How To Use Ebay’s Promote Your Listings Tool – Webinar Transcript

September 10, 2019

Home » How To Use Ebay’s Promote Your Listings Tool - Webinar Transcript

Back in April, we were given a great opportunity to host a collaborative webinar with eBay. The presentation delves deep into eBay’s Promote your Listings tool. Specifically, a highly functional eBay listing tool that boosts your chance of securing the sale on eBay. That is, by creating ad campaigns to promote your products.

eBay listings display in prominent locations, such as where buyers shop for related items. Thus, you create an Ad for your Listing and you only pay for the ad when you get the sale! The webinar was hosted with eBay’s UK Product Marketing Manager, Jonny Burgess. He provides us with immense knowledge into the inner workings of the Promote Your Listing tool. So from the webinar, we have produced a transcript below. In short, it highlights the key tips and tricks, so you can make the most out of your listings on eBay.

So, to start with, Jonny Burgess explains why eBay is a such great platform for business sellers:

Clare:Hi everyone and welcome to this collaborative webinar between ChannelGrabber and eBay. The ChannelGrabber team are really excited to have been able to partner with eBay’s UK Product Marketing Manager, Jonny Burgess, to host this presentation about the opportunity presented by eBay’s Promote Your Listings tool.


After Jonny’s presentation, we will hold a Q&A session to finish off the webinar, so please submit your questions directly to me throughout the presentation using the Chat button in the webinar interface and we will answer as many as we can. If there are any questions that we don’t get time to answer today, we will do our best to publish answers to them in the ChannelGrabber April newsletter which will be published early next week, so do watch out for that.

So, without further ado, over to you Jonny!

Jonny:Just reminding you all that eBay opens a whole world of selling and growth opportunities.  We have 179 million active buyers worldwide and we have 1.2 billion live listings globally.


In the UK a pair of women’s shoes are purchased every five seconds, a car part is purchased every two seconds, and a video game is purchased every seven seconds, so hopefully this shows the scale of eBay, and the amount of traffic and transactions we have on site.

ebay listing 1


How can you get added visibility and make your products stand out?

Jonny:Amongst all of this traffic and activity, how can you get added visibility and make your products stand out?


This is why promoted listings can help your eBay business. It’s a self-service advertising tool for sellers and its part of our suite of marketing tools available to business sellers to help you grow your business. I’ll also show how it’s part of our ongoing commitment to partner with sellers as well.


What does promoted listings do?

Jonny:It displays your selected listings in prominent, exclusive positions across your eBay site.


It gives your items incremental visibility and therefore increases your chances of making a sale.

We display your listings in more places across the sites so it’s like the virtual internet equivalent of the end of a shopping aisle display. It’s all about getting your item in front of more shoppers and getting more visibility for your products. Now it’s important to say that promoted listings is a paid for advertising service.

This fact just highlights the scope of potential for businesses who sell on eBay. I’m going to be a cliche and say the possibilities are endless!

ebay listing 3-1


How does the Promote Your Listings tool work?

Jonny:You select the price, which we call the ad rate, that you’re willing to pay to promote the item.  The ad rate is the percentage of the item’s final sale price. Let’s have a look at a quick example of this.


Let’s say you have a mobile phone, listed for £200 and you decide to promote this.  You’ve set an ad rate of 10% so if the item sells through promoted listings, in this example your ad rate is £20, which is 10% of the item’s £200 sale price.The ad fee does only apply to the price of the item.  It does not apply to the final value fee or the shipping cost and these are still charged normally, and lastly, it’s important to say that we do refund the ad fee if the sale is cancelled, like if the buyer returns the item or doesn’t pay.


Where will the listing I promote be placed?

Jonny:So firstly, we label promoted listings as “Sponsored” when they show up on site, so when you see listings with a “Sponsored” tag next to them, they are coming from sellers who are using Promoted Listings. There is a bit of a difference between how we label the listings when they show up in the site, and what we call the advertising service.


