Feature

eBay Category change

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From the 9th of February, eBay will release category, item specifics and catalogue updates, with the goal of increasing item visibility, eliminating redundancies and improving the overall shopping experience on eBay. The following updates will be made within the categories listed below. (Click on the name of each programme to visualize the relative changes).

If you’re using Category IDs in your Custom Banners, RSS feeds, Link Generator, widgets or other configurations that use a Category ID, you’ll want to make sure that your category numbers align with these latest changes.

You can view details including the new category IDs by clicking on the relevant programmes:

AT AU CA  CAFR CH DE ES FR  IE RU UK US

Publisher Stories: PAYBACK

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Tim Seewöster, Head of Digital Partnermanagement & Digital Sales, PAYBACK We have the pleasure of introducing you to another of eBay Partner Network’s publishers, PAYBACK. PAYBACK is the leading international multi-partner loyalty programme and the biggest multichannel marketing platform worldwide. In Germany, India, Mexico, Poland and Italy, customers can use PAYBACK to collect points from over 600 companies and redeem these for vouchers, rewards or Lufthansa miles, or donate them. In 2013, PAYBACK card holders collected points worth EUR 183 million and redeemed 96 percent of these! As a multichannel marketing platform, PAYBACK communicates via all channels – offline, online and via mobile – and, in doing so, provides the optimal combination of coverage and personalisation.

How do you work with ePN?

We use eBay within three channels: online, offline and mobile. We apply offline within print mailings, which we send about 60 million times per year. One mailing can have a circulation of up to 12 million. On our website, we place eBay in every campaign and at every product level. eBay is also part of our mobile strategy, for example within our mobile app. Here, users can collect points with their mobile device.

What do you like most about ePN?

What I like is the very professional support provided by the eBay Partner Network team. Additionally, its remuneration model is fair, transparent and easy to understand.

eBay’s campaign management does not push for holistic distribution, but rather focuses on guiding the user buying decision process. This ethos is very important to us and our partners as well. We agree with eBay’s shift toward a more targeted approach using its behavioral profiling to identify specific personalities, which should perform with better margins. We too have had positive experiences with this approach and are working to tap its full potential.

What are the tools’ advantages?

eBay’s biggest advantage is the depth of detail within its reports. These allow for exceptionally detailed analysis. If I want to know who bought which item at what time and where, then the tool incredibly useful. That being said, if you have never worked with this system or are relatively inexperienced when dealing with this volume of data, you may find it a challenge to digest at first.

What are the trends in e-commerce?

In my opinion, the current e-commerce trend is clearly about targeted marketing. The question of how to connect this to additional buying decisions as quickly as possible also ties in to this. That means I can provide targeted suggestions to somebody who just purchased an item, to buy a complementing additional item.

It is always difficult to guide customers in a buying decision process, and so we at PAYBACK asked ourselves “What does the customer actually buy? We noticed that, for example, a banner will convert better if the promoted item is displayed within the creative rather than displaying a generic mood or lifestyle image.

In short, keep everything relevant. We have experienced good results when focusing at this level. In our opinion, this is not only an important issue for PAYBACK, but for all service providers in this segment – whether it is loyalty just like us, price comparisons, or editorial content – the relevance is very important.

Where do you work together with eBay?

PAYBACK is largely a German programme. Here, we have a brand awareness of over 70 percent which puts us in a very strong position. We have also just been included by American Express, and plan to internationalise the PAYBACK business model. We just launched with the same corporate name in Italy. It is obviously beneficial that the colleagues who build the business in Italy work together with eBay and use their existing range. Of course, Italy will not be the only country within the loyalty programme. We are exploring activity in other countries in the future.

UK, DE & US Hot Categories: November

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UK, DE & US Hot Categories: October Welcome to the November edition of the eBay Partner Network’s Hot Categories forecast. In this post we outline our November predictions for the UK, DE and US regions. With this we aim to help you drive optimal levels of traffic by capitalising on trending categories. What’s Hot?

Use the below graphic to see What’s Hot this November:

UK Program

Suggestions: As Christmas season spending begins to take hold we see a sharp rise in everything gift related as the “collectibles” category experiences prolonged high levels of activity. “Home & Garden” also experiences a lift in activity as focus shifts from outside to the home, restocking and revamping last year’s winter essentials and décor.

