the top four slots of relevant searches, as well as in three other premium locations across eBay (including inside other product pages). If you promote a listing with Promoted Listings Standard, your listing will place within search results as a sponsored listing for relevant searches, as well as off eBay in search engine results and in websites that are part of the eBay network.

Promoted Listings in eBay Search Results

In eBay search results, the top four slots of each search are reserved for listings that are promoted using Promoted Listings Advanced. This means that with a sufficiently high bid that beats out your competitors, as well as a complete and SEO-optimized eBay listing, your sponsored products could be the first four products that buyers see when they search for a given keyword or string of keywords.

Promoted Listings in Product Pages

Within product pages, the listings you promote with Promoted Listings Advanced can be featured in the suggested sponsored products carousel. Note that your sponsored listings will only appear in the eBay site you created your campaign; that is, if you created a campaign in eBay.com, your promoted products will not appear on eBay.co.uk, for instance.

How to Create an Effective eBay Ad Campaign

Creating an effective ad campaign means not only more sales, but a better return on every advertising dollar you spend. Every ad campaign, no matter how big or small, should be well-planned and thought out, with clear and realistic objectives set out before you begin purchasing ad space or enrolling your eBay listings in any of eBay's promotion programs. After you've launched your campaign, it's equally important to learn from it for future campaigns, and leverage the data you've gathered to create stronger and better targeted campaigns in the future. This section will go over best practices for creating an ad campaign, as well as how to learn from every campaign you launch to create even better campaigns in the future.

Set Clear Goals and Objectives

While the overarching goal of every ad campaign is essentially the same, defining an exact set of goals and objectives before launching your ad campaign is an important first step towards successful campaign planning. Do you want to quickly move inventory? Do you want to establish your business in a particular niche? Do you want to get the word out about your store and build brand awareness? Take care to define your goals clearly, and to ensure that you don’t cast too wide of a net when you do. Remember that no campaign can do everything, and attempting to create one that does will ultimately result in an unfocused campaign that fails in each one of its objectives.

Choose the Right Type of Advertising

After clearly defining your campaign goals, you'll want to select the advertising method that works best for your particular objectives. For instance, if you're interested in quickly moving stock, running a Seller Hub Promotion on the listings in question while promoting them with eBay Promoted Listings Advanced could be a great way to attain that goal, while banner ads may not be your best bet. One of the main benefits of eBay Ads is that it offers accessible advertising at nearly every price point, but it's important to remember that without a realistic budget, CPC and CPM advertising may not be the best fit. If you're just starting out, promoting your listings with Promoted Listings Standard is a way to play it safe budget-wise, while still getting a feel for how advertising on eBay works.

Target the Right Audience

The importance of getting your advertising message to the relevant audience cannot be overstated. Ads that are not relevant to the shoppers they reach are not only a waste of money and resources for you, but also a missed opportunity for targeting the right potential shopper. In short, accurate and successful targeting will make or break your campaign, which is why it's so important to clearly define who your target audience is for every ad campaign.

Create Relevant Ads

Whether you're creating sidebar ads or promoting an eBay listing, you'll want your ad to grab the attention of potential buyers who come across it. Good targeting is important for relevance, of course, but in order for your ads to be successful they must also clearly present the item you're selling and what it is about your item that makes it relevant to their needs. If you're running a promotion on women's jewelry leading up to Valentine's Day, include the relevance to Valentine's Day in your ad or listing by specifying that it is a Valentine's gift for her, for example.

Monitor and Optimize Your Ads

On eBay, you get extensive tools to monitor the performance of your ad campaigns in the form of dashboards and downloadable reports. Each advertising method differs slightly in the tweaks and optimizations you'll have available to you, but general good practice dictates weekly keyword research combined with bid rate optimization to ensure that your campaign is both keyword-relevant and competitive. eBay Promoted Listings Advanced will allow you to add negative keywords (that is, keywords you want to avoid), for example, and eBay even gives you suggested ad rates to take some of the guesswork out of bidding.

Analyze Your Performance

At the end of your campaign, it's important to take the time to analyze your performance in order to understand how you can improve in your next campaign. Take full advantage of your campaign dashboard, and download the reports available to you through the Reports section in your Seller Hub.

Final Thoughts & Key Takeaways

The world of advertising on eBay is an ever-evolving beast, with new advertising methods and never-ending optimizations in every ad campaign you launch. Even if you're new to eBay Ads, and even if you're new to the world of online advertising altogether, eBay makes advertising on its platform accessible to people of all levels of experience and with all kinds of advertising budgets. If you're just starting out, Promoted Listings Standard is a great way to get a feel for advertising on eBay without having to spend any money upfront; if you're interested in how CPC advertising can work for you, setting up a small Promoted Listings Advanced campaign using eBay's suggested ad groups and bids is a safe bet. In short, every online business can benefit from advertising on eBay, you simply need to do your due diligence and find the right advertising methods that work for you.

FAQs for eBay Advertising

In case you still have some unanswered questions about eBay Ads, we've put together some commonly asked questions about advertising on eBay. Browse through them and see if they answer your questions.

Q: What are the different types of advertising on eBay?

eBay Ads encompass a wide range of advertising methods and strategies, with an advertising solution available for virtually every advertising need and goal. For a simple and straightforward method of promoting fixed-price eBay listings with no upfront costs, eBay offers its sellers the Promoted Listings Standard Program; for a CPC method of promoting eBay listings and getting them placed at the top of search results, eBay offers its sellers the Promoted Listings Advanced Program; finally, for more advanced advertising goals and complex campaigns, eBay Ads offers tailored solutions for everything from native ads to email marketing campaigns.

Q: How can I create an effective eBay ad campaign?

Creating an effective eBay ad campaign requires accurately outlining your campaign's goals and objectives, defining the target audience who you want to reach with your campaign, selecting the right advertising method for your campaign goals, creating relevant and engaging ads, and continuously optimizing your campaign for best results and highest return on your advertising spending.

Q: What strategies should I use to target the right audience?

Finding the right target audience for your ad campaign will involve a mix of several strategies. First, you'll want to utilize the information you already have about your customer base to create personas of your buyers. Look at parameters such as location, age, and other purchases they've made to understand who is purchasing what from you. Next, take the time to conduct market research into your niche, and look for potential areas where products or services are lacking. Finally, analyze your competitors to see who they're marketing to, and to see whether they're missing certain target audiences. These steps will help you find and target the right audience, and help you create a more effective ad campaign.

Q: How can I monitor and optimize my eBay ads?

eBay gives its sellers a variety of tools to help the monitor and optimize their ad campaigns on the site. First, you'll be able to monitor the performance of your campaigns with the help of the campaign dashboard and the downloadable reports. Secondly, eBay allows you to make certain optimizations to your campaigns while they are live, including bid optimization and keyword fine-tuning. Finally, you can and should run a thorough analysis of your campaigns after they've ended to understand what worked and what didn't in order to create more effective eBay ad campaigns in the future.

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