Secondly the places where we show promoted listings are subject to change, so we are constantly testing and trying different places and different experiences, so keep in mind that some of these placements might change and this is just a snapshot of some of the places where we show promoted listings.

Here’s a picture of where you can find a Sponsored listings after you’ve search for an item on the eBay search bar.

ebay listing image1

Jonny:One of the most important places where your listing may be promoted is at the top of search results. Your listing may be promoted appearing at the top of search results is obviously crucial for growing your business.


The promoted listings can also give you visibility further down in search results. You might think this is a bit pointless, normally you want to be at the top of search and you’re doing everything you can to optimize your organic listings to get to the top of search results. We know that a lot of buyers click on the top few listings but there are still shoppers who scrolled down a search page, so promoted listings gives you the chance to show them your products without you damaging your organic ranking and your organic score.

You can also find Sponsored Listings when you are already on a item. the sponsored items are located on the bottom of the page. Just think if a potential customer is on someone else listings you still have a chance of the customer seeing your product and thinking it’s a better match!ebay listing image2-3

Jonny:The visibility promoted listings can display your item across the whole of the eBay site and across the whole of a shopper’s journey. It’s far more than just an advertising tool for search places. We do have over 50 places where we trade promoted listings and this is across desktop, mobile web and the app.


These 50 places cover at least eight different types of pages on the eBay site and on average, promoted listings produces a 40% boost in visibility. Visibility in this context means the amount of item page impressions so basically the number of people who viewed a listing page, so with promoted listings you can get nearly half as many more page views for your listings compared to normal.


Who can use Promote Your Listings?

Jonny:Some private sellers can sometimes promote their listings, but they have a very different experience from the one available for business registered sellers. Business sellers have more functionality, more flexibility and more of an advanced tool than private sellers, so the business sellers promoted listings has historically been available for shop subscribers.


Now in March we also made promoted listings available to business registered sellers without a shop, providing they are above standard or top-rated seller status, so for business sellers, this is the view of who’s eligible.

Clare:What kind of items can you promote?
Jonny:Promoted listings does only support fixed-price listings, so if your listing is auction, or the combined auction + buy it now formats, those aren’t supported at the moment.  It’s available for nearly every category across eBay UK, but the two big categories excluded are Car, Motorcycles & Vehicles, and Property & Travel.  Lastly, promoted listings does support single and multi-quantity listings. 
Clare:Are there any risks involved?
Jonny:Now this is not the case eBay promoted listings is very low risk with clear attribution and full transparency, so as I said earlier you only pay when you sell an item – we charge the ad fee if a buyer clicks on your listing and purchases that item within 30 days.
 Now, some advertising tools on other platforms charge you to display the ads or charge you for a click.  eBay decided to use a different model where you only pay for the advertising if it leads to a sale, and remember that you’re in complete control of how much to pay as well.  This does mean that if a buyer clicks on your ad and doesn’t purchase that listing, it’s effectively free traffic to your store.  Remember that there is a bit of a branding awareness effect as well, so making the sale is crucial but promoting listings can also help your brand on eBay.  Shoppers may bookmark your store or add you as a favourite seller, or watch some of your other items, so there are other halo benefits in addition to driving short-term sales.
 This payment model means that you have full transparency on where your marketing budget is going, and it means it is low risk with no upfront costs and no upfront investments.  There are also some long-term benefits to promoting listings, so it’s not only about making a short-term sale, it can have a long-term positive impact on your eBay business and this is because conversions from the advertising, including any feedback and seller ratings you get, contribute towards the items’ organic performance, so if you use promoted listings to drive some additional sales through advertising, then your organic listing (that is the non-promoted version) will retain that sales history even if you decide to switch off your campaign afterwards.  Through this way, you can improve the ranking and performance of your organic items, but bear in mind that currently we don’t report on this long-term impact so it’s a hard thing for us to quantify and measure exactly, but do keep this benefit in mind when you’re thinking about promoted listings.
Clare:Do you have any examples of other seller using Promote your Listings?
Jonny:One of our sellers called Party Avenue were kind enough to give us a bit of a testimonial about their promoted listings activity and it’s pretty much a part of their day-to-day activity and they’re continuously looking at optimizing and running advertising campaigns.
 They saw a thirty five to one return on ad-spend (that is making thirty five pounds in sales for every one pound they spent) and they also saw a 28% increase in traffic to their eBay store.  Their favorite thing about it was that they do only pay for a sale, which means they don’t need to make a significant upfront investment like they do in riskier forms of advertising.
 So, to summarize those benefits that we’ve talked through, promoting listings is risk-free because you only pay for the sale, you get visibility across eBay and an average 40% visibility boost, you decide how much to pay, keep in mind the branding and long-term benefits, and as I’ll show in a minute it’s super-quick and easy to use.