 DE Program

Suggestions: Due to the cold season, the children’s playroom shifts from the garden back into the house. What’s more, the first preparations for Christmas start in November, with toys from ‘LEGO’ and ‘Playmobil’ within the “Collectibles” category proving very popular throughout the entire month. Within “Lifestyle”, the sub-category ‘Skisport & Snowboarding’ still spikes in November. The “Home & Garden” category is also booming. Here, the sub-categories ‘Feste & Besondere Anlässe’, ‘Installation’, ‘Kamine & Kaminzubehör’ and ‘Lampen & Licht’ are very popular.

 US Program

Suggestions: Similar to the UK program the US sees a sharp rise “Collectibles” sales as Christmas spending increases in anticipation for the big day. “Home & Garden” shows promise as ‘kids craft’ and ‘holiday & seasonal décor’ mirror the festivities as families come together.

 Remember: If you are intending to publish content based on individual weeks, keep the timing in mind. Make the most of these predictions by keeping on top of what’s hot and what’s not; trade out less active categories for other, more popular ones.

Make sure you check back again next month for the latest forecasts!

How do we define a ‘Hot Category’?

Aside from showing a significant spike versus the rest of our marketplace, each category selected must be large enough to be considered relevant. Categories such as Fashion/Women’s Clothing or Electronics/Mobile& Smartphones, which show relatively little fluctuation, have been excluded from our selection.

So how does it work?

Each month we post the categories we expect to spike on our blog. Using previous data trends* as the forecast model we are able keep you in-the-know with an easy, accessible visual aid. You’ll be able to anticipate what content to publish, which ads and offers to promote.

Just read our blog on a regular basis and then adjust your performance strategy to align with the forecast. It’s as simple as that! Multiple spiking categories can be found here.

Questions? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.

*All data has been aggregated at weekly level for every level 2 category across the following time frames:

  • UK program – Transaction data on UK site from 2013-01-01 to 2013-12-31
  • DE program – Transaction data on DE site from 2013-03-31 to 2014-04-11
  • US program – Transaction data on US site from 2013-03-31 to 2014-04-11

As always we welcome your feedback and comments.

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Wrap Up and Dress Up This Winter

Warm up and Dress up this winterWrap Up and Dress Up This Winter As the winter chill creeps in the time to wrap up and dress up is upon us. eBay has launched its Halloween campaign offering consumers access to a whole array of collections including  costume picks, fancy dress finders, accessories & makeup, trick or treat, devilish decorations and more! Publishers should take advantage of the wide selection of collections available and tailor their content accordingly.

pumpkin

But October isn’t all about dressing up – it’s also about wrapping up warm. The winter season is here and people are starting to feel the chill. Wardrobes are being restocked with this year’s latest woollies and outerwear, hardy boots and weatherproof jackets are replacing the summer’s tees and flip-flops.  eBay has launched its Winter Fashion campaign with the latest apparel designs to “buy it now” and various deals available to take advantage of.*

*Please note sellers and products will vary and are subject to availability.

As always, we welcome your feedback and comments.

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News and Views: Content is King

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october blogIn this edition of ePN’s News and Views, we explore the important role high quality content plays in engaging today’s consumer. In an age where people are increasingly on the move, using multiple devices and constantly connected, they are inundated with higher volumes of marketing and advertising content than ever before. As a result, bite-sized, high quality and visually impactful content has never been more essential to grab, and keep, the attention of the busy consumer. And as affiliate marketers, it’s key that we all constantly create great content that truly speaks to our target audience. As content marketing budgets continue to rise in the industry, more and more marketers are becoming content creators. And PerformanceIN recently featured some excellent top tips for creating written content that engages audience and raise brand awareness in a piece titled ‘How to Harness Content Marketing.’ Our pick of the best of these tips include:

  • Strong and specific weekly or bi-monthly email newsletters remain one of the most important ways to keep your customers updated and engaged. It should not simply be a place to tout your latest product or promote a sale or discount. This content should focus on the readers’ interest areas, establishing the unique voice and perspective on the overall brand rather than being heavily sales-led
  • Consider participating in online industry forums where you can establish yourself as a problem-solver and thought leader. Create tutorials, how-to style articles, or Q&A whitepapers, and offer these resources for free. These resources establish your brand as an authority in the field and provide content that is useful and highly shareable, which will go a long way towards increasing your brand awareness.

