Auto-Optimization: What It Means and How It Works


Toward the end of 2017, we released Smart Placements as part of our new Smart Suite. We wanted to cover one of the foundational pieces of this tool - Auto-Optimization - and what sets it apart. In this handy guide, you’ll learn how it can positively impact your business and why you should start using it immediately.


In previous emails and blog posts, we’ve described auto-optimization with explanations that include words like “retargeting” and “personalization.” Here, we’ll dive deeper to help you understand what this means for you and the future of affiliate marketing.

Each time you create a new Smart Placements banner, you put in a keyword and/or category to determine what eBay items will display. However, when the auto-optimization feature is activated*, a function often referred to as “retargeting” will override your keyword search criteria to decide what listings will be displayed in your banner ad.

This is when the magic happens.

Retargeting comes in many shapes and forms. Essentially, it is the practice of using an internet user’s web history with a product or brand to recapture his or her interest by showing personalized advertisements featuring that same product or brand.

For example: Retargeting ads can be seen on Facebook when you’re scrolling through your news feed and see an ad (“sponsored post”) for the retail site you recently browsed. The way this works is via a pixel that the advertiser attached to your browser when you were visiting their site for the first time. With Facebook Ads, they were able to create an ad campaign targeted to Facebook users who have visited their site before using this pixel on their browser.

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By showing you this ad, you may be reminded of a checkout process you didn’t finish, or see a new item from a brand you love, and thereby be compelled to click and make a purchase.

With Smart Placements, you can do this all from your own site, for each individual visitor, in real-time. Instead of using information from another advertiser that person was looking at on the web, the tool taps current eBay behavior to show each user his or her most recent:

●      Viewed pages

●      Search activity

●      Purchased products

●      Watch lists and more

The best part: You don’t have to do any of the heavy lifting. With the auto-optimization feature activated*, all visitors with the eBay pixel on their browsers will see personalized Smart Placements banners as they enter your site. Your only “to do” is copying and pasting the code into your site (see Quick Start Guide for details).


So, whether that visitor simply became distracted and didn’t complete the checkout process, was comparing prices between sellers, or just browsed some of the newest products from a favorite brand - their behavior will guide what listings are displayed on your Smart Placements banner.


*Make sure that auto-optimization is activated for your Smart Placements banner. It can be activated or deactivated by checking or unchecking a box inside the portal. When you access the Configuration Hub to create a new Smart Placements banner, you’ll notice that the default setting has Auto-Optimization activated. 


Why wait? Try auto-optimization today. After logging in to the portal, visit the Configuration Hub here:

Be sure to keep the Quick Start Guide and FAQs as you add the banner to your site. If you have any questions, email us at

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