Sometimes you just need to hear other people’s experiences before you take the leap. This video from eBay might help.

Video from eBay Seller Centre

Clare: How would I promote my listing?
Jonny:There are two main options for creating a campaign.
 Firstly, promoted listings has its own dedicated dashboard – you can access this dashboard through the Seller Hub or through the Seller Centre but since the end of last year we have also been new options for promoted listings in Seller Hub itself so we’ve been integrating different promoted listing touch points in different parts of Seller Hub, so I’ll talk through a few of these options next, but next time you are in Seller Hub, keep an eye on for them when you go about your business.
 The first example of the Seller Hub options is on the Orders tab, where we have a new stamp in green indicating if a sold item was sold through promoted listings, so this is very much about reporting.
 The next big integration with Seller Hub is on the Active Listings tab.  On the Active Listings tab you can check the status of a listing, you can promote it, and you can edit your ad rates as well.  You can do this for a single listing or for multiple listings.
 Another example of the Seller Hub options is at the end of the single listing flow, and the sell-similar flow, where we have a new module called Sell It Faster – this again gives you the opportunity to promote a listing directly from that listing flow without having to use the dedicated dashboard.
 Now we’ll have a look at the dedicated dashboard.  It’s important to say that if you do use some of the options within Seller Hub to promote your listings, it’s still really important to use the dashboard as well, as the dashboard is where you can get full reporting for your activity and there’s also some functionality within the dashboard that is not provided in seller hub yet.  As I mentioned, the easiest way of accessing the dashboard is through the Marketing tab in Seller Hub, where there’s a link to promote your listings on the left-hand navigation menu.  If you have activity live, this is your main dashboard view.  If you are new to promoted listings, you’ll see our page introducing the service and guiding you through it a bit, but once you do have campaigns live you can view all of your key performance metrics here and optimize your campaigns.

Here’s a quick how to video guide on how to set up your eBay Promoted Listings campaign.