Earlier this month, in an interview during Advertising Week New York featured in The Drum, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer advised that brands advertising on Yahoo’s “high quality” content across its various products can expect a 30 per cent uplift in consumer perception against what was generally deemed poorer quality content. Mayer explained that the metrics used to determine high-versus-low included  picture quality and grammar, as well as a number of other factors – so clearly, quality content can play a huge role in your success.

At ePN, we have long recognised the importance of creative, visual and tailored content for engaging consumers, most recently launching the eBay Fashion Collective, also featured on our blog this month. This brand new dedicated shopping destination functions as the online fashion magazine of eBay and the first port of call for all customers looking to browse and be inspired. To complement its launch, we worked in conjunction with The British Fashion Council at London Fashion Week, featuring an online shop, curated by the BFC, which featured exciting and unique pieces from up and coming designers for the duration of London Fashion Week. The high quality visuals and huge range of brands featured will serve to inspire and encourage fashion buyers on the path to purchase.

It’s clear that content creation and delivery is changing rapidly, and consumers’ expectations are higher than ever – so, remember to tailor your messaging, provide inspirational visuals, and focus on quality, in order to engage your audience. For more advice, get in touch with the ePN team!

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Link Generator Tool – Make your eBay integration trackable

link generator tool make your eBay integration trackableThe link generator is probably the most user-friendly and versatile tool available on ePN. In addition to allowing you to create Text Links, you can also use it to make trackable anything on your site (content, images, video), and send traffic to any eBay landing page. How to use the link generator?

Let’s take a look at creating a tracking code. The screenshot below provides an example of what fields to complete for the UK Programme using the Custom URL option.  After inputting your desired destination URL in the Custom URL field, selecting your Campaign, and making sure to leave the Link Text field empty, click the “Generate Link” button, and your tracking code is generated under “Get Your Link.” You have the choice between Javascript and HTML for the Code Type.  Select for example the HTML option and copy the code within the Code box.

link article

To make an image already hosted on your site link to eBay and have traffic tracked to your affiliate account, you simply ‘embed’ the image with the HTML affiliate tracking code you copied. You can also embed content or video on your site with HTML affiliate tracking code to create trackable links.

For an overview of all the fields available to populate when using the Link Generator tool please consult our Help documentation available.

 Which information is included in the link structure?

We thought it might be helpful to break down line by line and show you what’s included in the link structure.

As you know, there are various ways you can customize a link. One way is to specify an itemID and have the link pointing to a specific listing. Using this example, if you go into Link Generator, specify Item ID #130300099902, toggle geo-target to “No” with the UK as the selected programme, and specify link text “Navigation System”, you get the following link:

  • href=”http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1 Base URL, same as before, all numbers are generic ID numbers while the “711-53200-19255-0” is a RotationID that changes for each program and helps assign the click to the right programme, you can find here a complete list of available rotation IDs
  • ?icep_ff3=2 Link type indicating whether this is a home page link, item id link, etc,
  • &pub=5574628273 Your publisher ID
  • &toolid=10001 Refers to the tool used (10001 is Link Generator)
  • &campid= The ID of your campaign
  • &customid= The related customID (optional)
  • &icep_item= The item ID
  • &ipn=psmain Parameter for future landing page optimization (always same)
  • &icep_vectorid=229466 Parameter for future landing page optimisation (different by country/programme)
  • &kwid=902099 Parameter for future landing page optimisation (always same)
  • &mtid=824 Parameter for future landing page optimisation (always same)
  • &kw=lg Parameter for future landing page optimisation, do not edit, always same)
  • [CACHEBUSTER]” The impression pixel

Please note that there are multiple types of Link Generator (Home page, search results, item ID, store, custom URL etc.). While we can’t explain every link in detail here, you will find a lot of the parameters above common across most links. We recommend generating the base link from the Link Generator to see how the structure slightly changes for other links.

We’re eager to answer any questions you may have about the link generator tool. Please feel free to leave your questions in the comment section below.

UK, DE & US Hot Categories: October

UK, DE & US Hot Categories: OctoberWelcome to the October edition of the eBay Partner Network’s Hot Categories forecast. In this post we outline our October predictions for the UK, DE and US regions. With this we aim to help you drive optimal levels of traffic by capitalising on trending categories. What’s Hot?

