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EBay Classifieds bumps up search experience for mobile, tablet users

EBay Classifieds is teaming up with search advertising network adMarketplace to augment the search experience for mobile and tablet users as the site experiences an influx of visitors from mobile platforms.

EBay Classifieds sought to ramp up click-through rates for mobile and tablet site visitors in an effort to identify relevant ads, a strategy which adMarketplace was able to deliver. The partnership resulted in adMarketplace increasing monthly click-through rates to 10 percent for the site, which is an offshoot of the online retail conglomerate.

“We’re focused on precise targeting, and users are more responsive to advertisements if they find an ad that is relevant to them,” said Adam Epstein, president and chief operating officer of adMarketplace, New York. “Our ads are formatted to align with the publisher’s desired look and feel without disrupting the user experience.

“We provide relevant ads from quality advertisers without interfering with organic local listings.”

Effective ads
AdMarketplace’s delivery of higher click-through rates has seen advertisers in the retail, pet, automotive, and real estate sectors perform well. Over the last six months, the click-through rates caused eBay Classifieds’ yield as measured by cost per mille to jump by 49.8 percent.

As many of eBay Classifieds’ users come from mobile-friendly platforms, adMarketplace wanted to ensure that those consumers were receiving optimal search functions.

“Our user traffic mix is 70 percent mobile, 30 percent is tablet,” Mr. Epstein said.

AdMarketplace’s performance has catapulted the company to top status as eBay Classifieds’ primary search monetization partner, replacing previous reigning champion Google. The company is now responsible for a significant 98 percent of eBay Classifieds’ tablet and mobile search revenue.

Ebay’s strategy
While eBay Classifieds provides local listing as opposed to its parent company’s worldwide selling capability, eBay as a whole has been ramping up its mobile strategy in recent months. In December 2014, it introduced a Pinterest-inspired application for iPad users that features a photo-heavy design to drive impulse purchases and browsing options (see story).

The app was created to help eBay stand out among other major competitors in the online and mobile retail space, such as Amazon. Users can now leverage the iPad app to browsing to get inspiration from products and receive suggestions for similar items that they have browsed in the past.

The homepage aggregates these products, alongside watched items that may also be placed in a designated gifts section of the app.

Mobile search is becoming a hot topic for 2015, as experts urge brands that do not have mobile commerce sites to be aware that their Google quality ratings may slide (see story). If a retailer, online or bricks-and-mortar, does not offer a mobile-optimized site and search functions, it will see itself slip behind its competitors in the crowded space.

“Mobile is important for every business because that’s where the users are,” Mr. Epstein said. “Searching for locally relevant results via mobile is quickly becoming the norm, and national advertisers are looking for new opportunities to reach users wherever they are engaged.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York