Video from eBay Seller Centre

Jonny:This reporting snapshot shows you clicks, sold items, how much he paid in ad fees and how many sales he made in return, and it defaults for the last 31 days you can go back further to see activity over a longer time period. Creating a new campaign is super quick and easy, we provide two options within the dashboard you can select listings individually or use bulk upload to create a campaign with a significant amount of listings, I won’t go through the entire process on this webinar but hopefully you’ll find it simple enough, it’s a case of selecting your listings choosing your ad rate giving your campaign a name and date and then you’re good to go.
 Now with promoted listings there’s no need to design an advertising banners or to do creative work, so your advert is simply the listing, you also don’t need to spend time selecting keywords or selecting your targeting since we handle all that work for you essentially our algorithms take care of the targeting and displaying your listings in the right place in front of the right buyers.
 Once you’ve got activity live it’s crucial to know how your campaigns are performing, there are three main places you can go for reporting you can use a dedicated dashboard which these two screenshots are showing or you can use the orders tab in Seller hub and lastly your eBay invoice which has full itemized detail of your campaigns.
 In the dashboard you can download reports for campaigns which have a lot more detailed metrics, there you can see things like click-through rate for each of your promoted listings and also conversion rates, I would really strongly encourage you to analyse and track your reports so I appreciate your busy sellers with lots to do but if you can spend a bit of time each month you can gain some really valuable insights into your activity and into your eBay business.
Clare:How to get the most success from eBay Your Listings tool? 
Jonny:In order to get the most success from the advertising it’s important to have a combination of the right kind of listing being promoted as well as a good ad rate, you might see success with only one of these factors but it’s unlikely to produce the best results and I’ll deep dive into both of these topics now.
 For listing quality, it’s important to think carefully about the type of inventory you do want to promote. Promoted listings does not actually work best for items that have been on sites for quite a while with low sales or zero sales so if you do have an item that hasn’t sold in a long time there’s likely to be a root cause for this listing’s low sales which advertising is unlikely to fix.
 Promoted listings does work best items with a good level of sales history already, there is a bit of an exception to this for new listings which we’ll talk about later but otherwise it will work best if you promote listings with some decent sales history and this is because it’s important eBay shows listings to buyers which are likely to convert and which are in demands, so even for your best selling items you can get further incremental sales since we’ve seen that you can get even more visibility for the for these items.

Shanice interjects: eBay gives you recommendations on your listings so if you are ever ensure just review the “Growth” tab in Seller Hub.

Jonny:The second thing to think carefully about is your ad rate, now I do appreciate that this might not be an easy decision for you, you very well may have tight margins to consider and it’s not as simple as just setting a high ad rate but ad rate is not the only factor that determines success.
 It’s not simply the case that a high ad rate will always beat a low ad rate as we saw in the previous slide listing quality and potential to convert is a big factor but the higher your ad rate the better chance you have of winning visibility and therefore making additional sales now to help that this part of promoted listings we give you a bit of guidance and we do show the average ad rate set by other sellers in your items category it will help your campaign if you’re competitive with regards to this trending ad rates but do remember that ad rates are flexible, you can change it when you want and experiment with different ad rates. You may want to start with a high ad rate and then gradually reduce it or start with a low ad rate and gradually increase it to see what effect that has on your sales.

Don’t panic! eBay gives you a list of average ad rate based on the category of your listing so you might want to start with the suggested ad rate for your listing’s category.

eBay Adrate guide

Image from eBay Seller Centre

Clare:When should I promote my listings?
Jonny:The first scenario is for new listings and new inventory you might have on site, now I did just say that promoted listings works best with listings that have some sales history already but the algorithm will give new listings a bit of a chance on the program, so it’s a great way to launch a product and get it going quickly on eBay amongst your competition.
 The next scenario might be a sale event and if you have invested in some great pricing if your costs allow it you could also think about some advertising to further boost that product, on a similar note seasonal occasions would be a suitable time to think about investing in advertising, whether you sell items related to Valentine’s Day or Halloween these seasonal moments throughout the year at times when you might want to think about standing out a bit more you can combine promoted listings with the other marketing tools that we provide and lastly we do provide an option for always-on campaigns so when you have worked out your ad rates and you’re comfortable with the ad rate you’re willing to pay, you can leave a campaign always on so it’s running in the background giving you more visibility. If you do choose this last option of leaving your campaigns running continuously but I’d still recommend checking in on your reporting and think about optimizing your campaigns rather than just leaving it running in the background.

This fact is shocking!


Clare:Are there any other tips of tricks you would like to add?
Jonny:I’d recommend reviewing your ad rate trying to be competitive where possible but really think about testing, if you have campaigns running for the whole year or campaigns running for a while stay engaged and optimize your advertising.
 Think about smart opportunities to promote more listings and on a similar note download reports and analyse your campaigns and lastly, I’d encourage you to think about comparing promoted listings to any other marketing activity you do, so putting this into context against other marketing activity which you might do on other platforms or using other tools, so with that I’m going to stop presenting but thank you all very much for joining today’s session I hope you found something useful in here.