Use the below graphic to see What’s Hot this October:

UK Program

Suggestions: “Home& Garden” remains a Hot Category this October with a range of sub-categories and items spiking throughout the month. Replacement Parts & Tools for electronics also offer a steady level of demand, with an extensive range of accompanying categories showing intermittent peaks.

DE Program

Suggestions: Summer is drawing to an end and this can also be seen in the sales figures. According to our last year’s analysis, the preparations for the upcoming winter and ski sports season start in October since Ski sports & Snowboarding within the Lifestyle category spikes for almost the entire month. Furthermore, Home & Garden still booms with Feste & Besondere Anlässe, Installation and Kamine & Kaminzubehör being very popular. Within the Collectibles category, LEGO and Playmobil toys will be in great demand so it may be worth promoting these sub-categories in October.

US Program

 Suggestions: October forecasts include consistently high levels of demand across multiple categories such as “Home & Garden”, “Fashion”, “lifestyle” or “Collectibles” – each of which offer selections that spike for the duration of the month.  Publishers should, where possible, focus on these categories as “Electronics” and “Business & Industrial” offer little activity in comparison.

Remember: If you are intending to publish content based on individual weeks, keep the timing in mind. Make the most of these predictions by keeping on top of what’s hot and what’s not; trade out less active categories for other, more popular ones.

Make sure you check back again next month for the latest forecasts!

How do we define a ‘Hot Category’?

Aside from showing a significant spike versus the rest of our marketplace, each category selected must be large enough to be considered relevant. Categories such as Fashion/Women’s Clothing or Electronics/Mobile& Smartphones, which show relatively little fluctuation, have been excluded from our selection.

So how does it work?

Each month we post the categories we expect to spike on our blog. Using previous data trends* as the forecast model we are able keep you in-the-know with an easy, accessible visual aid. You’ll be able to anticipate what content to publish, which ads and offers to promote.

Just read our blog on a regular basis and then adjust your performance strategy to align with the forecast. It’s as simple as that! Multiple spiking categories can be found here.

Questions? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.

*All data has been aggregated at weekly level for every level 2 category across the following time frames:

  • UK program – Transaction data on UK site from 2013-01-01 to 2013-12-31
  • DE program – Transaction data on DE site from 2013-03-31 to 2014-04-11
  • US program – Transaction data on US site from 2013-03-31 to 2014-04-11

As always we welcome your feedback and comments.

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News and Views: Cross-Device Trends & M-commerce

News and Views Cross-Device Trends  M-commerceIn September’s edition of ePN’s News and Views we’re looking at the latest “cross-device” trends and mobile statistics. According to a recent survey from Shopify, now more than 50 per cent blog 4of ecommerce traffic comes from mobile, now firmly establishing it as “the default way that people shop online” (figure 1).  They credit this rise to “social-fuelled” discovery purchases whereby social media and mobiles are used for more spontaneous, discovery-based purchases. This rise shows a correlation with smartphone uptake generally. Ofcom’s August 2014 Communications Market Report highlighted that smartphone take-up had increased from 51% to 61% in Q1 2014 year-on-year, with the 16-24 years age group providing the most lift (see figure.2).

It therefore comes as no surprise that cross-device functionality has moved from a blog 6“nice-to-have” to a “need-to-have” for marketers.  Last month, eMarketer released its August 2014 Cross-Device Trends Roundup report, exploring topics including functionality, new paths to purchase, consumer perceptions of the connected future and their awareness of the “internet of things”.

What is key to bear in mind is that, while mobile is clearly a vital component, the customer journey is now cross-device, not one device. Desktop search remains a heavyweight for marketers and still provides a higher conversion percentage than that of mobile.

Publishers can run a Transaction Download Report to view their mobile traffic figures, read how here.

As always we welcome your feedback and comments.

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eBay Category change

ebay Category-Changes

From the 22nd of September, eBay will release category, item specifics and catalogue updates, with the goal of increasing item visibility, eliminating redundancies and improving the overall shopping experience on eBay.

The following updates will be made within the categories listed below, most of which involve adding, combining and renaming meta-categories. (Click on the name of each programme to visualize the relative changes).

If you’re using Category IDs in your Custom Banners, RSS feeds, Link Generator, widgets or other configurations that use a Category ID, you’ll want to make sure that your category numbers align with these latest changes.

You can view details including the new category IDs by clicking on the relevant programmes:

AUBENLCA , CAFRDEESFRIEITUKRUNLPL

Time To Go Back To School!

TIME TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL! With the summer holidays drawing to a close, parents all over the UK are turning their attention to getting their little ones kitted out for a new year. From new uniforms to stationery, and the latest gadgets to keep kids engaged, there’s a lot of shopping to be done.

Boost your earnings over the next few weeks with your own back to school promotions, by encouraging your readers to visit our dedicated ‘back to school’ hub. Here, they can purchase everything they need to ensure the new school year gets off to a productive start, with great products and deals across categories including:

  • Electronics
  • Stationery
  • School uniform
  • Backpacks and lunch boxes
  • Sports kits
  • College and 6th form

Tailoring your content and campaigns with the latest seasonal trends can help to increase your conversion rates – so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for any further advice on making the most out of the end of the summer!

As always we welcome your feedback and comments.

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UK, DE & US Hot Categories: September

UK, DE & US Hot Categories: SeptemberWelcome to the September edition of eBay Partner Network’s Hot Categories forecast. In this post we outline our September predictions for the UK, DE and US regions. With this we aim to help you drive optimal levels of traffic by capitalising on trending categories. What’s Hot?

Use the below graphic to see What’s Hot this September:

UK Program

 Suggestions: As the UK summer draws to a close we see the shift from outdoor to indoor “Home & Garden” sales on the rise, with subcategories such as “Fireplaces & Accessories” and “Heating/Cooling/Air” experiencing a spike. September also appears to be a month for events, with “Fancy Dress & Period Costume” and “Celebrations & Occasions” picking up across the latter half of the month.

DE Program

 Suggestions: Just like the previous month, September could also be a month in which the Home & Garden category shows a higher traffic than in other seasons. Here especially the sub-categories Kamine & Kaminzubehör as well as Kleidung, Schuhe & Accessoires and Waschmaschinen & Trockner seem to be very popular. Furthermore, it is advisable to increasingly advertise within the Lifestyle category, especially within the sub-categories Kultur & Events, Kurzreisen and Sport. Additionally Kindermode, Schuhe & Accessoires within the category fashion spikes for the entire month’s duration.

US Program

 Suggestions: September certainly is a month for events, action and drama with both “Sports Tickets” and “Costumes, Re-enactment, Theatre” subcategories forecast to show sustained levels of sales over the entire month. September also shows sign of an impending baby boom as “Baby & Toddler Clothing” spike for a solid three weeks.

Remember: If you are intending to publish content based on individual weeks, bear in mind timing. Make the most of these predictions by keeping on top of what’s hot and what’s not; trade out less active categories for other, more popular ones.

Make sure you check back next month for the latest forecasts!

How do we define a ‘Hot Category’?

Aside from showing a significant spike versus the rest of our marketplace, each category selected must be large enough to be considered relevant. Categories such as Fashion/Women’s Clothing or Electronics/ Mobile & Smartphones, which show relatively little fluctuation, have been excluded from our selection.

So how does it work?

Each month we will post the categories we expect to spike on our blog. Using previous data trends* as the forecast model we are able keep you in-the-know with an easy, accessible visual aid. You’ll be able to anticipate what content to publish, which ads and offers to promote.

Just read our blog on a regular basis and then reactively adjust your performance strategy to align with the forecast. Simple as that! Multiple spiking categories can be found here.

Questions? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.

*All data has been aggregated at weekly level for every level 2 category across the following time frames:

  • UK program – Transaction data on UK site from 2013-01-01 to 2013-12-31
  • DE program – Transaction data on DE site from 2013-03-31 to 2014-04-11
  • US program – Transaction data on US site from 2013-03-31 to 2014-04-11

As always we welcome your feedback and comments.

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News and Views: Mobile Marketing

News and Views Mobile Marketing In this edition of ePN’s News and Views we take a look at highlights from the latest IAB / PwC Digital Ad spend Study on mobile and tablets; how a lack of in-house knowledge is preventing mobile marketing success, and highlight our very own Gianfranco Ludovici’s tips and best practice guide to going mobile.