It’s not only smaller businesses that have decided to benefit from the promoted listings feature. Reebok too advantage and have doubled their sales since using Promoted Listings.

eBay Reebok Stats

Image from eBay Seller Centre

Q&A Session

Clare:Will I have to pay if the buyer cancels the order?
Jonny:One of the nice additional benefits of promoted listings, the way the tracking and the ad fees works is the buyer would need to purchase the item they click on within 30 days for you need to be charged to the ad fee so if a buyer clicks on one of your promoted listings and then goes on to purchase another item in your store you wouldn’t be charged the ad fee, there’s a nice additional Halo benefit there.
Clare:Are there any other tips that will prove helpful?
Jonny:Promoted listings will work with promotions manager or order discounts as well. I think one thing to be said is that if you are using promotions manager you might have already invested some of your margin in reducing your prices, we realized that there might be a bit of a balancing act and really what I’d encourage here is think about what each of the tools offer in terms of the objective of the tool we provide.
 Think about what works best for your business and test out a few different options. Promoted listings is very much about getting you visibility at the at the beginning of the shopping journey, it’s about getting your listings more visibility and delivering more traffic something like promotions manager is growing your basket size so maybe selling two items where you might have only sold one initially so really play around with these try working and try combining them.
Clare:What is the ad fee percentage?
Jonny:The ad fee is a percentage of the items price so you can set that percentage anywhere between one percent to a hundred percent of the items price so that’s completely up to you when you do go to create a campaign you’ll see what other sellers are setting for that item but it’s really a choice which is something personal to each seller and their business. We know that margins and profitability will differ between categories and for different sellers, it’s really a case of you know taking the time to understand what you can invest in order to get a few more sales but with the knowledge that you’ll only pay that if you if you do sell an item.
Clare:How long should I promote my listing?
Jonny:That’s a flexible decision and it’s up each seller and how they want to manage their activity, as I said you can run always-on campaigns so if you have decided and ad rate that works for you in line with your selling costs, you can leave that running in the background so it’s ticking always giving you the chance of extra visibility.
 I have spoken to some sellers who run campaigns for a couple of weeks or for a month. I’ve even spoken to some sellers who will promote a listing for a busy weekend or for a few days so there’s really that flexibility to help you make that decision yourself. I’d also say the same thing about sort of setting an ad rate as well so if you are trying to experiment with the ad rate you know just think about how long you want that listing to have that had rate or how long you want to promote that listing for and try experiment in a few different options.
 I think at the minimum I would recommend a week for a campaign because that just gives enough time first sort of the activity to settle down after it’s been set live, we see quite different traffic on different days of the week so it’s important to you know give it a fair chance but otherwise it’s really a flexible choice for how long to run a campaign till.

If you get cold feet you can pause or end your campaign by clicking ‘Actions’ and  then choosing ‘Pause’ or ‘End’ on your campaign page.

eBay Promoted Listing End

Image from eBay Seller Centre

On the whole, I think we have everything covered. All in all, having such a vast knowledge of eBay’s Promote Your Listings tool means that you can make the best of your listings and also get them to work for you. Remember, even if you don’t get a sale on that listings you will still get traffic to your store and that could lead to a sale of another product in your store. Marketing at its best if I do say so myself. You will be able to access the 45 min recorded webinar at the end of this Blog post if you feel like you would prefer to watch and use our blog as a reference. We would like to thank eBay’s UK Product Marketing Manager for taking the time to create such detailed explanation of the Promote your Listing tool.

Indeed, we love to hear more about your eBay experience.

Have you used the eBay Promote your Listings tool?

Are you new to eBay Promote Your Listings tool? After reading our transcripts or viewing the webinar, do you feel like you have enough information to test out the tool? Please let us know here.

By the way, for those who would prefer to watch the Webinar, the embedded video is below:


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