According to the IAB, 2013 mobile ad spend doubled to break the £1 billion mark, accounting for £1 in £6 of digital ad spend! Interestingly, overblog mobile one third (36%) of people in the UK are now accessing the internet are now doing so via tablets, with tablet ownership growing 63% year-on-year from 11.0 million to 17.9 million in February 2014. (Tablets do in fact also have a superior conversion rate to mobile!) Retail site penetration via EU-5 smartphone continues to echo this upward trend, reporting year-on-year growth of 42% according to eMarketer.

However, a lack of in-house knowledge is reportedly the number one hurdle for mobile marketing success, reports M&M Global. Many marketers are turning to outside sources for their mobile marketing, however affiliates without the resources to do this need to ensure they are catering for even the basic mobile requirements.

That is why our Senior Manager of Online Partnerships, Gianfranco Ludovici has written his article “Mobile optimization to improve your affiliate performance”. In this, Gianfranco outlines some basic first steps toward mobile optimising your website, touching on formatting, responsive design, ad placement, code trimming and more. Have a read and as always we welcome your feedback and comments.

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Maximising mobile success with ePN

Maximising Mobile Success with ePN6.docxMaximising mobile success with ePN The mobile revolution is continuing at a very fast pace, and here at ePN we believe this presents a huge opportunity for our affiliates to grow their businesses. Consumer shopping and spending habits are shifting, and mobile devices are increasingly becoming the primary personal computing platform, with more and more people browsing and purchasing goods via their smartphones and tablets.

The case for going mobile is clear from our own statistics – as a global leader in mobile e-commerce, eBay processed more than more than $US 20 billion in mobile commerce transactions in 2013, with users using mobile devices to access no less than 40 per cent of listings in the fourth quarter of 2013 alone.

The most successful affiliates will be those that are proactively creating mobile-focused strategies that deliver a seamless consumer experience across all devices, to help to increase not only their reach, but critically, also their conversion rates, thereby staying ahead of the competition.

By tracking the mobile traffic to your site, you can measure how successful your mobile strategy has been, and identify which tactics are having the most impact. Below is a reminder of how to retrieve your mobile traffic report, including a screenshot of what the report graph looks like, and some frequently asked questions.

1. Where can I see the mobile traffic to my site?

Remember, there are a couple of ways to see your mobile traffic in the reports you’re already using.

  • Go to the Reports Tab >> Run Report and select “Mobile Traffic” for Traffic Type.  You’ll see your daily report and graph just like you’re used to seeing with your classic traffic.

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Maximising Mobile Success with ePN.docx 2

  • Go to the Reports tab >> Download Reports and run a Transaction Download Report.  This report has a column marked “Traffic Type” that indicates whether your traffic is mobile or classic.  Please note that we’ve also added a column for “Item Name.”  This doesn’t have anything to do with mobile specifically, but we know it’s something you’ve been asking for.

Maximising Mobile Success with ePN.docx 3

Maximising Mobile Success with ePN5.docx

2. What does ePN classify as web and mobile traffic?

We define traffic type based on the device.  Web or “classic” traffic is defined as traffic which occurs on a desktop or laptop computer. Mobile traffic is traffic that occurs on a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet.

3. How will ePN track my mobile traffic clicks, purchases and other activity?

ePN tracks mobile traffic clicks, purchases and activity in the same way we do for classic traffic.

4. What commission model applies to mobile traffic?

The same payment structure that you’re currently on for classic traffic is also applicable to mobile traffic.

5. I don’t have a mobile site, can I still get compensated for mobile traffic?

Yes. Publishers do not need a mobile website to drive mobile traffic. When your website is accessed on a mobile device the traffic will be detected and reported as mobile traffic.

6. What tools does ePN offer to support mobile?

There are several ways you can capture additional revenue by directing your mobile visitors to eBay, with the help of ePN tools. Mobile compatible tools include text links, RSS product feeds, HTML custom banners and the API.

We also offer a Mobile Tool ID, which publishers can integrate into their links, providing statistics that will be available via the Tool Report as part of the ePN publisher interface.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the team on our social channels!

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UK, DE & US Hot Categories: August forecast

eBay-Partner-Network-Launches-Hot-Categories-forecast.jpg

UK, DE & US Hot Categories: August forecastWelcome to the August edition of eBay Partner Network’s Hot Categories forecast. In this post we outline our August predictions for the UK, DE and US regions. With this we aim to help you drive optimal levels of traffic by capitalising on trending categories. What’s Hot?

Use the below graphic to see What’s Hot this August:

UK Program

Suggestions: The summer holiday season is truly upon us with accommodation, camping & hiking, and canoeing & Kayaking sub-categories showing sustained high levels of activity this August. The Home & Garden category also continues to complement the summer sun with Garden & Patio furniture spiking for the entire month’s duration.

It’s also worth noting the “back to school” season begins end of August, with parents frantically restocking their stationery and school equipment supplies toward September.

DE Program

Suggestions: August is an ideal month for outdoor activities. This is why articles within the Home & Garden category are very popular for multiple weeks. This can be seen especially in the sub-categories such as Sauna & Swimming Pool as well as Ponds, Streams and Fountains. Water sports also seems to be very popular during this month. Therefore, it is advisable to increasingly advertise within the Lifestyle category. In particular, the sub-categories Boat Sports and Further Water Sports are forecast to benefit from the August sun.

US Program

Suggestions: “Half books” and “Textbooks” are forecast prolonged spikes over the whole of August. Note that from the 4th – 18th Kids’ Clothing, Shoes & Accessories also spike – it might be worth considering running complementing campaigns for this period provided it suits your target demographic.

Remember: If you are intending to publish content based on individual weeks, bear in mind timing. Make the most of these predictions by keeping on top of what’s hot and what’s not; trade out less active categories for other, more popular ones.

Make sure you check back next month for the latest forecasts!

How do we define a ‘Hot Category’?

Aside from showing a significant spike versus the rest of our marketplace, each category selected must be large enough to be considered relevant. Categories such as Fashion / Women’s Clothing or Electronics / Mobile & Smartphones, which show relatively little fluctuation, have been excluded from our selection.

So how does it work?

Each month we will post the categories we expect to spike on our blog. Using previous data trends* as the forecast model we are able keep you in-the-know with an easy, accessible visual aid. You’ll be able to anticipate what content to publish, which ads and offers to promote.

Just read our blog on a regular basis and then reactively adjust your performance strategy to align with the forecast. Simple as that! Multiple spiking categories can be found here.

Questions? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.

*All data has been aggregated at weekly level for every level 2 category across the following time frames:

  • UK program – Transaction data on UK site from 2013-01-01 to 2013-12-31
  • DE program – Transaction data on DE site from 2013-03-31 to 2014-04-11
  • US program – Transaction data on US site from 2013-03-31 to 2014-04-11

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News and Views: Put your best foot forward for the next half of 2014

News and Views Put your best foot forward for next half of 2014As the first half of 2014 comes to a close, businesses are taking a pause to assess the successes of the past six months and plan for the rest of the year. In this edition of eBay Partner Network’s News and Views we share a selection of interesting and valuable insights that may help to make your next six months even more exciting and rewarding. Be careful of “out with the old, in with the new”

With a number of snazzy new tools and platforms on which to target consumers emerging, email marketing is often left on the backburner and considered “over the hill”. However, according to a PerformanceIN, it remains a method with one of the most effective ROI’s in the industry. Two-thirds of companies rated email marketing as either ‘Excellent’ or ‘Good’ when it comes to ROI and the continued boom in m-commerce has further rejuvenated this tactic. Keep in mind that while new methods can be an exciting and often a valuable way to target your potential customers, it’s important to lay the foundations with tried and tested communications platforms too.

Brush up your mobile strategy

Speaking of m-commerce, mobile continues to be a hot topic for marketers.  M&M Global recently explored the huge opportunities mobile presents for business, presenting mobile as a successful marketing tool that shortens the distance between what the user wants and what the brand provides. For marketers, the priority is not only to create engaging experiences but also to make it easier for consumers to get to what they desire, and mobile is the key platform through which to provide that convenience. Keep your eyes peeled on our blog, where more advice for achieving mobile success will be posted soon!

Don’t wait to innovate

Do you ever wonder what a successful business looks like? According to BusinessFinancing.org, innovation is a primary factor in business success because of the impact that new ideas, devices, or methods can have on a business. It can be a risk, but failure to innovate, regardless of your industry, company size, or goals, can lead to the competition is passing you by. Fostering a culture of innovation can create fantastic opportunities for a business of all sizes, so make it a priority!

A combination of innovation, a solid mobile strategy and a strategic approach to which platforms you are utilising, both new and existing, will help to make the rest of 2014 a highly rewarding one.

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